- Amid reports of a ho-hum holiday season, you really have to wonder about current consumer mindset. After a strong turnout Black Friday weekend, Hurricane Sandy hit, we witnessed tragedy in Sandy Hook, while those on Capitol Hill literally left us hanging on the fiscal cliff. Retailers continued to give consumers what they really wanted – deals, deals, and more deals – but ultimately it appears that practicality and a focus on needs were at the forefront of consumers’ thoughts as we approached December 25. To top everything off, NBC revealed record ratings for its Christmas Eve showing of It’s a Wonderful Life…coincidence? Perhaps not.
- We at BIGinsight tallied up all of the votes in the lively “Hot or Not?” segment for the whole of 2012 to see which of the 145 trends, personalities, and events really got consumers (Adults 18+) buzzing last year. And while items like holiday shopping online and the New Apple iPad landed high in the rankings, the top 10 list points to consumers focused more on what really matters:
- #10 NFL (Sep-12)*
Football: America’s new favorite pastime? With its top ten ranking, the NFL is certainly giving Major League Baseball (Apr-12, #46) a run for its money. The Giants-Patriots match-up for Super Bowl XLVI (Jan-12, #19) finished within the top 20 this year; however, it was the Packers-Steelers bout in Super Bowl XLV that took top honors in this list back in 2011.
#9 New Apple iPad (Mar-12)
At #9, Apple’s third iteration of its popular iPad was the top tech gadget we polled in 2012, while the more recent releases of the Apple iPad Mini (Nov-12, #25) and Kindle Fire HD (Oct-12, #27) – which sparked the great tablet debate – ranked lower in our list overall.
#8 London Summer Olympic Games (Jul-12)
Fresh off of 2011’s royal wedding, the British invasion of sorts continued for Americans in 2012 with the London Olympic Games. Ranking higher than any other athletes on our lists, swimming superstars Michael Phelps (Aug-12, #21) and Ryan Lochte (Aug-12, #36) proved that they were certainly the pride of the yanks.
#7 Farmers’ Markets (Jul-12)
Perhaps it’s because they offer fresh fare or maybe it’s their “shop small” charm, but at #7, Farmers’ Markets were hit among consumers getting back to the basics this year, though Community Gardens (Aug-12, #81) and Gluten-free Diets (Jul-12, #106) didn’t rank quite so highly.
#6 2012 Presidential Election (Sep-12)
While those of us residing in the swing states couldn’t wait for the endless barrage of phone calls, mailers, and commercials to end, this year’s Presidential Election was certainly very important to all who exercised their right to vote.
#5 Coupons (Jun-12)
Indicative of a consumer group prioritizing budgeting, practicality, and – most importantly – saving money, Coupons scored a top five position in this year’s list. Note to retailers and manufacturers: keep ‘em coming in 2013.
#4 Voting (Nov-12)
You lose your right to complain when you don’t exercise your right to vote…right? Whether their candidate won or lost the election, Americans set precedence on voicing their opinions this year.
#3 “Made in America” Products (Jan-12)
While they may be few and far between, at #3 on our list, “Made in America” Products seem to be what consumers prefer. Or perhaps it’s logical reasoning for boosting our sagging unemployment rate…
#2 Holiday Shopping Online (Dec-12)
Arguably one of the few bright spots for retailers over the past holiday season (gift cards were pretty popular as well), shopping online – whether via a traditional computer/laptop or a mobile device – just clicked with consumers this year. With free shipping offers abound, gift givers were able to skip crowded malls, long checkout lines, and stock-outs in favor of cruising the web for the big bargains, competitive pricing, and compelling customer reviews from the comfort of their couches. However, with Holiday Shopping in Stores (Dec-12) landing at #15, it appears that plenty of Santas still preferred to shop the old fashioned way.
#1 Thanksgiving (Nov-12)
While the Black Friday shopping tradition is increasingly encroaching on the fourth Thursday of November, consumers are seemingly taking a stand on the Thanksgiving holiday, placing it atop our list this year. (Giving Thanks was #2 last year.) It’s a Wonderful Life, right?
* The month/year each item was asked is denoted in parenthesis (MMM-YY).
After record turnouts for Black Friday weekend, one might think that scoring holiday deals topped our “Hot or Not?” segment for November. However, it appears that the constant commercialism in our lives has yet to override a few of finer things we enjoy as Americans: Turkey Day and the right to vote. [Thanks for that lesson, Charlie Brown.]
Black Friday and its online equivalent, Cyber Monday, did squeak past some of the season’s “must-have” electronics: the Apple iPad Mini and Nintendo Wii U.
The gender split two of November’s biggest box office draws left the overall vote at a near tie: females were in full support of the final Twilight installment, Breaking Dawn, Part 2, while boys of all ages backed the newest James Bond feature, Skyfall.
And, despite landing on this holiday’s Top Ten Toy lists for both girls and boys, it appears that Adults 18+ aren’t all that excited about the revamped Furby. But that decision’s ultimately left up to Santa, right?
For more on what we found “Hot or Not?” for the month of November, plus other consumer highlights, check out this month’s video briefing:
© 2012, Prosper®
BIGinsight™ is a trademark of Prosper Business Development Corp.
One of the more lively parts of our monthly survey is our What’s Hot/What’s Not section. Here, we ask respondents to rate a list of trends, personalities, events, etc. as “hot” or “not”; the items we ask about are based on input from our respondents from the previous month’s survey as well as a variety of current trending topics (i.e. expect Tim Tebow on the list in January 2012).
As 2011 comes to a close, we thought it’d be fun to take each and every item from our What’s Hot/What’s Not list for the year and compile the granddaddy of all “IT” lists: The Hottest Trends for 2011.1 So without further ado…
#10 Kindle Fire (Dec-11)2
This modestly priced tablet device quickly made Amazon.com’s bestseller list when it debuted in November. We’re just guessing here, but you can probably expect [quite] a few of these under the tree this year.
#9 Tablet Devices (Aug-11)3
Whether it’s the Kindle Fire, Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy, or any one of a number of other Tablet Devices, consumers were hot for these gadgets in 2011. (And, current Android tablet device owners should be sure to check out our free InsightCenter™ apps.)
#8 Solar Power (Jul-11)
Going green was definitely red hot this year, with Solar Power leading the conservation-minded pack.
#7 Sending a Text (Oct-11)
While this ain’t your grandparents’ favorite form of communication, Sending a Text bested both Sending an Email (#13) and Sending a Card through the Mail (#49) when we asked in October. BTW, Sending an Email is the favored communication among Adults 55+.
#6 Betty White (Feb-11)
For the lovely Ms. White, 2011 was a continuation of a hot streak enjoyed by the near-nonagenarian since her scene-stealing role in The Proposal. Here’s to a wonderful 2012…as well as another gig on SNL…for this Golden Girl. #loveyoubetty
#5 Cookouts (Jul-11)
What’s more American than Cookouts in July? Maybe apple pie, but desserts weren’t on the menu included in our CIA® surveys this year.
#4 Apple iPad (Dec-11)
While we didn’t survey apple pie, that other Apple – as in the iPad – dominated the devices we asked about this year. December was the second time in 2011 we asked about the iPad…the first was in April (#21), so this device picked up steam as the year wound down. The aforementioned Kindle Fire (#10) as well as the Nook Tablet (#47, Dec-11) were the other specific tablet devices we surveyed this year.
#3 Having a Full-Time Job (Oct-11)
It’s a sure barometer of our economic health when the temperature’s this high on holding down full-time employment. Let’s hope that the 2012 job market is more prosperous.
#2 Giving Thanks (Nov-11)
While Black Friday (#14, Nov-11) is increasingly giving Thanksgiving a run for its money, simply Giving Thanks was the second hottest item on our list this year.
#1 Super Bowl XLV (Feb-11)
Is the 2011 Packer-Steelers match-up – and the most-watched TV program in U.S. history – a surprise to anyone? Even if you’re not into football, plenty of consumers used Super Bowl XLV as an excuse to view hotly-anticipated commercials, get together with friends, and enjoy the halftime entertainment.
Who were the hottest personalities for 2011? How about the top trends in fashion, entertainment, gadgetry, and going green? Stay tuned in the coming weeks for additional blog releases on this data.
Do you have a suggestion for the 2012 What’s Hot/What’s Not list or see anything surprising in this Top 10 list? Please leave a comment below.
And, for more information on this data, please contact BIGinsight™.
1 The Hottest Trends for 2011 is limited to the 145 trends, personalities, events, etc. that were included in one of the 12 2011 Consumer Intentions & Actions® Surveys. Looking for Ryan Gosling, Charlie Sheen, Pippa Middleton, Keurig Coffee Makers, Occupy Wall Street, or Groupon? We got ‘em. Sorry about your luck on George Clooney, Zooey Deschanel, beach vacations, any of the Real Housewives, or Sperry Topsiders; they just didn’t make the our cut this year.
2 The month/year each item was asked is denoted in parenthesis (MMM-YY).
3 Tablet Devices were also included in the What’s Hot/What’s Not section in Nov-11, landing at #15 on the Hottest Trends for 2011 list.
© 2011, Prosper®
BIGinsight™ is a trademark of Prosper Business Development
The highlight of my Black Friday? The 30 second checkout at Target…but more on that in a bit.
Black Friday shopping is tradition for my best friend, her mother, and me. We’ve woken up before the crack of dawn for nearly twenty years since before we could drive, but this was the first year we headed out on Thanksgiving night. The 9pm specials at Toys R Us were just too good for my friend (a mother of two) to pass up.
In order to keep the image of the perfect Thanksgiving intact for her young children, we started out after they were tucked in for bed. We arrived at Toys R Us (TRU) shortly before they opened, as three local TV crews readied themselves to record the madness. Our destination TRU is located in a shopping center with five other big box stores, still closed for the night. The line of shoppers stretched across the entire length of the shopping center, and we were at the very end of that line.
It was nearly 10pm before we were admitted to the store. With no toys on my shopping list this year, it was my job to help my friend hunt down her deals (which seemed to be scattered randomly throughout the store). I left my friend to jump in line while she waited for a sales associate (and a ladder) to pull down the last of a doorbuster toy still in its shipping box WAY at the top of the shelving. Yes, the reasoning escaped me as to why said toy was in stock, yet not on the shelves…I was further confused when the store manager decided to nix the ladder idea and tell my friend she was out of luck. Once the manager was out of view, my friend scaled the shelving…while this action was a bit extreme – and dangerous – better customer service would have made this a non-issue.
After standing in line for more than an hour, we finally made it out of TRU. As someone not buying for children, this wasn’t the best start to my Black Friday. But things picked up as we walked over to Target, located next door to the shopping center. It took us about 10 minutes of walking before we reached the end of the line at 11:15pm, which stretched across the store and down the end of the parking lot. A mutual friend met us here, and we waited for midnight to strike and Target to open.
For the obvious reason, we were not the first group of shoppers in our Target store. On my list were some cheap DVDs and a doorbuster gift; my expectations for finding this doorbuster were not high, knowing how far back in line we were. As we shuffled closer to the store, the excitement in the crowd grew. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood, quite a contrast from the fist fights, brawls, and pepper spray incidents I later read about. As the first-in-lines came out with their deals, they waived to a cheering crowd. It was great.
Surprisingly, the wait was quick, and we made in into the store at about 12:15am, splitting up and agreeing to meet at the checkout line. I found my DVDs and my gift – still in stock – and headed to the checkout at the same time as my friend. The “line” was surprisingly short; in past years, lines have woven throughout the store, so it’s likely that extended hours spread the volume of shoppers out a bit. No joke, we were out of the store at 12:25am. Quickest. Target. Trip. Ever.
As we headed over to the mall, we received a call from our mutual friend…we had left her in our dust back at Target. Not a seasoned Black Friday shopper, she told us that she was still looking around in the store and was wondering where we were. She obviously wasn’t living by our Black Friday motto: Grab, Buy, Exchange Later.
Black Friday adventures continue on Tuesday, so stay tuned. And for more Black Friday insights, collected over the weekend by BIG, head over to the National Retail Federation’s Holiday Headquarters.
Each month, we ask respondents in our Consumer Intentions & Actions® survey if latest trends, newest gadgets, and even “it” personalities are Hot or Not. The Hot or Not List is generally comprised of input from our respondents, gathered in the previous month’s CIA® survey.
We publish the overall results in the monthly Executive Briefing (see the November results here). In a nutshell, adults in general voted Giving Thanks, Black Friday, Tablet Devices, and Cyber Monday as the hottest trends for November, respectively.
But what’s hot is really dependent on age and gender, doesn’t it? What a teenager believes to be totes cool might not be the bee’s knees to a grandparent. (For the record, if you had to look up “bee’s knees” or “totes,” you probably have a completely different view of what’s hot or not).
This month, though, let’s Trend Spy on younger adults. Some of our findings were quite surprising when we compared data for younger men (aged 18 to 34) to younger women (also 18 to 34). For instance, who would’ve thought that young men would say that Black Friday was hotter than Tablet Devices? Eight out of ten (80.1%) cool dudes voted one of biggest shopping days of the year as hot, compared to 67.3% for Tablets. Guys for Black Friday even outnumbered the young ladies (75.0%). Perhaps retailers are missing the boat a hot demographic here…
Besides Black Friday and Tablets, younger men also named Giving Thanks (65.9%), Cyber Monday (58.9%), and Occupy Wall Street (45.6%) in their top five. In contrast, the hottest item for young women was Giving Thanks at 82.5%…so these ladies are 25% more likely to vote for Giving Thanks than their male counterparts, who are busy giving thanks for Black Friday. Three out of four (75.0%) women 18 to 34 also voted Black Friday as hot, followed by Tablet Devices (69.1%), Cyber Monday (56.9%), and [swoon] Twilight: Breaking Dawn (52.1%).
P.S. For more on Black Friday, stay tuned for our upcoming BIG on the Street post, where we’re planning to bring you highlights from our Black Friday excursion. With 152 million people planning to shop this weekend, it should be interesting.
For more information on this data, please contact BIGinsight™.
Source: Consumer Intentions & Actions® Survey – NOV-11 (N = 8502, 11/1 – 11/8/11)
© 2011, Prosper®
BIGinsight™ is a trademark of Prosper Business Development Corp.