Looking Ahead: Post-COVID Back-to-School Trends
08 Jul 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic was a time like no other. Everyday life was interrupted on an international scale, and the global economy faltered. Faced with unexpected and substantial economic instability, consumer confidence declined drastically, and many only made purchases to meet their basic needs. Now, with over 2.7 billion people vaccinated and the global infection rate trending downwards, consumers are beginning to “treat themselves” and spend more. With back to school – one of retail’s biggest annual events – right around the corner, experts will be watching back to school trends carefully to determine how well consumer confidence has recovered.

Celebrate the Good Times

Experts expect consumers to spend more money on school supplies, clothes, and dorm room decorations. Many colleges, universities, and K-12 schools plan for a full in-person return this fall. With this combined with a renewed optimism and increased vaccination rates, brands may expect more demand than ever. According to a forecast analysis by Mastercard, sales in the back to school range (mid-July to early September) should rise by 6.7% compared with 2019 and 5.5% compared with 2020. Consumers are willing to spend even more than they were pre-pandemic. These back to school trends point to an end to the economic downturn.

Brands eagerly await the fruition of these forecasts. Some retailers struggled during the pandemic as consumer focus shifted away from non-essential goods and will be looking to make up for lost time. Businesses such as Target and Walmart will face the challenge of competing with their unexpectedly high numbers from last year due to essential goods and online grocery sales. The back to school shopping season will be essential in accomplishing this goal. These businesses will likely be undergoing significant branding campaigns during this time, where they will rely on consumer science and market research on back to school trends to determine the best ways to engage their newly confident customers and tap into new market segments.

Old Habits Die Hard

Experts predict online shopping to continue to be a habit for consumers and trend upwards. E-commerce is expected to grow 53% from 2019 and 7% from 2020. Online shopping in 2021 will likely outpace itself compared to 2020, when there were less in-person shopping options. This is likely due to consumers’ willingness to spend more overall as they financially recover from the pandemic. It also seems like consumers nowadays generally prefer online shopping to in-person shopping.

Branding and advertising campaigns looking to keep up with competitors should take the opportunities of back-to-school into account. In the past, campaigns have highlighted the simplicity of online shopping. They have also offered deals to those who shopped on certain days (Amazon Prime day, Cyber Monday, etc.). These companies often use qualitative and quantitative research to test the feasibility of their new product or campaign, determine who their target audience is, and gain insights on maximizing profits. The growing trend of online shopping seems like it’s here to stay. Companies wanting to capitalize on it will be sure to act quickly and deliberately, especially during the back to school shopping rush.

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Looking Ahead: The “New Normal” of Qualitative Research
09 Jun 2021

When the world shut down at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, every industry rushed to make adjustments to their protocols and procedures. In response to stay at home orders and social distancing, many industries shifted to a work-from-home setup. For researchers, this meant conducting what would normally be in-person qualitative research, such as focus groups and in-depth interviews, in virtual formats.

As the world comes closer to a sense of familiarity, there is also talk of the creation of a “new normal.” This is to say that some changes that came as a result of COVID-19 may not disappear too quickly, if at all. As of January 2021, over half of Americans were still concerned about shopping in person and many prefer shopping online even if they are comfortable going to a store. Regarding companies and industries, many have shifted to permanent work-from-home or hybrid formats, as workers realized the extent of what is possible without coming into an office.

At some point, focus group centers will reopen, in-person interviews will be possible, and some sense of normalcy will return to the research industry. But when this happens, will virtual versions of these methods become a thing of the past? Here are some reasons why we believe virtual qualitative research is in it for the long-haul.

See participants in their natural settings

By definition, qualitative research is meant to provide a deep look into the minds, thought-processes, and lives of consumers. Focus groups and IDIs provide this by asking open-ended questions and follow up questions, and by allowing moderators to analyze participants’ emotions and expressions. Virtual versions of these methods add a new layer of possibilities. Researchers can see participants in their own homes and environments. This allows the analysis to include notes on lifestyle factors that would not be seen in a facility location. You can also tell a person’s interests based on belongings that are caught on camera. Additionally, participants may feel more comfortable and responsive in their own familiar surroundings.

Research a larger variety of markets with ease

Qualitative research is a common step in introducing a product or service to new markets or even new countries. However, conducting focus groups in a facility means either traveling to the prospective locations or skipping out on attending  in person. This can be a time consuming process, especially if your company is considering multiple markets. With virtual focus groups, you can run a session in London one hour and a session in New York the next! Researchers can even mix different markets within the same focus groups (for example, you can include people from all over the East Coast of the US in one group). Virtual tools open up qualitative research to these possibilities that were difficult, if not impossible, before. 

Fit qualitative research into your plans on a smaller budget

Qualitative research can run up a significant tab and take up a large portion of a project’s budget. Aside from travel expenses, focus-groups and IDIs require renting facilities, provide a large enough incentive to entice participants to commute, and more! Virtual focus groups can reduce or even eliminate many of these costs. There is no room rental and participants are willing to join for a lower cost. These reduced costs together with the lack of travel needs can open up qualitative research to companies who, until now, have not been able to fit it into their budgets.

The world may be on it’s way back to normalcy, but in many ways we should learn from the past year. We can reflect and appreciate what we learned in both the way we live and the way we work. Some of what we have implemented over these months should continue, as they open up doors that we did not previously know existed. This surely applies to virtual focus groups and IDIs.

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Looking Ahead: How the Pandemic Revived Three Trends
07 Jun 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, disrupting daily life, habits, and businesses as we know it. With vaccinations available to all Americans, it now seems to be slowly ebbing away. However, there are many lasting consequences that consumers and society will take away from it for years to come. Face masks and hand sanitizers may become a common fixture, while international travel might stay abated for years. In addition to these predictable widespread pandemic trends, there are three trends that have been revived from the past and are likely to stick around for some time: QR codes, drive-in movie theatres, and at-home exercise.

The Revival of QR Codes

These little squares are everywhere in 2021. Take a look in any restaurant and you’ll likely find them at your table – an easy, touchless replacement of the classic menu. QR, or “Quick Response” codes, allow anyone with a smartphone to open their camera app, hover over the code, and toggle instantly to a website. 

QR codes were invented in Japan in 1994, but they didn’t take off in the general public until 2010 when smartphones were finally able to read and process the data. Though they were an immediate hit in China, in the United States they were doomed to an ugly fate. For the next ten years, brands used them in gross excess in order to appear tech-savvy. The market for QR codes was saturated with advertisements, and until 2020 they were perceived as unergonomic, quirky, and lame. 

Since the pandemic hit, QR codes are a hallmark of touchless, socially distanced technology. QR codes are not only common at leisure venues like restaurants, bars, movie theatres, and arenas. Workplaces, schools, and colleges post QR codes to record people’s locations, which allows for seamless contact tracing. They are also vital in healthcare and medical spaces, with doctor’s offices, hospitals, and vaccination clinics using them to display crucial health data. 

These new, and less advertisement-focused applications of QR codes are just a few revived pandemic trends that are here to stay.

The Return of Drive-In Movies

The drive-in movie theatre is a classic American invention. One might recall images of 1950s suburban America, Elvis Presley, and the golden age of cinema. Though going to the drive-in theatre is a beloved vintage pastime, drive-ins had been on a steady decline pre-pandemic. In October 2019, 305 drive-ins existed in the U.S., compared to a height of over 4,000 in 1958. Rather than being seen as a functional pastime, going to the drive-in movie became a one-time novelty.  

After the pandemic shuttered movie theatres and indoor leisure, the drive-in came back to life. Old drive-ins saw revitalized business, while makeshift drive-ins were set up in parks and mall parking lots. It combined the excitement of going to a theatre with the safety bubble of the car. Families, partners, and small groups could go out again – without the risk of contracting COVID-19. Drive-ins offered a glimpse of human connection, shared enjoyment, and public life.

Drive-in religious services, concerts, graduations, and weddings are other pandemic-induced variations of the classic drive-in movie. During the 2020 election, President Joe Biden held campaign drive-in rallies, replacing the typical stadium-filled rally. Though movie theatres are opening their doors to the public once again, Americans remember the popular pastime of the bygone days, and will likely continue to seek them out.

The Demand for At-Home Exercise Equipment

COVID-19 introduced a new wave of people to exercise. With stay-at-home orders in place and a sharp adjustment to working from home, people turned to at-home workouts in order to counter their sedentary lifestyles. And, with gyms closed, regular gym-goers found themselves needing alternative plans.

The demand for at-home exercise equipment exploded in the early stages of the pandemic. From March to October 2020, treadmill sales were up 135%, while Peloton sales increased by 232%. More Americans than ever looked to fitness tracking devices, like apps and watches, and there was a new demand for virtual or outdoor Zoom workouts. These safe alternatives to group fitness classes offered the community engagement and social interaction that some craved.

Others who felt a burning desire to get out of the house ventured to the greater outdoors. Hiking was one of the few safe activities available to Americans in 2020. Sales of hiking and camping gear were up in 2020 as family road trips to state parks became increasingly popular. Rather than booking plane tickets and hotels, people looked to the great outdoors. Hiking is a low-risk activity that also allows for social distancing; even as the pandemic ebbs away, it is likely here to stay. 

It is undeniable that COVID-19 has rocked personal habits, the economy, and brand strategies around the world. As we look towards a return to normalcy, these revived trends of the pandemic world are here to stay: QR codes, drive-in theatres, and at-home exercise.

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The Pros and Cons of Qualitative Research
27 May 2021

What is Qualitative Research?

Qualitative research is non-numerical data that assesses a small number of people in order to garner ideas and insights. This is typically achieved through methods such as focus groups, ethnographies, and in-depth interviews. These exploratory strategies can provide a deep look into the minds and thought-processes of consumers. However, the results can not be used to represent the population as they can with quantitative research. Here are some pros and cons of qualitative analysis to keep in mind when deciding if this methodology is suitable for your brand’s current needs.


Gain Deeper Insight into Your Consumers’ Minds

Focus groups and interviews allow  brands to probe into a person’s opinions and feelings. Follow-up questions give moderators or interviewers the opportunity to gain deeper understanding of the “why” in response to an initial question. Though open-ended questions in a survey can touch the surface layer of understanding, there is no comparison to what can be uncovered through intimate conversation. These detailed insights can provide your brand with a colorful picture of who the audience is and what they think of your brand or product. 

Observe Emotions

People can sometimes hide their true feelings behind tone of voice, gestures, or facial expressions. This is why it is difficult to detect sarcasm in an email or text message. It is difficult, if not impossible, to pick up on individual consumers’ inner thoughts and feelings through quantitative methods. You can only experience these unspoken nuances through personal interaction with a subject. Including these unspoken details in your research can lead to more accurate and insightful observations.

Expand Your Audience by Conducting Research Virtually

The pandemic taught the world that many industries could pivot to conduct business in ways outside of traditional procedures. This is true for qualitative research strategies. Conducting in-depth interviews and focus groups online has allowed for research to continue through the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking beyond 2021, virtual qualitative sessions have the potential to allow brands to conduct qualitative research that may have previously been out of budget. 

Furthermore, virtual focus groups make it possible to include subjects from different locations in the same session to allow for a more diversified conversation. 

A research facility allows for minimal distraction. However, another unforeseen benefit of online qualitative research is that it captures the audience where they are. The research provides a glimpse into their life and environment that you do not capture at a facility. 


Results Are Directional

Qualitative studies generally utilize a small sample size due to the in-depth nature. This means that although a brand may find useful insights through the results of a focus group or interview, the results are specific to each individual respondent. Patterns can not be quantified to match the population. A brand should consider how they plan to use their research when deciding how to approach the study. If the goal is to gather feedback on product features or gain insight into consumer decisions or behaviors, qualitative research can be helpful even though patterns can not be generalized. But when trying to calculate market opportunity or measure brand resonance, quantitative methods are the way to go.

Results Rely Highly the Moderator and Proper Questioning

Qualitative research relies on the researcher’s ability to assess all aspects of a respondent’s answer from what they say, to how they say it, to what facial expressions they made while they say it. Some of these features can be difficult to interpret correctly and may come down to the subjective judgement of the moderator. If the moderator misinterprets any pieces, a company can be left missing details or incorrect information. These misjudgments can be avoided by allowing for multiple researchers to give thoughts on consumer responses. This can be done by having additional observers watching live from a ‘back room’ and for recording sessions to be reevaluated at a later time.

Researchers may also influence results through their questioning style. It is crucial for respondents to be as genuine as possible. In order to ensure this, questions must be clear and open-ended. Leading questions can cause an interviewee to respond with “the answer that the moderator wants” instead of with their true feelings. This can skew the results in favor of your brand’s agenda and provide an inaccurate outlook on your subject’s perceptions.

Qualitative Methods can be Costly

There are a number of expenses involved in conducting qualitative research. A moderator must be hired for each focus group or interview. Compensation for participants will generally be higher than the amount you would pay a survey respondent. It is also generally necessary to rent a facility to conduct the focus groups. However, in today’s climate, this cost can be reduced by holding sessions virtually through a video platform. If qualitative research is in your brand’s agenda, be sure to budget for all of the costs involved in conducting the study.

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The Pros and Cons of Brand Research
27 May 2021

Why Conduct Brand Research?

The best way to grow your brand is to know your brand. Typical marketing ROI measures have their benefits, but brand research is the best way to follow through on business objectives, cement positioning and inform future marketing strategies.

Imagine using a bow and arrow blindfolded. Even the best archer would likely miss the mark without being able to see the target. Brand research is like taking off the blindfold. With a clear vision and a targeted goal, organizations can take full advantage of their marketing strengths.

Pros of Brand Research

Build Better & Sustain Stronger

It is possible to conduct research at any stage of developing and growing a business. During the first steps of brand creation, research can provide the tools needed to make informed decisions regarding developing a launch strategy. New studies can also refine concepts for a new product and define the ideal target audience.

Established brands can periodically conduct research to evolve with changing consumer attitudes. Similarly, brands can reevaluate their target audience to shift messaging, polish positioning, and further develop brand assets. 

Customize Every Aspect

Branding research can be completely tailored to the company’s needs. The brand can commission as much or as little research as needed and pick any combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. The business and research objectives will determine the best combination. For example, brand tracking research follows your organization’s strategies and outlook over time, while thought leadership research boosts engagement. 

If your organization is unsure where to start, market research professionals can determine the best design to meet the objectives.

Cons of Brand Research


Though branding studies is important, commissioning it is an additional cost for your business. Furthermore, it may take a while to see the return on investment. That being said, these projects can help save money by avoiding branding errors and making informed decisions. It can also project sales and engagement down the road. Therefore, it is definitely worth considering when putting together your annual budget.


The time commitment for brand research can range from a few weeks to a few months. It takes time not only to decide on research strategies, but also to design the questionnaire/guide, field the research, and analyze findings. To avoid running up against marketing/advertising deadlines, companies should integrate such projects into long-term strategies. 

Constantly Changing Market

It’s no secret that the market is constantly evolving. This is certainly the case in the age of COVID-19. The pandemic disrupted consumer habits and business operations around the world in 2020. Pandemic aside, consumer habits can change at a whim. Additionally, brands should consider unforeseen events. It is important to update research at regular intervals. 

Ultimately, though this kind of research comes at an extra cost, additional time, and a need to be updated, your organization will see a return on investment in the long term. Like an archer with a clear vision, with brand research, your organization can hit the target!

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The Advantages of PR Research
29 Apr 2021

Public relations research or PR research is crucial for brands looking to boost innovation and visibility. It’s one of the most versatile methods of research, as it’s relevant to almost any brand looking to stand out. Fittingly, this thought-leadership research positions a brand as a “thought-leader” in their industry. The brand becomes a voice of credibility, innovation, and brand leadership. Brands that undertake this type of research differentiate themselves from the competition and gain a deeper awareness of their industry. They can also attract new audiences.

Thought Leadership & PR Research Can Be Leveraged

Original PR research rather than recycled data sparks high engagement. As a result, journalists are eager to get their hands on these exclusive insights. The data creates valuable content for social media, blogs, emails, and more.

Studies show that marketing content that includes original PR research receives higher engagement, more shares, and greater exposure than content that lacks research.

The metrics and ROI on PR leadership are proven: 

  • 6X more shares than average articles
  • 30X more engagement on social media
  • Uplift in lead generation

So How Do You Create Successful PR Research?

1. Assess the Landscape

Research potential topics beforehand. Often this step is ignored. This is a crucial component to the success of a content marketing research initiative. This phase helps discover trending topics that have high engagement. It also determines — and steers clear of — subjects that have been overused. Pouring over available research can spark unique ideas or new perspectives on a subject.

2. Develop Headlines to Craft the Questionnaire

Headlines need to excite and interest readers. They should focus on the topics discovered during the secondary research process. These headlines cover topics that have yet to be addressed. Good headlines guarantee a fuller, more exciting picture of your industry. When developing headlines, we keep SEO in mind.

3. Write Multiple Stories

Once the survey is closes, and the data is collected, it is crucial to create more than one story from the findings. Storytelling is an art form; it is essential to keep your audience engaged. Often, researchers hyper-focus on the details of the numbers instead of the big picture. It is critical to write the PR research report in a way that makes the readers want more.

Results of the Research

With the help of robust content marketing, public relations research, and thought leadership research, brands can become more visible, credible, and innovative. Market researchers tailor PR research to your specific brand, giving you a unique boost of engagement and credibility.           

Interested in learning more about thought-leadership and content marketing? Check out our other blogs here. 
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The Pros and Cons of Quantitative Research
19 Apr 2021

What is Quantitative Research?

Quantitative research collects a large sample of respondents to survey a representative portion of a population. This type of research, typically conducted via surveys, is often meant to represent the audience you are targeting as a whole statistically. The large sample size required can paint a detailed picture of your projected market as a whole, but the results may lack the personal, more exploratory benefits of qualitative research. Here are some pros and cons of quantitative analysis to keep in mind when deciding if this route is suitable for your current needs.


Make Projections about Larger Populations

Imagine making significant marketing decisions or product launches on a whim; that can be detrimental to a company. It is essential before making expensive and timely decisions that you have data to back up your choices. Quantitative research can be used to map out a picture of how a population reacts or behaves. From this information, you can make sales forecasts, determine product interest, or even how your prospects will behave.  

Tracking results

Need to understand pre and post behaviors from an ad campaign or a product launch? Or do you want to know how your brand compares to other products or services out there? Quantitative research allows you to compare results from a tracker or even competition statistically.  

Sub-Segments and Comparing Different Cohorts

America is a melting pot of different beliefs, ethnicities, sexualities, and psychographic behaviors. To reach a larger market, brands must adjust their marketing to appeal to various audiences. Since quantitative research collects data among a large population, you can often determine if sub-groups have different opinions or beliefs compared to the population. 


Results Lack Emotions

As quantitative research focuses on assessing the population as a whole, results are generally number-based. It can be difficult to use surveys to glean individual consumers’ inner thoughts and feelings. You may have been told that sarcasm can fall through the cracks in a text message. When you are simply considering the written word, you miss out on seeing gestures and facial expressions or hearing the tone in a person’s voice.

As a result, survey results will never be able to provide the level of detail into consumer’s emotions that can be achieved through focus groups or in-depth interviews.  

Gathering Responses for a Niche Audience can be Difficult 

Gathering any large sample can be a lengthy, difficult task. The narrower the target audience is for your survey, the longer it can take to find enough people qualified to enter your survey. Quantitative research may not be the best solution for studying such a specialized segment. These cases may be more suited for qualitative methods, like focus groups or interviews, which require much smaller samples.

Errors Everywhere – Do Not Want to Draw Wrong Conclusions 

With free and low-cost survey tools out there, many companies believe they can conduct quantitative research independently. However, it is essential to have a trained market researcher to run this methodology. From leading questions to sample inaccuracies, there are numerous ways that your conclusions may end up telling you the wrong information. While it may be more expensive to hire a professional research company, you know that the data will be accurate.

Gathering a large enough sample can also be time consuming and costly. 

Interested in learning more about the pros and cons of research strategies? Check out our pros/cons series here. 
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Market Research Among Generation Alpha
08 Apr 2021

Generation Alpha is the youngest generation alive. Born between 2011 and 2025, the cohort is steadily growing, with 2.5 million new Gen Alphas born every week. Though they are young, they have a large, ever-growing digital footprint. Market research on Generation Alpha has never been more important. Their slightly sinister nickname, the “Glass Generation,” refers to the screens surrounding them. 

Marketing Behavior Compared to Other Generations:

Generation Alpha is uniquely positioned for generational influence. Brands must understand the trends of this group’s millennial parents, who are currently spending more on their children than ever before. Millennials are the vessels for Generation Alpha’s spending power, which accounts for billions of dollars in annual spending each year. In 2020, 51% of millennial parents said they planned on spending more to keep their kids entertained during COVID-19 restrictions. This number is likely to increase as the pandemic draws on.

At first glance, Generation Alpha’s relationship with the digital world resembles Generation Z’s – but Generation Alpha’s technology use is much more intuitive. Generation Alpha was born in the age of TikTok, internet privacy debates, and meticulous personalization. By the time this cohort reaches age 8, they have likely already surpassed their parents’ techno-fluency

Market Research on Generation Alpha:

Brands looking to target Generation Alpha should look to seamless integration of social media, intuitive consumer communication, implementing AI, and diversity of products. Generation Alpha is not only the most diverse, multicultural generation alive, but they also look for brand diversity. Though they are young, they are aware and involved in social justice issues, like climate change and racial equity. One in 5 children in Generation Alpha have marched or protested about an issue they are passionate about

While research among Millennial parents will allow brands to access this generation for the time being, it will be necessary for brands to be prepared to research this generation as soon as they have purchasing power. When they grow up, Generation Alpha will bring a collection of new values to the world: diversity, creativity, and community. They are educated, deeply connected to their cultures, and looking for brands representing their beliefs, ethics, and values. 

Interested in learning more about the other generations? Check out our series on generational research here. 
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Testing 1…2…3: Quality Assurance in Launching a Survey
31 Mar 2021

An important consideration when conducting quantitative research is ensuring that you reduce the occurrence of errors as much as possible. Establishing processes to reduce errors in the methodology and ensuring high quality responses will help guarantee that a survey’s results represent the proper target audience for the given study. Neglecting to reduce errors or check for poor performing respondents can leave you with a spreadsheet of useless responses in need of replacement. Even worse, moving forward with your inaccurate results can leave you with the wrong impression about your audience, leading to wasted marketing dollars.

In addition to accounting for error when planning your study, error can be further reduced by checking technicalities within the survey throughout the survey’s lifespan. Here are some tips on what to keep an eye on when launching a survey:

  1. Test Your Survey Internally

    Before sending your survey out into the world, take it yourself. Ask your colleagues to take it too! Make sure that all of the programming within the survey is working correctly. Test multiple times with various combinations of responses. If a question is meant to reject unqualified respondents, test each answer to ensure that only the proper responses are let through to the next stage. Testing your survey will help reduce technical glitches and programming errors in advance of your launch.

  2. Soft-Launch Your Survey

    Gather a small portion of respondents before fully launching your survey. Take the sample and sort through their responses. Are unqualified respondents successfully completing the survey? Are qualifying respondents being prematurely ejected from the study? If you answer “yes” to either of these questions, it may be a sign that you should adjust the programming or targeting settings of your survey. Conducting a soft launch is a great way to catch these issues early, before too many responses fall through these cracks.

  3. Check Your Responses Regularly

    Throughout the time that your survey is live, sort through new responses and remove bad-quality responses. Look for signs that the respondent may have rushed through the survey without fully paying attention. Perhaps they gave short and repetitive answers to open ended questions. Maybe they gave the same rating to every question in a Likert scale. Whatever the reason may be, it is best to remove these respondents and find someone else to complete the survey so that your results are as accurate as possible. Doing this in small batches throughout the survey’s lifespan can help you save time. This can also help you avoid thinking you have reached your goal and closing the survey before suddenly needing to replace a large chunk of bad respondents.

Whether you are conducting research for yourself or for a client, you want to make sure that end results are as representative of your target population as humanly possible. Checking for quality and error at all stages will not only help you achieve this goal but will ensure that you do so in a timely and efficient manner. Keep these testing tips in mind the next time you launch a survey. Good luck!

Check out some of our other blogs on survey essentials and research methods:

  1. https://provokeinsights.com/4-watch-outs-when-conducting-a-survey/
  2. https://provokeinsights.com/6-things-to-watch-out-for-when-writing-a-market-research-survey/
  3. https://provokeinsights.com/quantitative-vs-qualitative-research/
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Market Research Among Generation Z
16 Feb 2021

Generation Z is one of the youngest and most digitally adjusted generations. Colloquially called “zoomers” or “the iGeneration,” they likely have never experienced pre-Internet life. Generation Z ranges from 7- to 22-year-olds born between 1997 and the early 2010s. This article is the third installment in a five-part series on market research among generations by Provoke Insights.

Marketers must not underestimate the buying power of this young cohort. Though they are young, they makeup 40% of global consumers and have an estimated spending power of $143 billion. 

Generation Z is known for their short attention span, which averages around eight seconds. This, along with their ability to keep up with ever-changing trends, can be chalked up to the widespread accessibility of handheld smart devices at such a young age. Unlike Generation X or Baby Boomers, Generation Z is less loyal to specific companies and more willing to search around until they find something that meets their needs. 

Generation Z is known for their love of online spending, brand conversations, and personalized digital experiences. 

Major Events for Gen Z

A common misconception that brands hold about Generation Z is the assumption they are immature or unlived. However, though they are young they have experienced many serious events.

  • Gen Z-ers may not remember the September 11th terrorist attacks, but they were raised in its wake.
  • The release of the iPhone in 2007 marked a new era of handheld technology. Many Gen Z-ers’ first cell phones were smartphones.
  • Gen Z-ers were brought up with the rise of social media, and are likely keenly aware of social media marketing tactics.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many Gen Z-ers’ secondary and college educations. As the pandemic hit at such a formative time, the impact will likely run deeper among this cohort. 

Market research among Generation Z is crucial for brands looking to grow. As this is the generation of the future and if your brand wants long-term growth, Gen Z will play a crucial role. Therefore, if your brand is thinking about targeting this young audience, the key is interactivity. 

Gen Z-ers look for authenticity, sustainability, and accessibility. Market research among generation Z will allow your brand to understand how to be authentic, sustainable, and accessible. 

Retailers should aim for partnerships with direct-to-consumer and ecommerce brands, which can provide personalized shopping experiences. Collaborations with celebrities can make a brand stand out.  Also, partnering with social media influencers can bring in new Generation Z consumers. Appealing to all generations, including Gen Z, is absolutely possible with interactivity at the forefront.

Interested in learning more about the other generations? Check out our article researching Generation X here.

Are you interested in our market research capabilities? Find more information here or email us at [email protected]

Finally, read some of our past blogs and case studies here:

  1. Market Expansion for a Furniture Company
  2. Research Among Baby Boomers
  3. Research Among Gen Alpha


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