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Research Archives


October 7, 2008

Generations Change, Not Personality

Posted by Brad Abare | Filed under: Research

Last year I wrote a review of Mind Your X's and Y's: Satisfying the 10 Cravings of a New Generation of Consumers by Lisa Johnson. The book is a fascinating peak into the minds of the next generation.

Along these same lines, Adweek ran a great opinion piece last week from Deborah Morrison, a professor of advertising at the University of Oregon. The article is a punchy piece of pithiness that is both relevant and researched. Although Morrsion is writing in the context of why the ad industry will change because of the next generation, her points are applicable to a wide range of industries.

Personality Advisors are keenly aware of these generational trends when it comes to their profiling work with clients. Although the personality of the organization does not necessarily change with each passing generation, the expression of that personality does. So while messaging, style guides and structures may come and go based on generational differences, the personality of the organization will continue to serve as a compass for onward advance.

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September 11, 2007

Young People Care About Causes

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Cause Marketing

This year's class of college students cares more about social causes than any group in the last five years, according to the Alloy Marketing and Media's College Explorer Survey. 37% prefer brands and companies that are "socially conscious," up 4% from previous years.

Students specifically ranked fair labor practices, environmental policy and philanthropy as the most important components of being socially conscious. In 2006 a different study of the general population found that 76% of people put a company's employee welfare ahead of all other considerations, underlining the importance of fair labor practices.

"There's a lot of research from Alloy, and other sources, showing that particularly among young people the notion of corporate social responsibility is a loyalty driver," said Samantha Skey, Alloy's executive vice president of strategic marketing.

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August 3, 2007

Doing Good is Good for You

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Research

We know giving makes you feel good, but it's also good for you. Dr. Stephen Post, a bioethicist at Case Western Reserve University recently published the book Why Good Things Happen to Good People: The Exciting New Research that Proves the Link Between Doing Good and Living a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life, based on scientific research.

"Giving is the most potent force on the planet," says Post, "and will protect you your whole life."

The findings include:

(link via Good)

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June 26, 2007

Know What Works

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Research

Whenever the research comes in, it's kind of scary.

Like the fact that 60% of nonprofits don't evaluate the impact of their communications, according to a recent survey. That means you have no idea what works and what doesn't. You're shooting from the hip and your chances for success aren't so good.

But, as Tim Bednar puts it, this could be an opportunity: If over 60% of organizations don't track their marketing performance, you could pretty easily beat over 60% of organizations. How? By doing the research and seeing what works and what doesn't.

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June 6, 2007

Great Resource for Watching Trends

Posted by Shawn Stewart | Filed under: Research

2007_06_06trendwatching.gifIf you haven’t signed up for trendwatching.com's free monthly briefing--trust us, go do it. I've been getting them for a while and they're stuffed with great insight and info.

This month is a great one. It touches on corporate responsibility from the environment to ethics, but with a very interesting perspective on the reemergence of all things local.

Here's a quote from the briefing:

"(STILL) MADE HERE encompasses new and enduring manufacturers and purveyors of the local. In a world that is seemingly ruled by globalization, mass production and 'cheapest of the cheapest,' a growing number of consumers are seeking out the local, and thereby the authentic, the storied, the eco-friendly and the obscure."

Like we said, great site.

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April 30, 2007

Busy People, Mothers, Women Volunteer More

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Research

Blogger Tony Morgan shares some stats on volunteerism from the April issue of Men's Health:

Apparently being too busy isn't an excuse not to volunteer.

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April 11, 2007

Turner on Research

Posted by Brad Abare | Filed under: Research

I recently stumbled upon a bold quote from broadcast behemoth Ted Turner. In a speech he gave at Harvard sometime ago (I was unable to track down the date/occasion), in typical Turner temper, he said:

"There's never a reason for a study if your idea is conceptually sound. You have to have confidence in your own ideas. I never did a market study on CNN. I do my own marketing analysis."

This disturbingly refreshing thought comes at a particularly exhilarating time for Personality™. In the last six months alone we've invested nearly $250,000 into honing our craft, tweaking our service offerings and testing our processes. For Ted Turner, $250k is pocket change. For us, $250k is a big deal.

Throughout this time, we've really been wrestling with the idea of research and analysis as it applies to our own processes. The question that continues to haunt us is at what point do we need scientific backing for some of the assumptions we are asserting.

Our gut says it works. Our clients say it is working. The anecdotal evidences we are encountering along the way are affirming. I believe we're conceptually sound and growing more and more confident every day. What gives?

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March 30, 2007

Cause for Concern

Posted by Brad Abare | Filed under: Research

Cause for ConcernToday, during our weekly Brown Bag Lunch, I shared from the book Cause for Concern by Stephen M. Adler. I've been reading it off and on for the last couple months, and finally finished it last week. I was slightly bored through most of the pages--but I pressed on--mainly because I wanted to see if there was anything to learn from Adler. After all, he started an agency "nearly 20 years ago with the vision of creating mutually beneficial strategic partnerships between nonprofit organizations and corporations through integrated cause marketing partnerships."

Adler has accomplished a lot through his years of connecting companies and non-profits. From his work with the American Heart Association and Susan G. Komen for the Cure (formerly Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation) to Subway and BMW, Adler is no stranger to the world of cause marketing.

Cause for Concern is a great primer if you're new to the world of cause marketing. It's along the lines of Jocelyne Daw's book Cause Marketing for Nonprofits, but more from the view of the for profit.

Continue reading "Cause for Concern"

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February 28, 2007

People Will Pay 5% More to Support Charity

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Research

Consumers are willing to pay more for a product when a portion of the proceeds go to charity. But how much more? Now we have the answer. Consumers are willing to pay 5% more for products that support chairty.

U.S. News & World Report covers the research of two Univeristy of Washington professors who explored eBay's "Giving Works" program. They found that supporting a charity did make a difference, up to a point. (link via Selfish Giving)

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February 21, 2007

What Motivates Donors?

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Research

The Donor Power Blog points us to some great stats on what motivates donors. The bottom line? Friends & family top celebs, word of mouth beats advertising, trust & personal involvement trumps media coverage. It shouldn't come as a surprise, but it's easier to earn donors than it is to buy them.

What influences donors to support a charity?

Continue reading "What Motivates Donors?"

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February 20, 2007

Giving Makes You Feel Good

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Research

That good feeling donors get is no longer just anecdotal. A new scientific study shows that giving makes you feel good.

Giving affects the same part of the brain stimulated by sex, drugs and money, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health.

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February 1, 2007

Giving vs. Advertising

Posted by Brad Abare | Filed under: Research

In a Wall Street Journal article (subscription required) earlier this month, Gene Epstein of Barron's magazine, highlights some recent studies that show corporate generosity has its rewards. To the tune of 200% to 300% return on investment. Wow.

In addition to including some of the same research we mentioned in our entry earlier this week, Epstein takes it a little further in reporting the findings from the professors out of NYU's Stern School of Business and University of Texas at Dallas School of Management.

What these same firms spent on advertising alone was more than 50 times greater. For the rate of return on the charitable dollar to do as well, it need return only one-fiftieth as much. And, with a 200% to 300% return, according to the researchers, it does a lot better than that.

Epstein concludes his piece by suggesting that investors, fund managers and CEOs should not be asking if they're giving away too much, but rather if what they are doing is enough.

I love it when stories like this emerge that prove doing good really works.

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January 25, 2007

Giving Leads to More Sales

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Research

For every $1 a company donates they can expect sales to go up by as much as $6, according to a new research report mentioned in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

"Contributions have this advertising effect to them, this image-enhancing effect to them. What we see is giving goes up first and then we see the sales go up," said Christine Petrovits, an assistant professor of accounting at New York University Stern School of Business and a co-author of the report.

Companies that sell directly to consumers like retailers, finanical institutions and electronics manufacturers saw the most direct econcomic benefit from giving, but other companies also saw tangible benefits that had a less-direct economic component. The report advises businesses publicize their philanthropy to see the biggest return.

(link via Selfish Giving)

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January 10, 2007

Stats on Donations

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Research

And now for stats on donations from The Chronicle of Philanthropy:

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Stats on the Non-Profit Sector

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Research

Check out these stats on the non-profit sector from The Chronicle of Philanthropy:

If you want to partner with a non-profit, it helps to know more about their field. Especially the fact that the sector is growing and that more than half of it includes health-related work.

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December 12, 2006

Volunteering is In

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Research

Volunteerism is at a 30-year high. A recent report by the Corporation for National and Community Service found that 27% of adults volunteer, up from a low of 20.4% in 1989.

Other findings include:

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November 15, 2006

New York Times Giving Section

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Research

Yesterday we mentioned a New York Times article covering the prevalence of cause marketing campaigns, but it seems the New York Times has an entire section dedicated to giving, philanthropy and causes.

You can check out a number of cause-related articles, including:

The section has even more stories than we listed, so dive in and check it out.

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November 3, 2006

Youth with a Cause

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Cause Marketing

The youth have spoken and they have a cause. A recent study surveyed 1,800 people between the ages of 13 and 25 and found that causes matter for young people.

Especially when it comes to where they shop and how they spend their money:

89% are likely or very likely to switch from one brand to another (price and quality being equal) if the second brand is associated with a good cause.
83% will trust a company more if it is socially/environmentally responsible.
74% are more likely to pay attention to a company's message when they see that the company has a deep commitment to a cause.
69% consider a company's social/environmental commitment when deciding where to shop.
66% will consider a company’s social/environmental commitment when deciding whether to recommend its products and services.

Continue reading "Youth with a Cause"

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October 26, 2006

Homelessness Isn't What You Think

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Research

Part of the trouble with a cause is that it's not always what you think. Changing the world takes more than the standard pat answers. Take homelessness for example.

Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point and Blink, wrote a phase-shifting article about homelessness for The New Yorker. The piece pointed out that homelessness doesn't follow a standard distribution, but it follows a power distribution (also known as the long tail) where a very small percentage account for the majority of the expenses.

One study showed that a full 80% of people are homeless for a day or two and then never again. The next 10% are episodic users, usually into drugs and turning to shelters during the winter for a few weeks at a time. The final 10% are your stereotypical homeless, the chronically homeless who had been so for years and often had mental or physical disabilities.

Continue reading "Homelessness Isn't What You Think"

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