Alcone Marketing Group – Consumer Lab

The Consumer Lab is the consumer insights and brand strategy group at Alcone Marketing Group, a consumer activation company.

The Pet Economy

People are spending more and more pampering their beloved pets. Is it getting out of hand? I guess it depends on who you talk to… and how much they love their furry friend.

The Pet Economy

If there’s still any doubt whether the pampering of pets is getting out of hand, the debate should be settled once and for all by Neuticles, a patented testicular implant that sells for up to $919 a pair.

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Filed under: pets

Peer Reviews Significant to Shoppers in Consumer Brand Trust

Consumers are doing an awful lot of research online before buying a product. They of course get all the manufacturer’s info, but now consumers are looking to other consumers to get recommendations and real life experiences with products. Peer to peer recommendations are becoming more and more popular as consumers become more dependent on their online communities.

Peer Reviews Significant to Shoppers in Consumer Brand Trust – Daily Brief

A recent survey on current attitudes towards customer ratings and reviews by Bazaarvoice and Vizu Corporation, shows that about three out of four shoppers say that it is extremely or very important to read customer reviews before making a purchase, and they prefer peer reviews over expert reviews by a 6-to-1 margin.

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Filed under: Internet, shopping, social networking, WOM

Meet the Typical Electronics Consumer

Who are the typical electronics consumers? A recent study from EMarketer shows that they are researching products online before going into a store to purchase them. They are fairly affluent and they may not be a tech savvy as they think since more than half of the gadgets returned last year worked perfectly fine.

Advertising Age – Digital – Meet the Typical Electronics Consumer

EMarketer: Americans Spend an Average of $1,200 Annually on Gadgets — but Don’t Understand Much of the Tech They’re Buying

By Beth Snyder Bulik

Published: July 30, 2007

Americans love gadgets and gizmos. We own an average of 25 consumer electronics, and we’ll spend another $1,200 this year acquiring more.

Yet average Americans are pretty perplexed by their gadgets. “People love to buy them, but then they can’t get them to work,” said eMarketer analyst Lisa Phillips, author of the just-released study “Consumer Electronics Online: Converged or Confused?”

No wonder. Marketers pitch consumer electronics by hyping their complex technology; every camera ad talks megapixels, every flat-screen-TV spot goes on about 720p or 1080i. Even mobile-phone marketers tout Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

When it comes to explaining it all, marketers have a long way to go, according to eMarketer. In the meantime, consumers will likely keep doing research online, sifting through manufacturers’ advertising and or returning or rejecting stuff they just don’t understand.

$1.9 BILLION – Amount spent on online advertising by consumer-electronics makers in the U.S. last year, including display ads, paid search and rich media. That’s roughly 32% of total annual ad spending for the category, way higher than the average U.S. company’s 5.9% online ad outlay.

Percent of people who researched electronics purchases online before buying. Ironically, it’s also the exact percentage that ultimately bought those items at a bricks-and-mortar store.

Percent of households in the U.S. that will have broadband internet access this year. That percentage is expected to go up to 90% by 2011. (Six percent of households will still have dial-up then, with the remaining 4% having no internet access at all.)

$60,000-$100,000 –
Average annual income of 31% of visitors to online appliance and electronics sites. Another 30% were in the $30,000-$60,000 income range, while 19% made less than $30,000, and 20% made more than $100,000.

Percent of consumers who thought it was important for online retailers to have complete product information. Only 55% said they would bother to go directly to the manufacturer’s website to find the information themselves if it wasn’t at an online store.

– The average amount of time a consumer spends trying to set up a device before giving up. More than half of the electronics devices returned to stores last year were in perfect working order.

Amount of consumers polled who could not define the term “digital home.” Once told what it was, 90% said it would be “very expensive” to set up.

Percent of TV sets in the U.S. that receive no cable or satellite programming.

Percent of people who would buy a high-definition TV set if there were significant price drops. Only 21% said they’d buy for improved picture and audio quality.

Percent of “advocates” — defined as well-connected people who believe good brands are worth talking about — who recommended a recent electronics purchase to a friend, easily topping those who recommended cars (67%) and home loans (66%).

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Filed under: Consumer, gadgets, In Store, Internet, technology

Zoom to Launch Bar/Restaurant Digital Screen Net

Zoom Media & Marketing – the company that brought you in gym advertising is now offering a new kind of out-of-home ad placement. The company has already began to install digital billboards in bars and restaurants where marketers can display full motion video in high definition.

Zoom to Launch Bar/Restaurant Digital Screen Net

Zoom Media & Marketing, an out-of-home specializing in place-based lifestyle networks, announced Monday it is launching a digital screen network in bars and restaurants. So far, Zoom has installed the new digital boards in a dozen of its venues. Plans are to roll out the 36 x 22 inch LCD displays in locations throughout New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, with a network of 25 installed by August and more than 50 by the end of November.

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Filed under: advertising, OOH

Young Adults in Florida, Northern California and Texas Leading the Way in Mobile Coupon Redemption

When it comes to mobile coupon redemption, cities in Northern California and Texas are leading the way. 68% of coupons redeemed were from mobile savvy shoppers between the ages of 18 and 34.


Young Adults in Florida, Northern California and Texas Leading the Way in Mobile Coupon Redemption: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance
SAN JOSE, Calif., July 31 /PRNewswire/ — Cellfire, the only nationwide mobile discount offer and coupon service, today released key findings regarding mobile coupon redemption, including the top 10 cities in America that are super savers. Miami-Fort Lauderdale tops the list of markets with the highest per capita usage of mobile coupons, with Northern California and Texas taking the majority of the remaining top spots. The findings are based on mobile coupons redeemed during the six month period ending June 30.

Top 10 Markets for Mobile Coupon Usage per Capita:

1. Miami/Fort Lauderdale, FL

2. Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto, CA

3. Chico/Redding, CA

4. Dallas/Fort Worth, TX

5. Waco/Temple-Bryan, TX

6. El Paso (Las Cruces), TX (NM)

7. San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, CA

8. Jonesboro, AR

9. West Palm Beach/Fort Pierce, FL

10. Atlanta, GA

Filed under: advertising, Consumer, digital, early adopters, Media, Mobile, Promotions, technology, Young Adults

Can ‘green chic’ save the planet?

Green has reached the mainstream – and it is trendy. Everyone is all over the reusable tote bags  for the grocery store and environmentally conscious fashion. Although these are steps in the right direction, green consumption alone will not fix the climate crisis.

Can ‘green chic’ save the planet? –

Green, it seems, has gone mainstream. Magazines like Elle, Fortune, and Vanity Fair have published “green issues” in the past year, and the Academy Awards were carbon neutral. The Vatican recently announced plans to offset its 2007 emissions, while Costa Rica pledged to arrive at “net zero” by 2021.

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Filed under: eco-friendly, environment

We Know What You Ought To Be Watching This Summer

Word of mouth has been the most trusted form of advertising for a long time now, and online companies are continuously trying to improve their software to make better recommendations to consumers. Better recommendations have become crucial to online retailers to build loyalty with customers.

We Know What You Ought To Be Watching This Summer –

Previously,’s recommendations relied heavily on the obvious: recommending another Jack Nicholson film or horror movie to somebody who had just watched “The Shining,” for instance. But with newer software it began using about two years ago, the site now looks at subtler factors — such as whether previous movies a customer rented were mindless or challenging, or whether they were plot-driven rather than character-driven.

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Filed under: Internet, shopping, WOM

‘Green Teens’ Make Desirable Marketing Targets, Study Finds

The Green Teen cohort trends slightly female, and 45% say they like to be the
first to know about new products. The report also contained some qualitative
description of green teens, noting that they are “popular, engaged in school
activities and a little artsy.” The report drew special attention to their
popularity, saying that this makes them effective influencers and trendsetters
in their peer groups.


MediaPost Publications – ‘Green Teens’ Make Desirable Marketing Targets, Study Finds – 07/31/2007
TEENS WHO CARE ABOUT THE environment aren’t just socially aware. They are also a desirable ad/marketing target, says a new JupiterResearch report.

The company obtained questionnaires from 2,091 online users ages 13 to 17 and found 38% of teens online are concerned about the environment, with 15% constituting an especially committed group of “Green Teens.” This smaller “hardcore” element is especially responsive to online communications, including marketing messages, making them an attractive target audience for appropriate online advertising.

Filed under: caused based marketing, CPG, eco-friendly, environment, Internet, kids, Media, Teens, trends, websites

Back-to-School Spending Projected to Increase 7%

Back-to-school spending is projected to increase 7% according to a recent survey. The average household plans to spend $264 on clothes; $230 on computers; $100 on supplies; $25 on books; and $115 on shoes.


Back-to-School Spending Projected to Increase 7%
The average U.S. household plans to spend $590 on back-to-school clothes and supplies, according to a survey by Brand Keys.

The New York City-based consultancy reports that it anticipates a 7% annual increase in overall back-to-school spending that will likely approach $18 billion in 2007. “That is a little higher than we’ve seen in the past few years,” said Robert Passikoff, Brand Keys president.

Filed under: college students, Consumer, CPG, families, Internet, Moms

A Shorter Link Between the Farm And Dinner Plate –

The eating local movement is gaining momentum across the country. Stores and eateries, large and small are changing their purchasing policies or opening up with a local food philosophy.

A Shorter Link Between the Farm And Dinner Plate –

Restaurants and grocers are striking partnerships with the county’s small farmers, driven in part by food safety concerns, environmental sensitivities and just plain marketing savvy.

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Filed under: Consumer, diet, eco-friendly, environment, health, In Store, local food, organics


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