Selfie Culture is Driving The Cosmetic Boom

Selfie Ready Study Icon


A recent Washington Post article indicated that women are spending less on clothes, but more on cosmetics. The prestige beauty category saw a 7% increase in sales last year, while the makeup subcategory enjoyed a 13% increase in sales. Our report highlights the impact “selfie culture” has on millennial women’s increased spending. In the report, we cover how selfie culture creates a need to always be “beautiful,” engenders a fear of being caught without makeup, and affects the image of social and professional success.



Drivers Aren’t Afraid Of Self-Driving Cars


AAA recently surveyed 1,832 drivers about various automotive topics. A major takeaway from the research was that 3 out of 4 drivers reported they would be afraid to allow a self-driving car to drive while they’re in it. We wanted to get a clearer picture of drivers’ fear so we ran a mobile video survey with participants that reported they were afraid of riding in a self-driving car. As their video responses came in, we noticed that these drivers weren’t highlighting a fear of technology. Instead, these drivers were afraid of giving up the act of driving.


Download our report to learn more.



Beer is losing Millennial attention

Businessman drinking a cocktail in a swimming pool


The Wall Street Journal recently reported that beer lost a portion of its share of U.S. alcohol revenue in 2015 for the sixth consecutive year and the 12th time in the past 15 years, according to data released by the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. Our team is obsessed with understanding the “why” behind data, so we set up a mobile video survey, and asked millennials why they were shifting from beer to liquor. Their answers told a personal story that big data only hints at. Download the report to understand why liquor is booming.



Who’s The Customer? 8 Questions That Complete a Buyer Persona

Checklist image for blog
When you’ve got a great idea for a new product or service, it’s easy to assume that just because you’ve always wanted something like it so will everyone else. And a lot of times, it’s true — that big idea actually does fill a gap in the market that customers will appreciate.
Just because you built it, doesn’t mean the users or clients will automatically come.
To ensure that your product or service is on the right track, it’s helpful to craft a buyer persona before you even get started.
“Having a deep understanding of your buyer persona(s) is critical to driving content creation, product development, sales follow up, and really anything that relates to customer acquisition and retention,” according to Pamela Vaughan, writing for HubSpot.
Typically, when designing or developing a new product or service, it’s easy to get hung up on the actual usage — when your customers will use it, how it works and how you want them to view it. But these eight questions help you get outside of your usual thought process and really humanize the people who might love your product but may not find it if you don’t take the right marketing approach.


  1. Who is my ideal customer? How old are they, what’s their gender, where do they live?
  2. What is most important to this customer?
  3. What similar products or services do they already like?
  4. What do they like about those products and services?
  5. What media do they consume? How do they get their news?
  6. Which tastemakers do they follow?
  7. How often would they use this product or service? Why?
  8. What’s the difference between my product or service and a similar one that they may already be using? Why would they choose mine?

This exercise helps you figure out which other brands or services you’ll be positioned next to and what potential advertising opportunities might exist, based on your ideal buyer’s taste and lifestyle.
If you advertise on Facebook, what kinds of other ads or posts might yours end up next to? What will your website look like in your buyer’s RSS feed? Do they listen to podcasts, and could that be a good advertising opportunity?
If you’re still having a hard time visualizing the buyer, consider this tip from business consultant Kari Chapin: Use Pinterest to pin products, services, and ideas that your ideal customer might like.
By determining not just what your product is for, but who will use it and why, you can get a better idea of how to talk about, explain and publicize it when the time comes.
Image courtesy of Mufidah Kassalias. Image license here

Did Donald Trump’s First Presidential Campaign TV Ad Resonate With Voters?

trump face


Trump and his team know their audience. That’s what we’ve concluded after we had eight Trump supporters complete a mobile video survey ad test of Donald Trump’s first Presidential campaign TV spot. Their reaction to the ad is telling. Watch the video below:


Trump Video Pic


You can view the TV spot they’re responding to here. The incendiary imagery, over-confident narration, and bold messaging of Trump’s ad might be off-putting to some, but for his supporters, this is Trump as usual – an on-brand declaration of a “better America” that plays on the passions of those passionate about Trump. The ad only strengthened each supporter’s opinion of Trump, with one participant calling the spot “perfect.” Darren F states, “What did I dislike about it? Absolutely nothing; it’s great.”


Even the one participant that responded negatively to the ad didn’t waver in his support of The Donald: “No, I don’t support him any less. I just think he’s the best candidate we have…” Another participant that appreciates Trump’s stance isn’t naive about Trump getting his way though: “We have to take a step back and understand that the President isn’t the most powerful person in America; he can’t just decide certain things and get them approved.”


Besides asking the recruited Trump supporters to weigh in on his ad, we asked them to elaborate on what it is about Trump that resonates with them. His propensity to say whatever is on his mind (seemingly right at the moment his brain strings 4 or 5 words together) was a major positive. All eight recruited participants mentioned this attribute as refreshing, though one did note, “He sticks his foot in his mouth too often.” The brash persona Trump has cultivated over the course of his campaign fits perfectly with what these supporters believe America needs: a no-nonsense fighter that puts America first.  In fact, across all responses, there is a prevalent theme of each participant feeling under represented by current government. They are tired of hearing empty promises that go unfulfilled time and time again, and Trump represents someone that is saying what is on their mind, no matter how myopic those thoughts are. He’s the “S*&t my Dad Says” of presidential candidates.


Whether Trump fulfill his bold promises won’t be determined for a long while (and may never be determined). One thing is for certain though: Trump and his team really know their audience and will continue to cater to them.





What the Google app’s progress could mean for mobile research

google voice blog image
Yesterday, Google announced some big news in terms of understanding meaning and context in voice search. Check out their announcement HERE.
What this means for mobile video surveys (and mindswarms) is that in the longer term, there will be more – and better – analytics on the back end of the data collection. Transcripts are helpful for mobile video analytics, but they don’t provide the context necessary to accurately interpret respondents’ intent.
There is still a long way to go to extract meaningful and actionable consumer insight from mobile video surveys. But Google’s news today is an important step; and validation that extracting meaning in a scalable manner from voice is in the works.

Want to build a lasting relationship with Millennial customers?

We ran a mobile video ethnography and asked Millennials to tell us about a positive shopping experience they recently had.  We learned that Millennials are actually channel-agnostic when it comes to shopping, and retailers need to maximize each platform to build a lasting relationship with this generation. Our report highlights eight things you can do to make your experience enticing to Millennials, including:

  • Their ideal in-store experience
  • Their preferred communication cadence
  • How to get them to promote you with word-of-mouth

Click on the image above to download the report!


Millennials: From Self Centered to Super Center

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 7.13.43 PM
Millennials are growing up, and maybe they aren’t that different after all.
It wasn’t long ago (2013) that Time magazine’s Joel Stein labeled Generation Y as the “Me Me Me Generation.” However, as Millennials enter their next life stage, they seem to behave surprisingly like all other generations, merely delayed by a few years. As they buy homes, start families, and move to the suburbs (according to the NAHB) their retail needs are changing from spontaneous, fashionable purchases, to practical one-stop shopping at superstores.
Even in our last Millennial market report (Rewards Over Relationships), Millennials stressed the importance of their allegiance to themselves. Yet, while Millennials certainly aren’t old (ranging from the age of 18-34 according to Pew Research), their older members – aged 28 to 34 – are hitting a new stage of life. And, with this new stage of life comes a new set of priorities, responsibilities, and behaviors.
We conducted a mobile video ethnography with Millennials aged 28 to 34 who self reported at least one of the following happening to them in the last 12 months: getting engaged or married, buying a house, having their first child, or moving from an urban to a suburban area. Our questions asked participants to describe the stage of life they’re currently in, how their personal habits have changed and the effect of that on how they shop.
Older Millennials described the stage of life they’re in as a more serious one. “I’ve had to grow up which means getting more serious – not going out and partying on a Friday night,” Jill F explains (28 yrs old). She goes on to describe her life as “definitely less of a self-centered life these days.” Other participants mirrored this description, mentioning that this stage of life was “the fruition stage,” “adult,” or a “transition to more stability.” This transition is brought on by a re-adjusting of priorities. Besides a uniform desire to be more healthy, participants are focusing their energies on building a family or the foundations of stability for a family. No longer is their number-one focus on number one.
With these readjusted priorities, retail shopping behaviors are changing as well. With the idea of a family looming, participants find that they have less freedom in their retail habits. 28-year-old Nolan D. states:

I used to only have to worry about myself. I would just go out and – I didn’t have to make a schedule for anything. I would just buy things when I needed them or go sort out a list and just buy what I wanted. I didn’t have to worry about allocation of money and now I do. Now, I do, I have to be a lot more organized. […] A lot less window shopping. I would say, I’d come in a little more focused and knowing what I’m going to get and try to stay to that plan just because I have a budget and I have other people to worry about. I can’t necessarily indulge this much.

Other participants mentioned that they focus on going to stores that have deals or coupons that they can use to get the best deal since they’re working on a tighter budget now that there are more factors to take into account than simply their desires. Across the board, participants wanted their dollar to go further, which means “spending less on frivolous things” (Pearson B. 29). That shift in mindset goes hand in hand with buying in bulk.
While Amazon (“the everything store”) remains a favorable option for these Millennials, they’re also shopping at brick-and-mortar “everything stores” as well. “In my newly domesticated life, I shop at Walmart and Target 15 to 20 times more often than I used to,” explains Jason G. (34). Participants mentioned price and convenience as the most important factors when deciding on which store to go. Being able to go into a superstore and pick up a lot of items at once is an attractive proposition for older Millennials. “That’s why going in the superstores … are more important to me because I can get a lot things there all at once” (Nolan D. 28).
Perhaps, then, Millennials are less mysterious than they’re built up to be. As the years wear on, and building a family becomes more of a priority, the “Me Me Me Generation” is rebranding itself and its needs as more traditional. With Millennial Marketing reporting 53% of Millennial households as already having children, the behavior shifts above may become the norm.