Quirk's Blog

American consumers choose Jeep as most patriotic brand in new survey

IPatriotic red, white and blue bottles. July 4th party.As July 4 draws near Americans are preparing to watch spectacular fireworks displays and have fun with family and friends. But Independence Day also gives marketers an opportunity to celebrate. A new survey of iconic American brands has revealed which brands consumers consider the most patriotic, with Jeep, Coca-Cola, Disney and Ralph Lauren leading the pack.

“Marketers cue marching bands and majorettes, Uncle Sam and Statue of Liberty look-alikes to leverage patriotic emotions – and increase sales,” said Robert Passikoff, founder and president of Brand Keys, Inc., the New York-based brand loyalty and customer engagement research consultancy in a press release. “When it comes to engaging consumers, waving the American flag and having an authentic foundation for being able to wave the flag are two entirely different things, and the consumer knows it.”

To determine which brands will lead the parade when it came to patriotism, Brand Keys conducted a statistical analysis to identify which of 230 brands are more associated with the value of patriotism. “We know that effectual brand engagement is more emotional than rational,” said Passikoff. “And while many emotional and category-specific values drive brand engagement, we had 5,427 consumers ages 16-to-65 – drawn from the nine U.S. Census Regions – evaluate a collection of 35 cross-category values, including patriotism.”

The following are the Brand Keys 2015 top 50 most patriotic brands. Percentages indicate emotional engagement strength for the individual value – patriotism.

  1. Jeep (98 percent)
  2. Coca-Cola (97 percent)
  3. Disney (96 percent)
  4. Ralph Lauren (95 percent)
  5. Levi Strauss (94 percent)
  6. Ford/Jack Daniels (93 percent)
  7. Harley Davidson/Gillette (92 percent)
  8. Apple/Coors (91 percent)
  9. American Express/Wrigley’s (90 percent)
  10. Gatorade/Zippo (89 percent)
  11. Amazon (88 percent)
  12. Hershey’s/Walmart (87 percent)
  13. Colgate (86 percent)
  14. Coach/New Balance (85 percent)
  15. AT&T/Google (84 percent)
  16. Marlboro/Sam Adams (83 percent)
  17. John Deere/Louisville Slugger/Smith & Wesson (82 percent)
  18. L.L. Bean/Facebook (81 percent)
  19. Craftsman Tools/GE/Wells Fargo (80 percent)
  20. 49ers/Cowboys/NFL/Patriots/ (79 percent)
  21. MLB/NY Yankees/Wrangler (78 percent)
  22. Campbell’s/Gibson/KFC (77 percent)
  23. Goodyear/Wilson Sporting Goods (76 percent)
  24. J&J/Kellogg’s/Tide (75 percent)
  25. Converse/Heinz (74 percent)
  26. McDonald’s (72 percent)

“It’s not surprising that many brands in the top 50 are American Icons,” said Passikoff. Even an increase, or decrease, of five percentage points is significant at the 95 percent confidence level. There were 11 brands in this year’s survey showed significant engagement growth for the value of patriotism including:

Jack Daniels (+18 percent)
Coach (+15 percent)
Major League Baseball (+11 percent)
Coors, Wells Fargo (+10 percent)
American Express, Wrigley (+9 percent)
Goodyear, KFC (+6 percent)
Craftsman, Johnson & Johnson (+5 percent)

Although this was a study of for-profit brands, the survey also included assessments for the United States armed services – the Coast Guard, Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy. Consumers gave all branches of the armed services an engagement strength of 100 percent when it came to patriotism.
“Last year we received comments about how some of the top 50 most patriotic brands didn’t belong because their products aren’t actually manufactured in the United States,” said Passikoff. “That reflects a reality of the global economy and only the rational side of the decision-making process. One thing marketers should have learned about 21st century brands is those that make an emotional connection with the consumer always have a strategic advantage over competitors when it come to the marketplace battle for the hearts, minds and loyalty of consumers. Make that connection and consumers will not only stand up and salute but more importantly they’ll buy.”

Posted in Brand and Image Research, Consumer Research, Market Research Findings | Comments Off

Americans to celebrate Independence Day with picnics, parades and road trips

Friends barbecue on July 4Americans are ready to put on their red, white and blue to celebrate Independence Day with friends and family – and plenty of food. According to the National Retail Federation’s 2015 Independence Day Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, 64.4 percent of those celebrating are planning to take part in the patriotic holiday by attending a cookout, picnic or barbecue, spending an average of $71.23 per household, up from $68.16 last year. Total spending on food items for the holiday is estimated to reach $6.6 billion.

“The busiest half of the year for retailers is about to begin, and with economic conditions swaying in consumers’ favor more so this year than last, many seem eager to take advantage of retailers’ promotions,” said NRF President and CEO Mathew Shay.

When it comes to shopping for new Independence Day merchandise 22.8 percent will hit the stores looking for decorations, apparel and more to celebrate in style.

The survey found 42.6 percent will attend a fireworks display or community celebration, and 11.5 percent of those celebrating will watch a parade. The holiday weekend is also a popular time for travel and vacations as Americans say they will head out of town.

When asked about the impact gas prices will have on their spending, and 78 percent say that the price of gas will not impact their spending for the holiday weekend, up from 70.1 percent who said so last year.

“Consumers this summer and for the 4th of July will take advantage of lower gas prices to head to the beach or get together with family – something they’ve had to think long and hard about in recent years with higher energy costs and limited budgets,” said Prosper Insights Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow.

About the Survey
The NRF 2015 Independence Day Spending Survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the Independence Day holiday. The survey was conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics. The poll of 6,431 consumers was conducted from June 2-9, 2015. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

Posted in Consumer Research, Public Opinion/Social Research | Comments Off

The value behind client-centered MR

Customer retentionIn May, Quirk’s Editor Joe Rydholm moderated a conversation with executives from three research firms as part of a Quirk’s-hosted and Deltek-sponsored Webinar. The execs explored some of the issues they’re facing running their companies and the growth opportunities available for today’s marketing researchers. Panelists were Jim Bryson, CEO of 20/20 Research, Nashville, Tenn.; Duncan Lawrence, CEO and president of Morpace, Farmington Hills, Mich.; and Scott Young, president of Perception Research Services, Teaneck, N.J.

Panelists were asked questions around the following four topic areas:

  • talent and organizational culture;
  • business efficiencies and profitability;
  • technology; and
  • winning new business.


Throughout each topic-discussion it became clear that the three firms place a high value on being customer-centered. When asked how their firms ensure that projects are run efficiently and contribute to the bottom line, Young pointed out the importance of considering client needs on an individual basis. “We believe in the gold standard, so to speak. But we have also realized that clients have different situations and different constraints, be it budget, timing and so forth. There is nothing wrong in giving them the best possible [services] at different price structures,” said Young. Lawrence echoed this, saying, “It’s no one thing [that ensures efficiency]. Each client can require different types of things.”

Near the end of the Webinar, the panel was asked to name three factors that have contributed to their firm’s success and to give a piece of advice to C-level executives trying to grow their MR business. The conversation went back to the customer and the importance of hiring people with a customer-centered mindset.

Here are some highlights from the panelists:

“We are a people business. That’s number one, have great people. Number two, [have] great partners. It’s the way we’re going to keep abreast to the changes in the marketplace,” Lawrence said. “Number three is attention to the client. We survey our customers constantly and we’re doing a pretty good job on the elements we are looking for. You always want to do better. The more you take care of what you have, [the more clients] are going to say good things about you. Then good things happen.”

“Align talent with vision. You need the right people in the right seats doing the right things. I think it’s one of the most important things you can do to have a successful company,” said Bryson.

“It’s very easy [when] running a company to get lost on the internal side. If we lose sight of the client, what they are, what they are facing, what their challenges are and [stop] really listening to them, I think you’re in deep trouble. I try to spend at least half my time on direct client service,” said Young.

Interested in delving into one of the four topics or looking for more advice from the panelists? Check out the event recording at http://bit.ly/1KGbBd1.

Posted in Brand and Image Research, Business and Product Development, Consumer Research, Customer Satisfaction, Market Research Best Practices, Market Research Techniques, Marketing Best Practices, State of the Research Industry, The Business of Research, Training/Research Education | 1 Comment

Shopping for Father’s Day? Spending expected to hit $12.7 billion

Father's Day giftFather’s Day may not be the most lucrative consumer holiday of the year for retailers but spending for dad is expected to reach $12.7 billion for golf lessons, home improvement tools, coffee mugs, books and more. And, according to NRF’s 2015 Father’s Day Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the average person will spend $115.57 on gifts, close to last year’s $113.80. The survey found 75.4 percent of Americans said they plan to celebrate Father’s Day.

“Retailers are ready to welcome the warm weather and the millions of shoppers that come along with it and kick off the summer spending season just in time for Father’s Day,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Spending on grilling and patio necessities, pool gear, sporting goods, apparel and other gift and seasonal merchandise could be the positive stepping stone retailers need heading into the second half of the year.”

When it comes to gifts for dad, 39.7 percent will purchase apparel items such as a new dress shirt or necktie and will spend a total $1.7 billion overall. Another 43.3 percent will opt for experience gifts, such as tickets to a ballgame or a special meal with the family, spending a total of $2.6 billion.

The survey also found that one-in-five (19.7 percent) shoppers will pick out new gadgets for dad such as a tablet or smartphone, totaling $1.6 billion. Additionally, 39 percent of gift buyers will opt to let dad pick his own gift and will purchase a gift card, spending a total of $1.8 billion. If you’re planning to thank dad with a card, you’re not alone as 62.2 percent consumers plan to buy a greeting card and will spend more than $777 million overall.

Loved ones will also spend on home improvement or gardening supplies ($710 million), new tools or appliances ($668 million), personal care items ($684 million), sporting goods or leisure items ($665 million) and books or CDs ($538 million).

Consumers will look all over for gifts, with 36.4 percent of people planning to shop at department stores, while others will shop online (29.2 percent) and at discount stores (25.2 percent); 16.9 percent will shop local at a small business.

Shoppers on the move will use their smartphones and tablets to research and purchase gifts they know dad will love. About one-quarter of smart phone owners (24.1 percent) will use their devices to research gifts and compare prices, and 29.1 percent of tablet users will turn on their devices to do the same; additionally 13.1 percent of smartphone owners will actually purchase gifts via their smartphones and 17.5 percent of tablet owners will make a purchase with their devices.

More than half of those surveyed are planning to buy for their father or stepfather, while others will shop for their husband (27.6 percent) or son (8.9 percent) this Father’s Day.

About the survey
The NRF 2015 Father’s Day Spending Survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the Father’s Day holiday. The survey was conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics. The poll of 6,087 consumers was conducted from May 5-12, 2015. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

Posted in Consumer Research, Market Research Findings, Market Research in the News, Shopper Insights | Comments Off

Americans are ready for summer travel

Miami South Beach sunriseThe weather is finally on the upswing and many Americans are looking to make the most of their summers. Some are predicting that summer travel on U.S. airlines will reach an all-time high this year, and a recent Harris Poll sees similar highs ahead for the U.S. travel industry, according to a recent press release. Sixty-eight percent of Americans have at least one leisure trip planned for summer 2015 (May through August), a slight increase from the 66 percent who planned one last year and an overall steady growth rate since 2012 when 60 percent planned a trip.

And Americans’ outlook on the economy isn’t acting as a barrier when it comes to summer travel. More than half of Americans (53 percent) say their outlook on the U.S. economy has no impact on their likelihood to travel this summer – an overall 13 percent improvement from when this question was first asked six years ago (40 percent in 2009) – and an additional 9 percent say their outlook on the economy will make them more likely to travel. Twenty-seven percent still say they’re less likely to travel this summer due to their outlook on the U.S. economy but that percentage continues to decrease year over year.

Business travel, however, has yet to make a similar recovery, with just 15 percent of Americans planning at least one business trip. While relatively unchanged from last year’s 14 percent, it’s a cumulative eight-point drop compared to six years ago (23 percent in 2009).

Regardless the type of travel, Americans plan to spend upwards of $1,500 on their trips, on average. Those planning summer leisure travel anticipate spending an average of $1,722 on their trips while those anticipating a business trip plan to spend $1,513, on average.

Of those planning at least one leisure trip over the summer, 43 percent plan to visit beach locations. In second place, vacationers will visit the downtown/center of a city (32 percent), followed by a national/state park (24 percent) and countryside/rural locations (22 percent).

Millennials are more likely than any other generation to be planning a downtown/center of a city vacation (40 percent vs. 27 percent Gen X, 28 percent Baby Boomers and 26 percent matures). Adults in households with children are more likely than those without to be planning a trip to a beach (52 percent with, 38 percent without) or theme park (31 percent with, 13 percent without) location.


This Harris Poll was conducted online, in English, within the United States between April 16 and 20, 2015 among 2,215 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. Full results of this study, including data tables, can be found here.


Posted in Consumer Research, Market Research Findings | 1 Comment

Steps to take when your customers experience buyer’s remorse

We’ve all bought a product in-store, only to return it after learning that it was available for a much lower price somewhere else. Or ordered an article of clothing online, only to be disappointed by the quality or fit once it was delivered.

These scenarios are manifestations of buyer’s remorse, said Jeff Sauro founding principal of MeasuringU, a customer experience and quantitative research firm based in Denver. While we typically think of this phenomenon as occurring with big-ticket items like a home or a car, almost any purchase can lead to regret or concern on the part of the customer. And no company wants those bad feelings associated with them.

“Buyer’s remorse is a form of cognitive dissonance in which a customer’s initial expectations about a product or service don’t align with their actual experience,” said Sauro. “This cognitive dissonance can be sparked by a perceived lack of value, lower-than-expected quality or the presence of better alternatives.”

Whatever its cause, it’s critical that you take actions to reduce any buyer’s remorse your customers might be experiencing.

White Square Button with Free Returns IconOffer a return guarantee and collect data about how often and why returns are made.

Offering a return guarantee is key to alleviating buyer’s remorse. If your return rate is more of a steady stream (or a raging torrent), you need to find the source (or sources) of this buyer’s remorse so that you can take steps to prevent future returns. Specifically:

  • Collect return rates, dates and details.
  • Look to other clues that can predict the root cause of returns.
  • Predict the return rates based on patterns in the root causes.


“Here’s an example of what this type of data collection and analysis look like in action,” Sauro shared. “I worked with a U.S.-based cellular service provider that carried a number of phones from different manufacturers, including Apple, Samsung and Motorola. The cellular service provider collected the return rates for each type of phone and then looked into the causes of the returns. One reason for the returns was that customers found certain phones harder to use. The company started collecting usability data on all its phones, then associated that with the return rates. Based on the data, the company stopped selling the phones that lacked a decent usability score.”

Rethink your product or service based on what your customers collectively say they want.

When was the last time you directly asked your customers what they thought about your product or service? Do they really believe it provides a good value? Might it be overpriced, have quality concerns, perform poorly, need more features, etc.? Be sure to keep your finger on the pulse of what your customers want by asking them a mix of open- and close-ended questions.

“Learning that you need to offer a better value to your customers probably won’t be a comfortable realization for you to make but the good news is, these kinds of changes are like low-hanging fruit when it comes to combating buyer’s remorse,” said Sauro. “Making one change, like increasing offerings for the same price or fine-tuning a feature, can drastically improve satisfaction for a lot of customers.”

Confirm the initial choice.

Sometimes, simply validating a customer’s choice to purchase your product or use your service is enough to stave off buyer’s remorse. Messaging (in e-mail newsletters, ads, social media, etc.) and follow-up calls reassure customers that they’ve made a wise choice and that their purchase is in line with their values.

“For example, you might post a positive testimony from a satisfied customer on your company’s Facebook page or publish a newsletter article suggesting additional uses for your product,” Sauro shared.

Examine customer experience at different touchpoints.

Buyer’s remorse can develop at many different points post-purchase and for many different reasons. It may not even be sparked by the product itself but by a poor service experience, for instance. That’s why Sauro said it’s important to collect data not only about the product itself, but about several post-purchase touchpoints:

  • Shipping and delivery: Is the item in stock and delivered quickly?
  • Unboxing (opening the product): Do the quality and style of the packaging reinforce positive brand attributes?
  • Installation and setup: Is this process lengthy, confusing or overly complex?
  • Customer support: Are questions and concerns addressed in a timely and satisfactory manner? Is support staff knowledgeable and friendly?
  • Feature usage: Are there features that customers don’t use? Are any desired features missing?


“It’s often most efficient, and less of a burden on the customer, if you ask customers to complete only one survey at a key point in the post-purchase process – say, after the customer has used the product for some time,” Sauro noted. “Keep an open mind when analyzing the results, because you may be surprised by where opportunities for improvement lie.”

Establish a feedback loop so “remorse” data gets back to decision-makers.

It doesn’t matter how much useful data you collect if it isn’t passed on to people within your organization who can use it to reduce buyer’s remorse, said Sauro.

“Establish a feedback loop to make sure that problems, frustrations and suggested improvements are properly channeled back to product development, marketing, customer service, etc.,” he commented. “You’d be surprised by how much data stays buried in internal reports where it doesn’t do anyone any good.”

Don’t rely on just one remorse-removing tactic.

If your company is very fortunate, you may make a significant dent in buyer’s remorse after implementing only one of the previous tactics. But much more often, Sauro said, organizations experience success only when they thoughtfully blend some or all of these strategies. He pointed to Zappos.com as an example. Buying shoes online comes with some risk, since customers can’t try them on and may have to deal with the hassle of returning a purchase. So first, Zappos minimizes the risk to the customer by offering fast, free shipping; free returns; and free return shipping.

“What’s more, Zappos provides one of the best customer service experiences,” he added. “The company’s reps are known for staying on calls for as long as it takes to resolve a customer’s problems.”

Posted in Consumer Research, Customer Satisfaction, Shopper Insights | 1 Comment

Best in show at The Quirk’s Event

Caricature We’ve received the results of our attendee survey and it’s clear the inaugural Quirk’s Event was a success! Attendees were delighted with the fun and unique networking and learning opportunities the event had to offer. Held February 23-24 at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge, the conference flipped the traditional model, making the exhibit hall the center of things, while offering shorter, targeted educational workshops focused on practical information for attendees. We were so excited to see the thoughtful and creative ways exhibitors and speakers delivered engaging content and demonstrations.

We asked attendees to select the best-in-show award winners in the following categories: best swag/booth giveaway; best event experience; most appealing booth; favorite presentation/workshop; and best presenter. Category winners and honorable mentions were determined by popular vote using data collected through the Quirk’s Connect app and the post-event attendee survey. While we are presenting the category winners, we would like to send out our thanks to everyone who helped make the Quirk’s Event a success. Overall ratings were very high, specifically in the presentation and workshop categories where a majority of speakers and sessions received four out of five stars on the app.


Favorite presentation/workshop

  • “Eight keys to getting better data from questionnaires” – David Harris, Founder and President, Insights & Measurement, LLC


sessionHonorable mentions (listed in no particular order):

  • “B2B online communities: engaging members and your own organization” – Natalie Kakovitch, Strategic Research Consultant, Toyota Financial Services
  • “Why doing research the old way doesn’t cut it in 2015 (and beyond)” – Roddy Knowles, Director of Mobile Research, Research Now
  • “Getting comfortable with mobile games for market research: A case study involving movies” – Joe Marks, Founder, Upfront Analytics
  • “How Millennials and Gen Z are changing the game: A youth culture immersion” – Stephanie Retblatt, Chief Brainiac, Smarty Pants
  • “Embrace standard deviation: A random sampling on doing things differently than the norm” – Robin Pearl, Vice President, Consumer Insights, North America, The Estée Lauder Companies


Best presenter

  • Rebecca Zogbi, Vice President, Global Consumer & Business Insight, Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. – “Driving value through data and the evolving role of research”


Honorable mentions (listed in no particular order):

  • Katie Hansen, Ph.D., Consumer Insights Analyst, Etsy – “Self-report and behavioral data: Asymmetry or alignment?”
  • Kelley Styring, Principal, InsightFarm – “Vivid experiences – maximize impact with behavior-based qualitative”
  • Marcus Jiménez, Founder and CEO, StickyDocs – “Hacking insights at PepsiCo”
  • Jeremy Sack, Ph.D., Author – “Brands and stereotypes: Implications for marketers and researchers”



Best evVirtual reality experienceent experience

  • Virtual reality experience room by LRW (Lieberman Research Worldwide)


Honorable mentions (listed in no particular order):

  • Caricature artist by InsideHeads
  • Broadway star appearance by Shugoll Research
  • Flying pigs game by Jibunu
  • Virtual reality survey experience by SSI


Most appealing booth

  • Google


Honorable mentions (listed in no particular order):

  • LRW (Lieberman Research Worldwide)
  • Quester
  • SSI
  • icanmakeitbetter
  • Smarty Pants
  • L&E Research


Best swag/booth giveaway

  • T-shirt by Google


Honorable mentions (listed in no particular order):

  • Russian nesting dolls by OMI (Online Market Intelligence)
  • Flying pig by Jibunu
  • Flashlight by C&C Market Research
  • Dog treats by Market Cube


A big thank-you to everyone who made it out to the inaugural Quirk’s Event and participated in the conference! We hope to see you in 2016!

Posted in Research Blogs and Communities, The Business of Research | Comments Off

MR’s Earth Day reminder: The importance of being green

Earth DayWednesday was Earth Day’s 45th anniversary and people all around the world were celebrating. As communities planted trees, organized cleanups and attended Earth Day fairs, the market research industry placed a spotlight on what being green means to brands and how important environmentally-responsible brand habits are to consumers.

It is clear that environmental awareness is something consumers are looking for when considering what products and services to buy. According to a study conducted by New York- based research firm GfK, internationally, 78 percent of women and 75 percent of men agree that brands and companies have to be environmentally responsible. Close to two-thirds of consumers surveyed say they only buy products and services that appeal to their beliefs or ideals.

As a consumer, I certainly align with the desire to purchase from and support brands that are environmentally responsible. It’s often difficult to find trustworthy information on the practices of brands I use. I’m generally stuck in the grocery aisle guessing if a company follows ethical production practices and if a brand’s packaging is really eco-friendly. In the end, many of my purchases just don’t coincide with my desire to be eco-friendly and I’m left feeling guilty and disappointed. The study shows I’m not alone in this as 63 percent of consumers say they feel guilty when they do something that is not environmentally friendly.

Forbes published the 50 brands deemed authentically green by each brand’s own customers in America, according to a study of the 550 brands included in New York- based research firm Brand Keys’ Customer Loyalty Engagement Index. As I went through the list, I asked myself if I would personally consider each brand to be green. While I try to be an informed consumer, I honestly knew very little about the environmental practices of the majority of brands listed. I expected to see some of the companies on the list such as Chipotle and Whole Foods, while others like Coke and McDonald’s came as a surprise. They say it isn’t easy being green. I’d add that for consumers, it isn’t easy knowing if brands are truly green.

The consumer desire to align with environmentally responsible brands paired with the increasing competition brands face for having a share of consumer spend make it all the more important for brands to communicate company practices and values. Good PR and once-a-year campaigns are often not enough to meet consumer expectations. How can brands better communicate their environmental efforts to consumers? What actions are brands taking to be environmentally responsible? What must be done for consumers to consider a brand authentically green?

Posted in Advertising Research, Brand and Image Research, Business and Product Development, Consumer Psychology, Consumer Research, Market Research Findings, Market Research in the News, Public Opinion/Social Research, Shopper Insights | Comments Off

Americans plan to save – not splurge – with tax refunds this year

Tax returnAmericans plan to stash their tax refunds into savings this year according to the National Retail Federation’s annual Tax Returns survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics. Forty-seven percent of those expecting a refund plan to put the money into savings, the highest percentage in the survey’s history. Nearly two-thirds (65.7 percent) of those surveyed are expecting a refund.

“Americans are thinking of the future, and remaining financially secure is a big part of that,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay says. “A check from Uncle Sam gives consumers the ability to pay down debt, add a cushion to their savings or splurge on a vacation or big-ticket item.”

Young adults are making wise decisions for their future as 54.9 percent plan to put refunds into savings. But not all young adults are headed to the bank – 32.2 percent will spend on everyday expenses and 15.4 percent will make a major purchase. More than half of Americans ages 25-to-34 (53.2 percent) plan to tuck away their refunds in savings or use their refunds to pay down debt (47.6 percent).

“Perhaps having learned a few financial lessons from their parents during the economic downturn, it appears that Millennials are looking for ways to get ahead,” says Pam Goodfellow, consumer insights director at Prosper. “Less likely to be saddled with mortgages and accumulated debt, tax refunds represent the perfect opportunity for younger consumers to invest in their future.”

Consumers have a plan for how they will use their refunds: 39.1 percent will pay down debt and 25.1 percent plan to use it for daily expenses. While 13 percent say they will splurge on a vacation, 10.5 percent plan to spend on a major purchase like a television or car.

According to the survey, 64 percent plan to file their taxes online. Additionally, 37.4 percent will use computer software to prepare their taxes on their own, while 12.5 percent will do so manually. Others plan to have a spouse, friend or relative help (9.5 percent) and 22.2 percent will use an accountant.

About the Survey
The NRF 2015 Tax Returns survey is designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to tax returns. The poll of consumers was conducted from February 3-10 and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 1.3 percentage points.

Posted in Consumer Psychology, Consumer Research, Financial Services Research, Shopper Insights | Comments Off

Don’t forget the egg hunt! Consumers look forward to a family-filled Easter holiday

Eighty percent of Americans are looking forward to a fun, family-filled Easter holiday, according to the National Retail Federation’s Easter Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics. And this family time is met with increased spending. Total spending for Easter, which includes purchases of apparel, decorations, gifts, candy, food, flowers and more, is expected to reach $16.4 billion.*

Egg huntThis year, consumers will use Easter as an opportunity to spruce up their spring wardrobes. According to the survey, 45 percent of those celebrating will purchase clothing, spending more than $2.9 billion on bright colored apparel items for themselves and their families. However, more people plan to buy food for the holiday: 85.7 percent will purchase food for a family meal or other festivity, spending more than $5.3 billion on Easter fare.

Children and sweet-tooth craving adults will also purchase candy this Easter: 87.1 percent of those celebrating say they will buy candy, spending more than $2.2 billion on jelly beans, chocolate bunnies and chick-shaped Peeps. Consumers this holiday will also spend $2.4 billion on gifts, $1.1 billion on flowers, $998 million on decorations and $695 million on greeting cards.

With a laundry list of items to buy, 58.6 percent will head to discount stores to purchase their holiday merchandise. Another four in 10 (40.7 percent) will shop at department stores, while nearly one-quarter (23.8 percent) plan to shop at a local or small business. Additionally, 21.8 percent will head to a specialty store like a florist or jewelry store and 18.8 percent will shop online.

For the first time, the NRF asked consumers about the activities they are planning for Easter Sunday, and the survey found many of the traditional aspects of the holiday will be in. The survey found nearly six in 10 (57.4 percent) plan to visit with friends and family, half (50.8 percent) will go to church and 12.9 percent plan to open gifts. Not forgetting the little ones, three in 10 (30.9 percent) adults will plan a special Easter egg hunt for the children in their lives. Additionally, 15 percent of those celebrating will opt out of doing dishes and head to a restaurant to celebrate the holiday and 24.1 percent will browse the Web throughout the day.

Busy Easter shoppers will take advantage of their mobile devices to help find meal items, gifts, candy and more. According to the survey, 21.4 percent of those who own smartphones and are planning to celebrate Easter will use their phone to research products and/or compare prices, and another 13.5 percent will purchase items with their smartphone. Nearly one-quarter (24.9 percent) of tablet owners will research products and/or compare prices for their Easter needs on tablets and 16.6 percent will purchase something via their tablet.

Total spending is an extrapolation of the U.S. population 18+

About the survey

The NRF 2015 Easter Spending Survey conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights and Analytics was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to Easter spending. The poll of consumers was conducted from March 3-10, 2015. The consumer poll of 6,106 has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.3 percentage points. Download the complete survey here.

Posted in Advertising Research, Consumer Research, Lifecycle/Lifestyle Research, Market Research Findings, Shopper Insights | 1 Comment