Can Dynamic Pricing Be Done Right?
20 Jun 2024

Provoke Insights explores customer perceptions and strategizes for effective ways to implement dynamic pricing in restaurants.

Modern Restaurant Management presents the research findings of an April 2024 trends report by Provoke Insights. The article delves into the concept of dynamic pricing in the restaurant industry, discussing its potential benefits and pitfalls. It highlights the importance of implementing dynamic pricing strategies effectively to boost revenue without alienating customers. Initially met with skepticism, dynamic pricing gains favor when framed as discounts through membership programs for off-peak hours, with over half of consumers expressing keen interest in such initiatives.

Some noteworthy insights include:  

  • Dynamic pricing refers to the practice of adjusting menu prices based on various factors such as demand, time of day, or level of patronage.
  • Awareness of dynamic pricing is low among Americans, with urban dwellers and parents more likely to be familiar with the concept.
  • Two-thirds of consumers are initially averse to dining at restaurants using dynamic pricing, however, interest in dynamic pricing increases significantly when presented as discounts offered through off-peak hour memberships
  • Restaurants should emphasize the benefits and discounts of dynamic pricing rather than focusing on peak-hour price increases to improve consumer perception and engagement.
2023 Trends in Market Research
07 Dec 2022

Check out predictions for this coming year from Provoke Insights, a full-service market research firm! Our conclusions for 2023 come from industry articles, blogs, government data, and our own observations. As inflation remains present and interest rates continue to rise, companies will need to re-focus their priorities in the next few quarters. 

One Research Project Needs to Answer Many Needs

Current economic strains have company earnings below expected projections. Research budgets may not be as robust as they have been in previous years. Research companies will need to think outside the box for creative solutions to make research go further. It will be imperative to tackle two objectives simultaneously and find cost-effective solutions to finding the appropriate sample. 

Tech Budgets are Slowing

The technology sector in the last few years has been on fire, especially during the pandemic’s peak. The rapid industry growth resulted in a need for several market research projects. However, that is not the case anymore. The intense need for technology has decreased as more people return in-store, in-office, going out, and traveling. As a result, this sector’s demand for research is not as strong as it has been previously.

New Sectors Take Center Stage

The United States’ commitment to rebuilding infrastructure and reducing the climate crisis has resulted in money funneling into construction and sustainability categories. Both areas will need research help to support the growth areas as expansion occurs. In addition, consumer-facing brands have the opportunity to focus on sustainability goals that may have taken a back seat during the pandemic. Brands will need research to understand the best approach to successfully implement these new initiatives.

The Need for Strategic Insights, Despite Automation

Automation has been a hot topic in the research field for the last few years. It’s been most commonly integrated into more and more market research tools to deliver the data and in helping to interpret the results. As this technology matures, we will see automation becoming more specialized.

However, as more research processes become automated, the need for data to tell a story and provide strategic direction is ever so important. You will need more than just robots to help with the research.

Researchers with strategic experience will be in high demand as they can uncover insight into the data through which AI sifts. Often researchers only create graphs and regurgitate the data. The need for storytellers to provide actionable results that answer business objectives is crucial.

Sampling Experts Needed

The days of “setting and forgetting” a survey in-field are over. Online survey tools allow for wider reach and quick turnarounds. Unfortunately, this opens up opportunities for bots to infiltrate, even if the survey software offers safeguards. Although many marketers may want to bring their research in-house as budgets are cut, many won’t have the bandwidth to implement the necessary quality checks while the survey is live. Research companies carefully comb through every respondent that comes in to ensure they qualify, answer questions thoughtfully, and do not rush through. These extra eyes on your survey will ensure you get accurate insights and actionable results. 

Guests Experiencing Restaurant Inflation – Modern Restaurant Management
02 Nov 2022

In autumn 2022, Provoke Insights surveyed 1,500 Americans. This survey aimed to gain perspective on the external trends affecting multiple consumer behaviors, including restaurants and dining out.

The standout findings include:

  • Half of respondents say they are eating out less at full-service restaurants than they did six months ago
  • Eating more at home is the top way consumers who are budget conscious are trying to save
  • Consumers are most dissatisfied with prices of items on the menu
  • More than half of consumers are saving money through cutting back by selecting cheaper items or passing on desserts and/or appetizers

Consumers fear their financial future, as the economy and inflation top their list of concerns. As a result, restaurants should create cost-saving options to appeal to those consumers who are budget conscious.

These Technologies Will Engage Your Customers – Blog
19 Jul 2022

WholesaleCentral, a leading resource for merchandisers, featured Provoke Insights’ in-house research on retail technology.

Provoke Insights’ most recent wave of in-house research was fielded in March 2022, taking a deep dive into over 15 industries, including retail technology. By better understanding how consumers feel about innovative technology, including QR codes, tap-to-pay, mobile apps, and smart vending machines, hospitality/retail brands can better tailor to the customer experience.

The standout findings include:

  • Consumers who enjoy retail tech are more likely to be brand loyal
  • Retail customers are most aware of QR codes (71%) and tap-to-pay mobile payments (66%)
  • These tech-savvy shoppers are impressed with store cleanliness (36%) and customer service (30%)

As the shopping experience continues to become digitized, it’s crucial that brands understand customers’ attitudes and habits when it comes to retail technology.

New Skin Care Needs In a Post-Covid World – Happi
01 Jun 2022

Provoke Insights’ newest research on the skin care market is featured in a recent article in Happi Magazine.

Provoke Insights most recent wave of in-house survey was fielded in March 2022 to understand the state of 15 categories, including skin care. The study aimed to profile typical skin care consumers, discover what they are looking for, and measure their brand loyalty.

The standout findings include:

  • Skincare shoppers are mostly female (70%), Millennials (44%), and have children (41%)
  • Less than half (47%) of skincare purchasers are only or mostly loyal to their favorite brands
  • Most skincare buyers (63%) consider themselves environmentally conscious, and half would pay more for sustainably sourced items
Shopping Sustainable Products in 2022
12 May 2022

Evidence of climate change, government regulations, and consumer pressure have brought more sustainable products to the market. Fifty-seven percent of Americans now consider themselves environmentally conscious. However, what is the demand for green products? Are people who consider eco-friendly willing to pay more for sustainable products? In Provoke Insights’ fourth wave of in-house research, we set out to track consumer mindsets, purchasing trends, and how sustainability plays a role.

Who is Buying Sustainably?

Today 43% of Americans are willing to pay more for sustainable products. Interestingly, almost two-fifths (39%) of those who are environmentally conscious are not willing to open up their pockets for green products. Those willing to pay the extra cost are more likely to be vaccinated, optimistic about the future, Democrats, Millennials, and have children.

Inside the Mind of the Sustainable Shopper

While these shoppers tend to be more optimistic about the future, they still worry about COVID. They are more concerned about the economy and the health of themselves and their children are a priority. Additionally, these shoppers prefer to purchase from small businesses. Price is not a major factor in their purchasing decisions.

They Go Online to Find Sustainable Products

Although sustainable shoppers prefer to make purchases online, they rate the in-store experience favorably. They are more satisfied with the cleanliness of stores and customer service than non-sustainable shoppers. However, they tend to find item availability to be lacking since sustainable products are more niche. They are purchasing apparel, beauty supplies, and skincare products. Furthermore, sustainable shoppers are more loyal to their brands than those who are not willing to pay extra for green products. Almost three-fourths (74%) stick to brands they are familiar with.


Download the full report for free here.



Provoke Insights conducted a 15-minute survey in the spring of 2022 among 1,500 Americans between the ages of 21 and 65. A random stratified sample methodology was used to ensure a high degree of representation of the U.S. population (household income, age, gender, geography, ethnicity, and children in the household). Statistical differences between subgroups were tested at a 95% confidence level. The margin of error is +/-2.5%.

The Pros and Cons of Ad Testing Research
14 Jan 2022

Brands invest millions and millions of dollars into advertising and media spend each year. However, it is hard to tell which creative will generate the best ROI. Brands should not treat advertising like throwing darts at a dart board in hopes of getting a bullseye. Often, companies may be too close to their advertising and unknowingly offend its potential customer. 

Conducting research before launching campaigns is an important step in assuring your ads are well received by consumers. However, running such research improperly can lead to unreliable results and wasted cash. Here are some Pros and Cons to consider before conducting ad testing research.

The Pros of Ad Testing

Know your Audience’s Preferences

Can’t decide which of your creatives will resonate most with your target consumers? Turn to market research! Conducting an ad testing survey allows a brand to show participants multiple creative concepts. Not only can respondents provide feedback on each asset, but they can also rank the creatives to show which ones they prefer. These surveys are an essential way to help companies narrow down their options based on what their audiences would like best.

Avoid Missteps in Taste

Your spouse and kids may find you hysterical, but does the general public think you are funny? It can be difficult to gauge how consumers will react to certain aspects of an ad, whether it be jokes, emotional tugs, or stances on worldly issues. The last thing a brand wants to face is backlash towards a tasteless advertisement (think: controversial superbowl commercials). Conducting ad testing research before launching a campaign can help weed out these issues before an advertisement goes live, thus preventing such backlash from starting up.

Beat the Norms

Whether it is your company’s personal norm or compared against your industry, you have the ability to determine if the advertising beats your standards. Adding benchmarking questions to an ad testing survey can allow a brand to determine how a creative stands up against others. A company can measure how unique or innovative an ad concept is, or whether it drives a viewer to learn more about the promoted product. When using normative research questions in a survey, it is important to remember that the wording of questions must exactly match the format of previous research.

The Cons of Ad Testing

You Can’t Please Everyone

When conducting an ad testing survey, your brand is bound to come across various preferences and opinions from respondents. Brands can be tempted to adjust creatives to appeal to each of these different groups of people. Trying to make an ad that will appeal to the entire population can result in bland, generic, advertising. It is better to analyze the data carefully and adjust creatives to appeal to the groups most likely to purchase the product. Remember that polarizing ads can be good and make your creative memorable.

Research Takes Time 

Time is money. Ad campaign development is likely to have short timelines and tight deadlines. With such a rush, it can be difficult to find the time to dedicate to research. However, if a company includes research as a consideration when making these timelines, they will be able to reap the benefits of launching more targeted and effective campaigns.

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