Well at least it’s almost over, amiright? 2020, what a mess. It always had a new way to hurt us, only ever briefly pausing the pain to give us some good news (looking at you, MBJ), and felt gratuitously endless. You really do not need market research to tell you that 2020 was horrific, but through it all, we’ve been there with you, chronicling market research and the world that shapes it every week in this humble blog.
So, while this year feels like no other, we are closing it out the same way we close out every year, with our Top Blogs of the Year.
Gosh, those simpler pre-pandemic times. We ran this blog in the second week of January, outlining how and why big alcohol brands sponsor music festivals like Coachella, which, at the time, was scheduled for the second and third weekends of April. Despite some popular assumptions to the contrary, I did not build an entire blog around Coachella just so that I could humble brag about scoring tickets--there are some great market research gems in there. But, nonetheless, humble brag I did and, well, you know how that went. Maybe some other time, Frankie.
Our first health and safety market research blog, we published this in the third week of March as we were all imagining what a few months of a COVID lockdown would feel like (and we hadn’t yet canceled our summer travel plans). While we were correct that the pandemic would drive demand for third party delivery while also driving restaurants to look for alternatives, we were wrong about the pandemic itself. In hindsight, the COVID proved way worse than we hoped (it is responsible for several of the deadliest days in US history), and people proved way worse at taking it seriously than we could have ever imagined.
Our first blog discussing the racial and social justice protests that swept the nation over the summer and continue to dominate popular conversation and contestation. There’s not much left for us to say about this topic--this one’s pretty clearly a case of right and wrong, and what we said then is what we believe now. We will add, however, that we are pretty darn excited to check out Netflix’s forthcoming Colin Kaepernick series.
As People Emerge from Lockdown, Reusable Face Masks are Surging: What the Fashion Market Research Says
Though it seems like reusable, fashionable masks have been with us from the jump, let’s all recall that we spent March through June with our face either locked indoors or behind a single-use mask. That all changed as spring became summer, and we were quick to see the possibilities for branding, for luxury, and for face warmth (again: you say face mask, I say nose warmer). Of course, if we are being entirely honest, we did underestimate people’s willingness to ignore science, common sense, and public health. It is truly insane that every single person does not wear a mask 100% of the time they are outside their household. Insane.
We wrote this blog in early September, with lockdown restrictions eased and new routines established (outdoor summertime gatherings were undoubtedly the highlight of this lowlight of a year). McDonald’s has since moved onto a holiday themed promotional giveaway (which weirdly incorporates Christmas movie icons), but whatever their promotion, McDonald’s has decided that celebrities and other cultural touchstones are as important to selling food as the promotion and the food itself.
This recent blog published as US cases again skyrocketed and consumers began piecing together a holiday shopping strategy. A few weeks later, shipping timetables are insane and my family just canceled Christmas. Ugh. Let’s get through this year, let’s get through the Spring. And let’s learn our lessons and move on.
See you next week, where we will look ahead to 2021 (thank goodness), the blogs we can’t wait to write, and the topics that we believe will dominate the market research landscape.