Insight Strategy Group Expands West Coast Presence With Senior Hire

Kim Lewis joins the consumer research and strategy agency as senior vice president.

New York City, N.Y. — July 10, 2019 — Insight Strategy Group (ISG), a leading consumer research and strategy agency and part of the MarketCast Group, welcomes Kim Lewis as senior vice president of research and strategy, leading the firm’s technology industry practice while working closely with ISG leadership to drive continued growth on the West Coast.


Kim comes to ISG as a 15-year veteran of Ipsos, where she held a variety of leadership roles in strategic brand and communications research for media and technology clients. Kim holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

“We’re thrilled to have Kim onboard,” said Arikan Olguner, ISG’s president. “We’ve had great success in applying our social sciences-based expertise including our gender, youth, and family practices to creative solutions for our clients on the West Coast. We are excited to build on these successes with a growing local presence under Kim’s leadership.”

“Kim joins the MarketCast Group family at an exciting time,” said Henry Shapiro, Group CEO. “We look forward to working with her as we bring together integrated solutions across our businesses, from primary research to social media analytics, to help our clients solve their toughest problems.”

Kim will be based in San Francisco and will work closely with the rest of ISG and MarketCast Group leadership in New York, Los Angeles, and the broader network of offices worldwide.


About Insight Strategy Group

Established in 1999, Insight Strategy Group is a leading consumer research and strategy agency that combines social science expertise with deep generational, life stage, gender, and cultural understanding to decode consumer behavior, fuel brand growth, and innovate products, services, and content. ISG partners with clients on consumer deep dives, segmentations, brand positioning and tracking, customer experience, concept development and testing, and related needs across the product and content development and marketing lifecycle. ISG serves a broad array of lifestyle industries, including media and entertainment, food and beverage, retail, style, health and wellness, travel and leisure, and technology. ISG and its sister companies MarketCast, Fizziology, 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

Power 5 Football Coaches Have the Most Power in the Athletic Departments

1. Which of the following university employees at a typical Power 5 conference athletic department has the most power?

Football coach – 60%
Athletic Director – 20%
University President – 18%
Men’s Basketball coach – 2%
Not sure / No response – 0%

2. Which of the following stakeholder groups is the most influential in college athletics?

Athletic directors – 26%
Coaches – 21%
Media executives – 18%
Conference commissioners – 16%
University presidents – 11%
Apparel brand executives – 6%
Marketing agencies – 1%
Not sure / No response – 1%

3. Who is best at putting into effect diversity and inclusion initiatives in sports?

Teams – 24%
Leagues – 23%
Special interest groups (e.g., WISE) – 18%
Brands – 13%
Athletes – 8%
Media / trade publications – 3%
Not sure / No response – 13%

4. In your opinion, what diversity and inclusion initiatives in the sports industry have been the most effective?

Formal HR and hiring guidelines (e.g., the “Rooney Rule” in NFL) –25%
Employee programs – 20%
Publicity of such initiatives – 14%
Networking groups – 12%
Conferences – 3%
Not sure / No response – 26%

5. Which league and its teams have the most work to do to promote a culture of inclusivity and equal opportunity for women and minorities?

NASCAR – 31%
NFL – 20%
NHL – 17%
NBA – 10%
MLB – 8%
MLS – 2%
Not sure / No response – 13%

6. Which of the following tactics would most improve the level of service at concession stands at sporting events?

Offering staff bonus based on fan experience ratings – 48%
Having ongoing training during the season – 18%
Offering annual retention bonus for staff – 13%
Ensuring a minimum wage of $15/hour for staff – 12%
Not sure / No response – 9%

7. Investing in which of the following tactics to improve fans’ F&B experience at sporting events would most improve overall fan satisfaction?

Faster speed of service – 35%
Better quality of food and beverages – 32%
Better staff attitude / customer service – 19%
Better variety of food and beverages – 11%
Not sure / No response – 3%

8. The concessions staff at which major sports venue in the US offers the best customer service?
(Write-in; Top mentions)

Mercedes-Benz Stadium – 4%
American Airlines Center – 2%
AT&T Stadium – 2%
Barclays Center – 2%
Citizens Bank Park – 2%
T-Mobile Park – 2%
Petco Park – 2%
United Center – 2%

9. Which of the following soccer tournaments taking place this June and July do you plan on following the most?

FIFA Women’s World Cup – 73%
CONCACAF Gold Cup – 5%
Copa América – 2%
Not sure / No response – 20%

10. In the long term, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will have a more positive effect on…

Tourism in Japan – 55%
Business and commerce in Japan – 16%
Neither – 23%
Not sure / No response – 6%

11. How did hosting the Olympics change your perception of the following recent host countries, if at all?

One Question on the Lighter Side:

12. If you could wave a magic wand and remove forever one in-game entertainment element at sporting events, which of these would you do away with?

“Make Some Noise” cards / prompts – 27%
The Kiss Cam – 26%
Playing Guns N’ Roses’ Welcome To the Jungle in the last period – 18%
The Noise-o-meter – 14%
The T-shirt Cannon – 6%
Not sure / No response – 9%

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

7 – Extremely optimistic – 19%
6 – Very optimistic – 34%
5 – Somewhat optimistic – 31%
4 – Neither optimistic nor pessimistic – 8%
3 – Somewhat pessimistic – 7%
2 – Very pessimistic – 1%
1 – Extremely pessimistic – 0%
Not sure / No response – 0%

Gez Z counterfeit products

Beliefs Meet Behavior: Gen Z and Counterfeit Products

Gez Z counterfeit productsA Global View of Gen Z and Counterfeit Products

Born between 1995 and 2010, Gen Zers are digital natives who will soon comprise the largest consumer group globally. Given their growing impact, it’s critical for brand professionals to understand the relationship between Gen Z and brands. This includes Gen Zers’ attitudes towards counterfeit products and the factors that influence their purchases of those goods. To get a better sense of these dynamics, the International Trademark Association contracted ISG to study Gen Zers between 18 and 23 years of age in ten countries: Argentina, China, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, and the United States (see the full report here). The findings we discuss below are from this study.

*The ten countries studied were selected based on factors such as the population size of Gen Z, the prevalence of counterfeit goods, and the level of economic development.


Who Are Gen Zers?

Like all generational groups, there are certain characteristics that stand out about Gen Z. In particular, Gen Z’s generational identity is defined by three characteristics:

  • Individuality: Staying true to oneself. As a generation, Gen Z has a strong sense of self, which generally holds true across cultures and markets.
  • Morality: Doing what’s right. Gen Zers aspire to maintain a strong moral code, which is both internally driven and a product of their upbringing.
  • Flexibility: Being open-minded. They see their identity as an evolving “work-in-progress” and are figuring out who they are as adults.

Info graphic of Gen Z generational identity, morality, flexibility

These values influence how Gen Z engages with brands. Brands serve as an extension and a reflection of Gen Zers’ individual identities. For most Gen Zers, how a brand’s products fit their needs matters more than brand names themselves. 62% say the brand name is somewhat important or very important with some differences by market, but 81% feel that the brand name isn’t as important as how the product fits their needs. Gen Zers expect brands to align with and reinforce their own morals and values.


Counterfeiting and Conscience

So what does that mean when it comes to counterfeit products? It’s a case of “situational morality.” Overall, Gen Z has a working knowledge of intellectual property (IP) rights, and those with this awareness see IP rights as equally important as physical property rights. 70% say that intellectual property rights are equally as important as physical property rights. Yet 86% also think that brands should be accessible to all.

When principle meets practice, things get a bit complicated. In principle, Gen Z has strong respect (93%) for the value of people’s ideas and creations, and this ideal extends into the brand space. And 73% think it’s important to buy genuine products. In practice, however, Gen Zers live in a world where the sale of counterfeit products is ubiquitous. So it’s not just a theoretical issue. Their ideals are tested by the reality of their surroundings. When it comes to counterfeits, Gen Zers experience an internal conflict between their values and their practical considerations.


Morals Versus Money

Info graphic comparing Gen Z morals versus money

You might say it comes down to a battle between morals and money. When asked to name the influences that shape their opinions about counterfeits, 37% say morals and 47% say income. Income clearly wins. While many Gen Zers are morally opposed to purchasing counterfeit products on principle, they also see the act as morally ambiguous.

“I have a liberal worldview in that sense — if you think it’s ok to buy non-original sneakers, you are free to do so. I am not going to judge you.” —Male, 19

Gen Zers often apply a lens of situational morality to their purchase decisions, and practical considerations can overtake moral ideals. Using situational morality (where ethics can vary based on context), Gen Zers are able to rationalize the purchase of fake products, despite its dissonance with their ideal moral code. In these instances, they apply a flexible sensibility towards their moral standards.


Counterfeit Consumption

So, how often do Gen Zers purchase counterfeits? Within the past year, 79% of Gen Zers report purchasing fake products from a counterfeit industry — primarily apparel, shoes, and accessories. Functional benefits like price and accessibility are the primary reasons cited for buying fake products:

  • 58% say that fake products are easier to find than genuine products
  • 57% say they can only afford the fake versions of some brands
  • 57% think that their money is benefitting the seller who’s making a living

Gen Z’s top barriers to purchasing fake products are related to quality and safety concerns:

  • 81% say that fake products are unsafe
  • 77% say the quality of fake products is usually not good enough

These quality and safety concerns may be why counterfeits in the beauty and consumer electronics categories are purchased less frequently.


Is There a Way to Counter Counterfeits?

In addition to quality concerns, Gen Z’s appreciation for others’ hard work and ingenuity is a top-of-mind barrier to purchase. They respect the authentic sources and creators of products and brands. Yet, as we’ve seen, these feelings can be superseded by circumstance and situational needs. There’s also a life-stage factor in play. While Gen Zers may currently purchase fake products because of a variety of practical reasons, a majority aspire to purchase fewer fakes in the future. In the meantime, Gen Zers are also open to input and advice about brands and counterfeits from respected sources. In particular, brand and media personalities serve as strong candidates for delivering these messages and building trust among Gen Zers:

  • 55% cite brands’ creators or employees
  • 45% say media personalities
  • 40% reference social media influencers

So when seeking to counter the impacts of counterfeiting, especially among Gen Zers, there are two primary factors for brand managers to consider: the underlying beliefs driving purchasing behavior and the sources that young consumers are willing to listen to when deciding how and what they buy.


We’d love to share more about how our unique expertise and solutions can help your business move forward. Drop us a line here, and we’ll be in touch!