Alcone Marketing Group – Consumer Lab

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

Dollar By Dollar, Economy Eating Away At Consumer Spending

The brightest spot Discover Financial’s monthly survey is that consumers
are still managing to have money left over after paying monthly bills.
According to the Spending Monitor, 51% of consumers said they still had money
left over at the end of the month, compared with 55% a year ago. However, of
those who have money left over, only 68% said they have the same or more left
over compared with the previous month, compared with 81% last September.


MediaPost Publications – Dollar By Dollar, Economy Eating Away At Consumer Spending – 06/05/2008
The rising cost of basic household expenses–particularly gas and food–is cutting drastically into household budgets, affecting discretionary spending on all levels–from small things like movies and dining out to larger purchases like vacations and home improvements. And things don’t look to be improving anytime soon.


Filed under: Consumer, economy, financial

‘Abundantly Affluent’ Fastest-Growing Segment of Population

Between 2005 and 2006 affluent households with incomes from $150,000 to $249,000 grew the fastest. Despite a looming recession, the affluent segment of the population is the fastest growing, according to a recent Census study.


‘Abundantly Affluent’ Fastest-Growing Segment of Population – MarketingVOX
US households with $100,000+ in income are the fastest-growing segment of the population.

The US Census Bureau finds they numbered 19.7 million in 2005 and 22.2 million in 2006, an increase of nearly 13 percent, said Unity Marketing –

Filed under: Consumer, economy, financial

Not-So-Personal Finance

Those under 35 find taking openly about personal finance something that is not taboo, unlike their over 35 counterparts.

While salaries may be disclosed casually among friends, that doesn’t
mean most young professionals brag about their incomes at a cocktail
party. There is still an etiquette to sharing the information — a
proper way to divulge.

For instance, most young people don’t
tell their cubicle mates, according to a 2007 study for Money magazine
by the sociologist Jeanne Fleming and the writer Leonard Schwarz.

young workers seem somewhat less likely to adhere to this convention
than older ones. The study found that 90 percent of those over 35 who
were surveyed agreed with the statement “you should never let your
co-workers know how much you make,” while 84 percent of subjects under
35 agreed.


Sharing Salary Figures on Facebook – New York Times
ARIELLE GREEN, a publicist in Manhattan, knows what most of her friends earn, whether it is $28,000 a year or $100,000. And she does not seem particularly shy about disclosing her income ($30,000 a year, plus overtime).

At 22, Ms. Green, like her friends, is less afraid to flirt with what
many over 35 consider the last taboo in American life: discussing
salary openly with friends and colleagues. “There’s just more of a
feeling of openness in discussing what you make,” Ms. Green said.

Filed under: Consumer, economy, financial, Gen Y

Consumers Cut Back On Everything But Driving, Study Finds

Prices are on the rise in just about every industry – which is a little scary considering that major corporations have been cutting jobs. A recent survey from Kelley Blue Book finds that consumers are making changes to their purchase habits to cut costs. In particular, they are spending less on non-essential retail items and dining & entertainment.

MediaPost Publications – Consumers Cut Back On Everything But Driving, Study Finds – 04/25/2008

Rising gas prices are already taking a toll on Americans’ discretionary spending –all the way up to influencing purchasing a new house–according to new marketing research from Kelley Blue Book.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Filed under: Consumer, economy, entertainment, financial, living target, shopping

Moms’ new battle: The food price bulge

With rising food prices, gas prices and falling home prices, many consumers are doing all they can to tighten their belts. Beyond clipping coupons, families are embracing generic grocery brands and in some cases, making their own products like detergent and baby food.


Soaring food prices elicit creative solutions from moms – Apr. 21, 2008
NEW YORK ( — As American families face the double whammy of higher gas and food prices, moms nationwide are resorting to considerable ingenuity to stretch their monthly grocery budget.

For instance, Christina Pond of Arlington, Texas, makes her own detergent.

Pond, 26, a stay-at-home mom with an almost 8-month old daughter, does four loads of laundry every other day.

Filed under: Consumer, economy, financial

Study Finds The Rich Are Like Us: They Comparison-Shop, Too

In affluent houses, mothers depend on children for ideas on brands to buy,
places to shop, technology to deploy, vacation ideas and even “home capital
spending choices.” The study says 53% of respondents tend to buy “brands that
are preferred by my children,” particularly around recreation, vacation
destinations, automotive and high-tech purchases


MediaPost Publications – Study Finds The Rich Are Like Us: They Comparison-Shop, Too – 04/16/2008
A new study by American Express Publishing and Harrison Group says that affluent consumers are responding to the economy’s slide by going online to comparison-shop and purchase things. The study says the rich are salving “restlessness and anxiety” by, among other things, turning to the Web to evaluate price and value.

Filed under: Consumer, financial

Synovate: Being Debt-Free Is Sign of Success In America

One positive sign in the U.S.–particularly for marketers–was including
retirement planning and long-term investing as a definition of financial


MediaPost Publications – Synovate: Being Debt-Free Is Sign of Success In America – 04/14/2008
PERHAPS NOT SURPRISINGLY, GIVEN CONCERNS about mortgage rates and credit card debt, Americans consider being debt-free as a top measure of financial success, according to new research data from Synovate.

Filed under: Consumer, financial

One Store’s Old Food Is Others’ Bread and Butter

Everything from milk to steak to macaroni and cheese costs more at supermarkets these days. Food prices rose about 5% in the U.S. last year, the biggest jump since 1990, as emerging economies in Asia and elsewhere pushed up demand for meat and milk, which increased demand for grain to feed livestock.

Surplus grocers sell “closeouts,” which include products that manufacturers have discontinued, seasonal items that are outdated and goods that are near the date when manufacturers expect freshness to wane. Many such grocers also sell products that were damaged in transit but remain edible, such as a dented box of Cheerios. Prices tend to be significantly lower than those at conventional stores and big discounters like Wal-Mart Stores Inc.


One Store’s Old Food Is Others’ Bread and Butter

LEOLA, Pa. — When food prices began to jump last year, Dan McCauley started making weekly trips to SharpShopper, a no-frills discount store here that sells food makers’ surplus goods. On a recent weekday afternoon, the 50-year-old’s haul included two bags of Archway cookies for just $1 and two cases of vitamin water made by Kraft Foods Inc. for 25 cents a bottle.

Filed under: Consumer, CPG, financial, food

Gen Y Seeks Service, Rewards From Financial Institutions

“There is an inherent opportunity for issuers to
create products that fill the gap between what Gen Y desires from a
credit card and what is actually being delivered,” a new report says,
“making an immediate top of wallet card aimed at this demographic and
driving higher Gen Y credit card possession.”


MediaPost Publications – Gen Y Seeks Service, Rewards From Financial Institutions – 01/07/2008
WHEN IT COMES TO CHOOSING a credit card company or bank, Gen Y consumers are more like their older Gen Y siblings and even their Boomer parents than marketers might expect, a new report from Javelin Strategy and Research reveals.

This generation’s needs and interests are frequently mischaracterized by older generations that shape payment offerings and marketing efforts. Contrary to popular belief, 18 to 29 year olds are not a “digital only” demographic.

Filed under: Consumer, financial, Gen Y

Discover Tries Nurturing Parents

The Discover credit card has a new marketing partnership with Parents
magazine, the nation’s most popular glossy about the world’s most
demanding job.


Discover Tries Nurturing Parents – New York Times
IN a bet that managing your finances is like raising your child — trying, but rewarding — the Discover credit card has a new marketing partnership with Parents magazine, the nation’s most popular glossy about the world’s most demanding job.

Created by the media agency Starcom USA of Chicago, the Discover
campaign is aimed at getting droves of Parents readers to sign up for
the perennially also-ran Discover card, which is dwarfed in market
share by Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

campaign does not try to bombard frazzled mothers with financial advice
or credit card applications. Rather, like a good parent, Discover is
taking a gentle and patient approach: it has placed a soft-sell
campaign in Parents magazine and on its Web site, and has signed on as
a sponsor of ParentsTV, a broadband television channel and Internet
site presenting videos about parenting.

Filed under: advertising, Consumer, families, financial, Moms


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