Tag Archives: market research

Our Favorite Brands

favorite brandsWhich are your favorite brands? While we’re at it, which are your least favorite? And why?

With the holiday shopping season fast approaching, we will likely be doing some comparison shopping. Which brand of smart phone, TV or whatever will you buy? Which retailer will get your business? How often do we let our research guide us, and how often do we just go with our faves?

A couple of recent business articles (like, this one and this one) highlight a survey that set out to find our favorite brands. Here are the top 10…

  1. Apple
  2. Amazon
  3. Walmart
  4. Netflix
  5. Costco
  6. Samsung
  7. Coke
  8. Target
  9. Jet Blue
  10. Chick-Fil-A

Why were these our faves? Answers include “I feel smart,” “quality,” and “cutting edge” (Apple). Or, “convenience” and “detailed product info” (Amazon). Or, “convenience” and “low prices” (Walmart.)

Funny thing, those brands that are our favorites can also simultaneously be our LEAST favorites. No names, but a trait like “Cutting Edge” can also be interpreted as “Arrogant.”

You’ll find more insights at the original articles (like, here and here), so check ‘em out! So, what are YOUR favorite brands? And why? Do you always go with your fave, or do you comparison shop? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

Black Friday Preview


Recently, Walmart announced changes to the way they will be doing Black Friday in an effort to “keep things simple.’ One big change: no more doorbusters. Apparently, they lead to confusion. And, let’s be honest – they can sometimes lead to confrontation (not that this is Walmart’s fault, nor is the chaos limited to Walmart). Instead, they “will offer deep discounts on gift items like TVs, DVDs and pajamas starting at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving at its stores until they are gone.” Frankly, if a redesign leads to fewer fistfights, I’m for it. Proactive!

So, it’s two weeks until Black Friday. What can we expect? Well, several stores have already released, or previewed or teased, their Black Friday mailers. Other stores’ mailers have been “discovered” by something called BlackFriday.com.

Here are some links to some of the more popular national stores Black Friday Ads, or top secret intel…

Lots more at BlackFriday.com, so check it out. So, how about you? Looking forward to Black Friday, or have you changed your habits over the years? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

How We $pent Our Labor Day 2015

labor day spending

The last bash of the summer has come and gone. Now, it’s back to work and school with barely a break until Thanksgiving – though Columbus Day and Veterans Day certainly help!

So how did we spend our precious final summer weekend? Here are some stats:

Travel: The LA Times says that 35.5 million of us traveled at least 50 miles for the holiday weekend, and we spent an average of $380.

U.S. travelers spent an estimated $13.5 billion, a 2% increase over last year.

Gas Money: We spent an average of $2.45 per gallon of regular gasoline, the lowest gas prices for Labor Day weekend since 2004. (It was $1.84 in Charleston SC!)

Yahoo Finance says that overall, we have saved over $1 Billion at the gas pump this year.  BUT… that hasn’t translated into a bunch of extra spending. One estimate says that for every dollar we save, we are putting one-third toward our credit cards, ne-third into savings, and one-third into new spending. Good news, right?

Movies: Labor Day weekend is never the biggest money-earner, as everybody is doing other stuff. But, according to Rotten Tomatoes, this year was terrible – the worst in 15 years. The top 20 films earned $79 million, down from a typical $90-110 million. This weekend’s winner was the religious-themed War Room.

So, how did you spend Labor Day 2015, and how much did you spend doing it? At my house, we bought a tank of gas for a 200-mile day trip, spent $60 on clearance items at Kmart, $30 on food…and that’s about it. How about you? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Silver Linings for Young Job Seekers

hire me

It’s that time of year. Newly-minted college grads are hitting the streets, or the web, or both in search of a job. They face obstacles, for sure. The mirage of the big Recovery…oh don’t get me started. Let’s just say the job market still isn’t what the economists would term Super Awesome.

And some young job seekers create their own problems. I always hear this second-hand (“My buddy has a friend who is a hiring manager and he says…”) but the popular notion is that today’s grads want no expectations placed on them, don’t want anybody on their back, and they demand $60,000 per year – on day one.

So, young job seeker, mistakes will be made, expectations will be unmet, and failures will lurk behind successes. These things don’t have to be complete surprises, however. That’s the point of this Time Magazine piece, “10 Tough Job Lessons Worth Learning by Age 30”. Here is a sampling of common career woes.

  1. Your dream job is a dud.
  2. You didn’t adequately prep for an interview.
  3. You were too eager to say yes.
  4. You got passed over for a promotion—or laid off.
  5. You have a nightmare boss.
  6. You scored a high paying job—and hate it.
  7. You covered up a mistake when you should have come clean.
  8. You blew a big presentation.
  9. You’re friends (or enemies!) with the wrong coworkers.
  10. You disagreed with your boss—in the open.

Just the bullets, of course. The point is, these are common. It’s not just you. I wish I had known that as numbers 2, 3, 5, 6 and 9 happened to me in my 20s. And the happy ending is that “Workplace setbacks are rarely career enders.”  It’s a great piece; it states the disaster, what you can learn from it, and how to recover. If this is you, seriously, you must read this piece.

How about you? Did any of these happen to you at that age? (I know they did.) Share your story at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

Check Yourself?

selfcheckDoes your favorite retailer have self-checkout lanes? Do you use them? Some folks see them as a tremendous convenience, while others are pretty much insulted by them… “Oh, so I WORK here now?”

I use them occasionally at Walmart and Piggly Wiggly. Usually, I have too many items. Somehow, filling the bag and then trying to remove it creates a hassle. Or, I have too much produce, and looking up the price codes is beyond my ability. And, is it just me, but do you also slam your items in the bag so that the machine “detects” them? Because, again, not bagging is also a problem for the machine. I have better luck at Lowes Hardware. I think “hammer, one each” is the perfect application of self-checkout.

Anyway, Consumer Reports surveyed over 60,000 people about their impression of self-checkout. In general, people are happy with them, something like 70% satisfaction. Others have very specific complaints. Such as:

  • Machine didn’t work properly
  • Customers ahead of me took too long
  • I needed help, but nobody was around
  • I couldn’t figure out how to use it

There were differences between men and women. The biggest being “I needed help, but nobody was around.” 20% men, 2% women. Why do you suppose that is?

There are more interesting stats at the original piece, including a breakdown by age, so check it out!

So, are YOU a Selfie? Why or why not? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Are You an Impulse Buyer?

shopcartYou didn’t plan to buy it, but you saw it on the shelf and you had to have it. That’s the impulse buy or, as the retail industry likes to call it, the At-the-Shelf purchase. What triggers these purchases?

It’s not just shiny packaging and placing popular items at eye level that triggers an impulse buy. According to the 2015 American Pantry Survey, over 4000 respondents said there are several reasons, some price-related and some not. Some highlights…

Price Related Impulse Buys:

  • 89%: Discounted price
  • 49%: Free samples
  • 37%: Saw the product and remembered I had a coupon
  • 36%: Smartphone app alerted me in-store

Non Price Related Impulse Buys:

  • 81%: Saw it and remembered I needed it
  • 63%: Just wanted to try it
  • 52%: A new product by a trusted brand
  • 41%: Health and wellness claims

There’s actually a bunch more info and a cool graphic to go along with this piece (yes, I say that every time!) so check it out!

How about you? Do you stick to your shopping list religiously, or do you indulge in the occasional impulse buy? Let us know at the MindField Online Facebook page!

May’s Best Bargains

The Memorial Day sales are already starting at retailers such as Sears, JCPenney, Overstock and Macy’s, so it’s a good time to look at your best bargains for May. What’s on tap?

  • Cell phones and service deals
  • Kitchen Appliances
  • Handbags
  • Swimsuits
  • Sandals and Spring Clothing
  • Tires
  • Linens and Mattresses
  • 3D HDTVS
  • Jewelry and watches

Here are some links to help you compile your May shopping list!

Are any of these items on your to-do list for May? They say you could save up to 75%! What are you in the market for? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!


Mother’s Day by the Numbers 2015

mothers day2The National Retail Federation says that average spending for Mother’s Day is up this year – $173 vs. $163 last year, which is the highest amount since they began the survey. So, how do we spend those precious mom-dollars?

  • Total spending: $21 billion
  • Average spent per mom: $173
  • 80% will buy a greeting card, spending $786 million,
  • 67% will buy flowers, spending $2.4 billion.
  • 36% will buy clothing items, spending almost $2 billion
  • 34% will buy jewelry, spending $4.3 billion
  • $3.8 billion spent on special brunch or activity
  • $1.8 billion spent on smartphones or e-readers
  • $1.5 billion spent on spa days
  • $890 million spent on housewares or gardening tools
  • $480 million spent on books and CDs

There is much more info at the original piece, so check it out!

How about you? Is your Mother’s Day spending up, down or about the same? What are your plans for Mother’s Day? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and…Happy Mother’s Day!!

MindField’ers Make a Difference!

colaDid you hear that Pepsi Co. recently decided to change the recipe for their diet drinks? That’s a big deal. Millions and millions of people enjoy Diet Pepsi, Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi and Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi. You don’t just change the recipe without a lot of careful thought and research.

So where did Pepsi turn for guidance? To YOU! That’s right, MindField Online panelists participated in in-home tests of potential new recipes for diet Pepsi products. That research helped Pepsi to decide on the final formula that will be mass-produced later this year.

MindField is pleased to be connected with the researchers making a huge difference in today’s marketplace and even more thrilled that MindField’ers across the country had the opportunity to be involved in such revolutionary decision making.

Congrats on being heard and making a difference!


Dining Out Beats Dining In

die out dine inThat squeak you just heard is the dollar amount that we spend in restaurants annually squeaking past the dollars we spend on groceries. That’s right, Bloomberg reports that, for the first time, Americans spend more on dining out than cooking at home, something like $51 billion vs. $50 billion. Twenty years ago, it was 2-to-1, or $30B vs. $15B, home vs. restaurant.

Who is driving the change? One hint: it rhymes with Shmillennials. And the Why of it may sound familiar, as well. Millennials have a talent for turning everything into a social experience, and eating dinner is just one example. Social, as in gathering with friends, and Experience, as in having an admirable desire to try new things.

Meanwhile, the Baby Boomers are going in the opposite direction. 50-to-70 year olds report that, while spending is also up, it is more concentrated on Needs than Wants, necessities over frivolities or luxuries. Why? Because they watched their 401K’s get murdered in the last crisis, and they’re spooked.

How about you? Are you a Boomer, Gen X’er or Millennial? Have your spending habits changed regarding dining out vs. dining in? Why or why not? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!