Understand Both What Consumers Say and What Can’t Be Put Into Words

Girl walking in front of patterned wall

Brands today need to take advantage of every possible tool to create more meaningful connections with their consumers. One approach that has garnered increasing attention among market researchers is behavioral science. From headlines to conferences and client presentations, behavioral techniques are on the tip of many tongues and for good reason. Some of the most powerful truths are unspoken ones — things that consumers don’t always recognize or have the ability to put into words. And these can be important for brands to know about, address, and fulfill.

Research infused with behavioral approaches can provide ways to uncover and understand reactions, perceptions, and decisions that are the results of implicit or “gut” responses. These are consumers’ automatic responses and reactions. Understanding them helps to provide a more complete picture of the consumer. That’s why we at Insight Strategy Group (ISG) apply behavioral science techniques as part of our social science approach to consumer insights.

Founded by experts in the psychology of decision-making, ISG has always sought to paint a more accurate and detailed picture of consumer motivations. To do that, we ask, “Where do consumer truths live?” The answer is that they live at both conscious and unconscious levels — in what is reasoned and rationalized and what is automatic and intuitive. We analyze how consumers’ lives are shaped by social dynamics and overarching cultural narratives. We listen to and decode how those influences are interpreted by consumers themselves and how they shape stated preferences and practices. At the same time, we look for, study, and analyze unstated beliefs and behaviors.

To probe deeply into what the consumer thinks, feels, and does, we apply a range of methods to capture behavioral science insights. “Naturalistic” methods, such as social media analytics and ethnographic observation, are valuable for identifying how people act unprompted in their own environment. “Structured” approaches — like eye-tracking, facial sentiment coding, and experimental design — enable more control-driven analysis. Regardless of the specific method, the aim is always to detect and analyze the unconscious mind and uncover unspoken drivers.

Using behavioral science techniques along with social science approach graphic

Of course, humans are not machines whose internal “code” can be simply read and deciphered. That’s why it’s important to look at both what people say and what they are unable to articulate. Behavioral science approaches help to provide a truly comprehensive picture of consumers.

We use a behavioral lens to get to the full truth:

  • Stated information is critical because it helps us understand how people think about themselves and their identities. However, by definition, these are logical and rationalized responses. Sometimes people behave irrationally, and behavioral science helps us identify those moments and explain them.
  • Emotion sometimes looks different when it’s happening in the moment. In hindsight, memories may become clouded, or subsequent events may affect how a certain instance is perceived. Behavioral approaches can take stock of an event as it’s happening and compare it with stated information later on.
  • When people talk about what they do, they focus on the moments that stand out to them. But when it comes to the least “interesting” parts of their day, habits, and routines, it can be difficult for respondents to explain what they’re doing and why.
  • Sometimes, the most important information is the quietest. Behavioral perspectives help us pick up on subtleties that may not register in a self-report.

These are just a few of the reasons why ISG believes that it’s important to examine both conscious and unconscious minds. As experts in social and behavioral science, our team makes the most of all research methods to uncover a deeper, holistic understanding of consumer preferences, needs, and motivations.

We’d love to share more about how our unique expertise and solutions can help your business move forward. Drop us a line here.

New Research from Turnkey Intelligence Shows Key Challenges Facing UK Football Organisers — Rugby More Highly Ranked

London, UK — April 17, 2019 — A recent study by Turnkey Intelligence, a leading market research firm serving the global sports industry, has shed light on numerous pain points that football fans in the UK experience when attending matches. Fan ratings of the food and beverage experience and venue entry and exit in particular fall short of other sports in the UK and in comparison to other countries.

‘Football continues to deliver top-class entertainment at all levels in the UK. Some clubs are investing heavily in spectator experience, as we’ve seen in the very positive reaction to the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. However, our research shows widespread resentment among football fans who feel shortchanged by their match day experience in the face of spiralling ticket prices’, said Haynes Hendrickson, general manager at Turnkey Intelligence.

As part of the launch of the company’s London-based operations, Turnkey Intelligence commissioned widespread research comparing fan experience within and across countries and across a number of sports, including football, rugby, American football, basketball, golf, tennis, and motor sports.

Elsewhere in the UK, the research finds rugby fans giving their sport top marks — most notably in ‘value for money’ — and a cross-country comparison shows the fan experience for football in the UK trailing that of American football in the US.

As the end of the season approaches, the report suggests clubs should be making significant improvements across the match day experience to stay competitive with other entertainment options. UK football fans expect the experience to deliver on multiple elements of value, including food and drink options and family-friendly entertainment beyond the match itself.

For this study, Turnkey Intelligence surveyed sports fans aged 16–64 from the UK, US, Brazil, and China about their live event experiences across the above-referenced sports. The findings highlight several ways that sports organisations can optimise their events to improve the fan experience and, ultimately, commercial success. Access the full report here.

About Turnkey Intelligence:

Established in 1996, Turnkey Intelligence (www.turnkeyintel.com) is a business intelligence company in the sports industry, offering best-in-class research and advisory services to sports leagues, teams, venues, and brands. Turnkey’s areas of expertise include sponsorship measurement and evaluation, advertising effectiveness, customer experience management, brand tracking, pricing optimisation, customer segmentation, and more. Turnkey launched its London office in January 2019 to serve clients in the European sports industry. Turnkey Intelligence, along with its sister companies MarketCast, Insight Strategy Group, and Fizziology, is a business unit of MarketCast Group, a portfolio company of Kohlberg & Company, a leading private equity firm headquartered in New York.

Press Contact:
Henry Piney

Millennial girl and guy hanging out

Understanding Commitment and Love Among Millennials and Gen Z

Millennial girl and guy hanging out

How Can Brands Connect More Deeply With Younger Consumers?

The bonds formed between consumers and brands can be a powerful form of commitment and can even be akin to love. This is especially true among Millennials and Gen Z. So in order to cultivate deep, meaningful, and mutually-beneficial relationships with these groups, brands and marketers need to understand how young people go about forming attachments today.

As cultural experts who have grown up with Millennials and Gen Z, we at Insight Strategy Group have a deep understanding of who these consumers are and what that means for brands. We have ingrained ourselves in their world and know firsthand that what resonated with past generations isn’t always the case for them.


What Love and Loyalty Mean Today

While love and loyalty may seem like timeless qualities, things are different these days. We know that Millennials and Gen Z approach commitment in a vastly different way compared to previous generations. Perhaps the most pronounced feature of their world is the seemingly infinite choices they have, and the technology at their fingertips has fueled their access to these options.

I feel like there is always a better option out there — like the next person might be much, much better.
– Male, Age 18-24

These dynamics shape how young people think about themselves, connect with each other, and interact with brands. Millennials and Gen Z give brands more weight in their lives than past generations. Many of the factors that influence how they form relationships with people are also true of how they form emotionally-driven relationships with brands.

The Cascade of Commitment

So what matters most to Millennials and Gen Z? Topping the list are their duties, others, and themselves. However, commitment to the self rises above duties and others. Young people believe that being good to yourself equates to being a better version of yourself across all aspects of your life and is the foundation of all other relationships and commitments.

You need to be happy with yourself before you can find happiness with another.
– Female, Age 25-34

For example, while finding a significant other is still a top priority, the prioritization of self and the abundance of choice impacts how Millennials and Gen Z form relationships and what they look for in a lover/partner. The path is more complex than ever before. In relationships, young people favor:

  • Independence over dependence
  • Passion over stability
  • Multiplicity over “one and only”

Young people see relationships as complementing personal growth, not fueling it. Therefore, they’d rather have a partner who is passionate than stable. Stability isn’t necessary because they are determined to rely on themselves. They are also aware that they’ll likely have changing needs throughout the course of their lifetimes and that they can fall in love many times. You might say that, for young people today, commitment is contingent.

Only 1 in 10 say that they are committed to being committed.


Where Do Brands Fit In?

Within this worldview, brands face both peril and possibility. Perhaps the biggest hurdle is that brands are simply not as top of mind as duties, others, and self. Furthermore, commitment and love don’t go hand in hand for brands. Commitment to a brand is a fairly functional affair. Does the brand deliver on its basic premise or promise? Love for a brand, on the other hand, is about a deeper degree of alignment. Does the brand share their values and ethics? In this sense, love for a brand is similar to love for a partner. Young people look for brands that complement who they are, what matters to them, and what they want to accomplish. For example, does a brand exhibit a true commitment to the environment or to a shared social cause?

It is harder to love a brand than be committed to a brand because you need to have passion and trust. It takes commitment steps to fall in love with a brand.
– Female, Age 25-34

To earn this deeper level of affection, brands and marketers need to activate against what young people prioritize in relationships to create more meaningful relationships with them.

Brands can do this by feeding Millennials’ and Gen Z’s:

  • Independence by helping them form their identity
  • Passion by tapping into the causes they care about
  • Multiplicity by showing that you as a brand appreciate them as a consumer and understand their changing needs

What Are the Benefits for Brands?

By aligning with young consumers in these ways, brands can in turn elevate their impact by becoming part of how Millennials and Gen Z address what is most important to them: self, duties, and others. Tapping into dedication, passion, and identity will increase brand advocacy among target audiences. Millennials and Gen Z are more likely to promote your brand, engage with you on social media, and wear you as a badge of honor when they feel like you are providing what they want most from their most meaningful relationships.


Interested in finding love with Millennials and Gen Z? Contact Insight Strategy Group to see how your brand can become a perfect match.

Fizziology Unlocks the Potential of Social Media Insights in India

Los Angeles, Calif. — April 4, 2019 — Fizziology, a leading social media research and analytics firm, has announced its continued international expansion with the inclusion of social analysis in India. The company’s newest capabilities allow brands and entertainment clients to measure and evaluate social reactions and conversations of Indian moviegoers and target consumers.

“India is an increasingly critical market for our entertainment and brand clients. Given the myriad of cultures that comprise the country, it’s important to understand their attitudes and opinions, as well as the nuances of their social habits,” said Jen Handley, co-founder and co-president at Fizziology. “India was a natural market to add to the company’s growing global capabilities.”

Fizziology decodes social conversation for the U.S. and more than 15 international markets with comps and socio-cultural context for each market. Top markets include Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Spain, South Korea, and the U.K.

Fizziology’s robust historical data also allows for relevant contextualization in the analysis to further understand why insights matter as clients build their global strategy. Locally attuned analysts know what to listen for and provide clients with an inside look at how consumers around the world connect with brands and share their experiences.

About Fizziology:

Founded in 2009, Fizziology (www.fizziology.com) is a global audience insights company that delivers business-critical social media analytics, research, and services to key industries, including media and entertainment, sports, travel and tourism, and lifestyle brands. The firm is headquartered in Indianapolis and has offices in Los Angeles, Nashville, and St. Louis in addition to local market expert analysts around the world. Fizziology and its sister companies MarketCast, Insight Strategy Group, and Turnkey Intelligence are business units of MarketCast Group, a portfolio company of Kohlberg & Company, a leading private equity firm headquartered in New York.

Press Contact:
Jenny Matkovich

Football Provides Most Appealing In-Game Betting

1. Which sport provides the most appealing in-game/event betting opportunities?

Football – 41%
Basketball – 15%
Baseball – 14%
Golf – 9%
Motorsports – 3%
Hockey – 2%
Tennis – 2%
Soccer – 1%
Not sure / No response – 13%

2. Legalized sports betting will have ________ effect on TV viewership of sports events.

A very positive – 27%
A moderately positive   66%
No – 6%
Not sure / No response 1%

3. Legalized sports betting will most increase sports engagement rates among this generation of sports fans:

Millennial – 39%
Gen X – 25%
Baby Boomers – 13%
Gen Z – 12%
Not sure / No response – 11%

4. Which of the following stakeholders should be involved in the oversight of sports gambling? (Select all that apply)

Sports leagues – 59%
Independent officials – 58%
Government – 54%
Casino/sportsbook – 43%
Player unions – 29%
Not sure / No response – 1%

5. State governments that legalize sports betting are doing ___________ for their constituents.

The right thing – 75%
The wrong thing – 15%
Not sure / No response – 10%

6. Thinking of your most memorable live event experience in the past five years, which of the following areas, besides the event itself, had the biggest impact on making that experience positive?

Venue design – 35%
Food and beverage amenities – 31%
Venue technology – 15%
Staff service – 14%
Not sure / No response – 5%

7. Which of the following features is most important to the design of a new sports venue?

Speedy ingress/egress – 29%
Plenty of social gathering spaces for casual interaction – 22%
Food and beverage service speed and convenience (e.g., in-seat service, mobile ordering) – 19%
Wi-Fi connectivity – 18%
Audio/video technology – 12%
Not sure / No response – 0%

8. Does your organization have a good grasp on how to market to and engage Millennial consumers?

Yes – 53%
No – 28%
Not sure / No response 19%

9. Which of the following sports leagues is most in need of reevaluating how it seeks to connect with a Millennial audience?

MLB – 39%
PGA Tour – 28%
NASCAR – 16%
NFL – 5%
NHL – 2%
NBA – 2%
MLS – 1%
Not sure / No response 7%

10. The business practices of which sports industry stakeholder group most need to evolve to capture the attention of Millennial fans?

Properties – 62%
Media – 22%
Sponsors – 11%
Not sure / No response – 5%

11. Which of the following potential changes by the PGA Tour and the LPGA would be most effective at growing their popularity? (Select all that apply)

Mic-ing up the players and caddies – 67%
Encouraging a more casual tournament atmosphere – 38%
Increasing the pace of play – 35%
Having men’s and women’s competitions at the same time – 14%
Reducing the number of rounds or holes played – 9%
Shortening the season – 7%
Not sure / No response – 11%

12. A combined PGA Tour/LPGA Tour event is…

Long overdue – 24%
An idea with potential – 44%
Not a good idea – 25%
Not sure / No response – 7%

13. Did the recent rules changes in golf make watching the sport more appealing to you?

Yes – 14%
No – 34%
N/A – not aware of the rules changes in golf – 48%
Not sure / No response – 4%

One Question on the Lighter Side:

14. How many March Madness brackets do you expect to fill out this year?

None – 29%
1 – 39%
2 – 22%
3+ – 10%

15. Thinking about your own particular business, what best describes your confidence level regarding the next 12 months for your own business?

7 – Extremely optimistic – 18%
6 – Very optimistic – 32%
5 – Somewhat optimistic – 33%
4 – Neither optimistic nor pessimistic – 9%
3 – Somewhat pessimistic – 6%
2 – Very pessimistic – 2%
1 – Extremely pessimistic – 0%
Not sure / No response – 0%

The Turnkey Sports Poll is a monthly survey of 2,500 sports industry executives representing teams, leagues, governing bodies, facilities, media, events, agencies and brands. The poll covers current events and topics affecting sports business and takes 2-3 minutes to complete. Results are published in the SportsBusiness Journal and on Turnkey’s website. To be considered as a TSP panelist, please click here and enter your business contact information.