Back to top

Walt Dickie, Executive Vice President

Pretty much everyone who paid attention and passed Stat 101 got a good laugh at the expense of Daniel Webster, the first-term Republican congressman from Florida who recently sponsored legislation designed to eliminate the American Community Survey. "We're spending $70 per person to fill this out. That's just not cost effective," the mathematically challenged congressman insisted, "especially since in the end this is not a scientific survey.

Bob Relihan, Senior Vice President

I noted recently that it is important to distinguish brand loyalists from simple brand users, even heavy brand users. Loyalists have a special relationship with your brand and are key to understanding a brand's identity.

But, how do you identify these loyalists? Here are five behaviors that are worth developing in your customers because they are sheer signs of a heightened bond with your brand. And they are qualities to look for when you want to investigate your brand's essence with those most in touch with it.

So, you know you have a brand loyalist when...

Bob Relihan, Senior Vice President

One of the most difficult experiences for a focus group moderator is to be in a room with eight people who are supposed to be "loyalists" of a particular brand and discover that most could care less. The assumption, of course, was that anyone who was a heavy user had to have an affinity for the brand. So, you made sure that everyone purchased the brand in the past month and had purchased the brand three times in the past six months; they were very heavy users.

Steve Stallard, Senior Vice President

"Pure" ethnographic observation can be so telling. It strips away the noise and clutter from what's really going on. I love the example of "Muffler Shop Clarity." One of our ethnographers sat in the shop waiting room to understand and get to the bottom of customer annoyances. Early in the process, she noted that the inability of customers to see their cars and the progress being made was a source of ever increasing anxiety. That was the major problem. Putting in windows in the waiting rooms was an easy fix.