Tag Archives: market opinion

Consumer Trust Issues

Monopoly Man Learns to Cope with Our Distrust

Homer Simpson once said, “People can come up with statistics to prove anything, and 14% of people know that.” So, with a grain of salt, let’s look at little statistical snapshot of consumer sentiment.

The question is, which industries do Americans trust these days? You might be surprised that the answer isn’t “none of them.” According to a new survey, the types of companies we trust from LEAST to MOST trusted are:

  • Health Insurance
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Banks
  • Energy
  • Food and Beverage
  • Large Retailers
  • Manufacturers
  • Technology Companies

Other statistical nuggets include the following:

  • 72% think the economy is in the crapper, and 31% think it will get worse.
  • 76% say that top execs earn too much money.
  • 84% don’t like it when companies move jobs overseas to take advantage of lower wages. 74% feel the same way even if it lowers prices of the things we buy.
  • 90% of us think favorably of small businesses.
  • 62% would rather do business with a small local company even if it charged somewhat higher prices.

Does this sound right to you?  Let us know!

Over One Million Served!

On TV shows it’s a really big deal: a woman walks into a store, sirens blare, balloons fall and a guy rushes out with a big cardboard check. You’re our 1-millionth customer!!

Real life is a little more subtle. In fact, if the Surv-o-Tron 2000® down at MindField Central hadn’t blown a gasket and started leaking coolant, we might not have noticed that the counter had turned over a million.

That’s right, one million survey responses. And who was number 1 million? THIS LADY!

This is Michelle from Maine. As you can see from her Facebook pic, she’s married and has two young kids. And to celebrate this milestone, MindField added FIFTY BUCKS to her payout.

This is just one example of the fun and surprises to be had here at MindField Online Internet Panels. So, thanks Michelle! Everybody else, stay tuned, our big $2500 drawing is just around the corner!

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

It was just a couple of weeks ago that we were discussing Apple impresario Steve Jobs’ retirement. Now we have learned of his passing.

By no means am I in the die-hard Steve Jobs Admiration Society. Not until recently, when I worked for a company whose entire business was making accessories for Apple products, did I give Mr. Jobs much thought. But I have to say that he was a trailblazer. He didn’t just make awesome products to satisfy our needs – he anticipated our needs and invented an entire industry to meet them. In this way, he has been (rightly, I believe) likened to a modern-day Thomas Edison.

So today, that’s what I would like to focus upon, as opposed to speculating on the effect on Apple’s shares. Just yesterday, we had the first big Apple teleconference without him, and many were under-whelmed. Who knows? Maybe they were anticipating the news.

So what do you think?

Blogging Year in Review, el parte dos

Yesterday we began our two-part blogging year in review looking at the various pieces we did about the consumer testing industry in general, and MindField Online in particular. Today, let’s recall the ways we reached out to panelists like YOU!

We announced fun cash and prize giveaways, like

And when we reached those milestones and held the drawings, we featured the names, pictures and bios of as many of the winners as we could:

Early on, we reached out to long-time members and asked them to tell their stories:

We really wanted to do more of these, but we found that people are generally shy about too much attention.

Meanwhile, we began collecting satisfied members’ comments on Facebook. Back when we had about 5,000 fans, we made a blog post with a bunch of these comments. We kept updating them about every month or so, and finally decided they needed their own page. We update the Panelist Reviews page monthly, and it’s coming up next week!

Well, that’s the year in review! Thanks for everything, MindField Online friends and family…and stay tuned!

Blogging Year in Review, el parte uno

This week marks the one-year anniversary of MindField Online jumping into the world of social media, including the blog, our Facebook page and Twitter feed. In social media, old stuff tends to get buried under new, and useful info sometimes gets lost. So for this reason (as well as misplaced nostalgia) we take a two-part look at the past year.

We took time to learn about Consumer Testing. Some of it was “inside baseball,” as they say, others were pretty useful!

Along the way, we took time to discuss features, changes and improvements to the system, including

Looking back, one thing becomes clear: we use a LOT of exclamation points! Anyway, this is just SOME of the excitement we have perpetrated in the past year. More tomorrow, and THIS time it gets personal! Exclamation point!

Steve Jobs Passes the Torch

Steve Jobs will be remembered as the Edison of mobile: his numerous Apple products have impacted the work, home and play lives of hundreds of millions of consumers worldwide.  …MobileMarketer.com

People weren’t exactly stunned by this week’s news about Steve Jobs. His health has been a long-running concern for the past several years. The day when he would take a big step back in the day-to-day operations at Apple had to come eventually, and so it has.

Mobile Marketer pulled together a bunch of quotes from industry types about Steve Jobs’ influence on personal computing, entertainment, marketing…it goes on and on! Here are some highlights:

With the iPhone, Steve Jobs reimagined what the smartphone could be and ushered in a new level of sophistication in mobile marketing.

Before Steve Jobs, mobile phones were about making phone calls with a few peripheral features. Now, voice calls are the peripheral feature.

He knew he could get people excited about products they didn’t know they wanted and almost certainly don’t need.

…he has turned Apple Computer around to become just Apple – the leading consumer technology brand in the world.

He did this not because he’s a great developer, engineer or even product designer, but because he’s probably the greatest marketer and showman in technology.

He provided true market leadership that not only transformed Apple but forced all of their competitors to innovate.

I might even say, that aside from Thomas Edison and Benjamin Franklin, there might not have been a more significant contributor to changing so many aspects of our world.

Those are some highlights. There are plenty more quotes HERE.   So what do you think? Is Steve Jobs a genius? A master showman? Completely overrated? Have his products “changed your life?” Let us know!

Cure the Back to School Bookstore Blues

The college textbook screw-o-rama has aggravated students and parents forever. You buy an expensive textbook at the campus bookstore. At the end of the term you sell it back practically unused (in my case, anyway) for pennies on the dollar. The next day it’s on the USED shelf for 75% of the original price!

Well, put down the gun, mom and dad – and pick up the Kindle! According to a recent USA Today article, book giant Amazon has announced:

…students can rent tens of thousands of textbooks from its online Kindle Store, which Kindle users can access on the e-reader. Amazon said its rental prices are as much as 80 percent lower than the list prices for the books.

Now, cheaper is one thing, and I am all for it. But if you remember standing in line at the bookstore to buy and resell your books, every term, four years straight…that’s hours of precious human capital that went to waste! Time that could have been spent drinking beer and not studying!

What do you think? It’s back to college time!Does it make sense? Is your (or your kids’) school participating?

MindField Fans Speak (again!)

Time to update our satisfied Facebook fan comment page for August. Check it out, including this gem from Kirk: “MindField is the best reliable survey company out there. I started about 3 years ago and I love sharing my opinion and testing new products, and the incentives are great! I have never had a problem with them – they are trustworthy!”

Follow this link: Panelist Reviews

The Sound of Savings

You won’t hear it with the human ear, but the next time you are in a big chain store, Shopkick may be calling out your name!

According to a recent article at Forbes.com, Shopkick is a location-based customer loyalty app like Foursquare or Gowalla, but with an important difference:

…it doesn’t use the phone’s GPS. Instead, Shopkick uses a different technology. It plugs in a small box inside each participating store. The box emits a high frequency sound that humans can’t hear. When the Shopkick app is opened, it recognizes the sound so that it knows that the person is actually in the store.

The bottom line is engagement. Remember a few posts ago we were talking about the difference between TV ads that are just on, shooting dumbly out into the atmosphere, versus web ads that tease you and make you click? If you click the web ad, you are already interested in the product. That’s engagement, and the same principle applies with Shopkick. You physically go into the store, you turn on the app, and you wait for the deals to come to you. And Shopkick claims a success rate of 45% that, if it’s true, is a really high number!

For now, because it requires hardware, Shopkick is mainly in large chains like Target, Best Buy, Macy’s, Disney and so on. Foursquare uses existing satellite tracking, and it is popular with smaller independent stores. But of course, they are looking into copying Shopkick’s success. Hopefully the winner will be YOU.

So have you used Shopkick? What do you think?

Get ’em While They’re Young

…in the pursuit of new customers, companies are shifting their marketing strategies to target a younger and younger demographic. First, “youth marketing” was the buzzword. Then, it was fine-tuned to the “tweens.” Now, newborns are the new base.         Beneath the Brand Blog

Yes, newborns.  A few years ago, some genius figured out that while a child must learn language and verbal skills in order to communicate their preferences, they are forming preferences even before that. Really, it goes all the way back to Walt Disney: ever notice how you can tell who’s the hero and the villain just by the way they are drawn?

And speaking of Disney, they are jumping into the marketing-to-babies thing in a big way. Now, at nearly 600 maternity hospitals in the US, Disney gives away “cozy, adorable bodysuits — often decorated with famous Disney protagonists —[for free], so long as Mom is willing to sign up for email updates from DisneyBaby.com, the new corporate initiative.”

Meanwhile, Ronald McDonald is one of the most recognizable figures to even the youngest kids – and Ronald is taking a lot of heat for supposedly wrecking your kids’ health and making them fat. So, there’s a downside. Anyway, there are further examples in the article online. So what do you think? Good? Bad? Dumb? Inevitable?