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TBSM Chart of the Week 2022 Review

December 8th, 2022 Comments off

The MSW TBSM tracking service collects a variety of metrics across a wide range of categories. Throughout 2022, we published Charts of the Week using data drawn from the TBSM survey.  Six different categories and multiple measures within each category have been explored.  The categories were:

• Subscription Streaming Video Services
• Cryptocurrency Exchanges
• Domestic Airlines
• Meal Kit Services
• Body Moisturizers
• Fast Casual Restaurants

To illustrate the utility of some of the metrics available from the TBSM service, we will review some of the charts published over the past year.

One core question included in the TBSM survey is Brand Franchise. This question efficiently gauges the relationship of consumers with the major competitors in a particular category. The results can be used to quantify a wide range of concepts, such as awareness, consideration, usage, loyalty, conversion ratios, etc. One interesting analysis we like to focus on in our Charts of the Week is cross brand consideration – that is the overlap in consideration among brands. This analysis allows us to create a consideration map which helps to reveal which brands are closest competitors, the composition of market niches and brands that may be perceived as unique versus the competition. An example is the Airline Cross Brand Consideration chart which shows the overlap among the three traditional major airline brands, the close proximity of the two ultra-discount carriers, but the greater dispersion among the three discount airlines.

 

 

Another portion of the TBSM survey focuses on product characteristics that play a role in decision making when choosing a brand in a particular category. Respondents may identify multiple characteristics that are important to them and which one of those characteristics are most important. This information can be crossed with other metrics such as demographics, usage levels or brand relationship status to generate important insights. One example Chart of the Week from the Body Moisturizer category shows how skin rejuvenation is particularly important to the 55+ age group, among other insights.

 

 

Trends in important characteristics can also be informative. One interesting example comes from the Cryptocurrency Exchange category. We compared characteristics of primary importance before and after the high profile Crypto Super Bowl advertisements. The only item to gain, with an increase of 4 percentage points, was “From a Brand I Trust”. This seemed to indicate that the advertising and associated hype had a positive effect on branding in the category.

 

 

TBSM also collects information on the level of category usage. This information can provide insight into the most important consumers in a category – those who use, and hence purchase, in the category the most. An example Chart of the Week from the Fast Casual Restaurants category reveals that these all-important heavy users tend to be male, age 18 to 34, higher income and have children in the household.

 

 

Finally, TBSM also captures Brand Preference as one component of the survey. Brand Preference is the gold-standard metric for assessing a brand’s strength in the hearts and minds of consumers. In fact, independent studies conducted by the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) have found that preference proved to be a better fit to market share than any other standard research question examined. Brand preference has been adopted as the cornerstone of all MSW research systems due to this strong relationship with market share. Several of our Charts of the Week illustrate the utility of brand preference in different applications.

First, results from the Fast Casual Restaurants category illustrates the utility of brand preference as a proxy for market share and hence an unparalleled measure of brand strength. As the following scatterplot shows, the brand preference penetration metric is strongly related to systemwide domestic sales levels for Fast Casual Restaurants (as published by Nation’s Restaurant News), with an overall correlation of +0.93.

 

 

Next, changes in brand preference are reflective of actual changes in business results for a brand. An example Chart of the Week illustrating this application is drawn from the Subscription Streaming Video Services category. In March of 2021, ViacomCBS expanded its CBS All Access service and rebranded it as Paramount+. In the extremely competitive and dynamic online video streaming services category, Paramount+ saw a 67% gain in brand preference in 2021 versus CBS All Access preference in the pre-pandemic time-period (last quarter of 2019). While ViacomCBS doesn’t separately report Paramount+ subscriber numbers, total ViacomCBS subscribers (which also includes Showtime and other services) jumped to 47 million in Q3 2021 versus 17.9 million in Q3 2020 and 10.4 million in Q3 2019. According to ViacomCBS, this surge in subscriptions was driven by strong growth in Paramount+ sign-ups.

 

 

In addition, brand preference can detect changes in brand strength attributable to marketing activity. This is illustrated by returning to the example of the effects of the 2022 Super Bowl advertising on brand preference for Cryptocurrency Exchanges. All four brands that advertised in the Super Bowl saw at least some level of positive movement in brand preference. FTX was the winner with a jump in brand preference of 2.6 percentage points.

 

 

Finally, brand preference levels can be examined by target groups, defined by dimensions such as demographics or usage level, to understand where a brand’s (and their competitors’) strengths lie. An example from our Chart of the Week series shows brand preference by usage level in the Domestic Airlines category. One insight from this chart is that discount airline Southwest has by far the highest preference level among light users. On the other hand, the brand’s preference level among heavy users is exceeded not only by the three traditional major airlines, but also by fellow discount brands JetBlue and Alaska.

 

 

These are but some of the many applications of the data provided by the TBSM tracking service. We look forward to sharing more such insights in the coming year. In the meantime, have a Happy New Year!

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The Crypto Bowl: How Crypto Exchange Super Bowl Ads Affected Awareness and Brand Preference

February 24th, 2022 Comments off

As usual, there was almost as much hype about the ads in the Super Bowl this year as there was about the game itself.  And one of the advertising storylines this year centered around Cryptocurrency Exchange ads.  This represented a coming-out party for Crypto Exchanges on the year’s biggest advertising stage.

While the four Crypto Exchange ads were superseded by the number of ads in some of the more traditional Super Bowl ad categories (automobile companies led the way with 7 spots), they still managed to steal much of the pre and post-game discussion about the advertising.  However, to a large extent the verdict was less than positive.

At Yahoo! Sports, Liz Roscher provided commentary and grades on all the big game’s ads.  While garnering some positive comments from Roscher, the FTX spot featuring Larry David only managed a D grade.  However, that made it the winner of the Crypto Exchange category as the other three spots all received an F.

Over at USA Today, Super Bowl ad meter results were based on the ratings of nearly 150,000 panelists.  The final tally again showed FTX as the leader in the Crypto Exchange category, with the brand’s Larry David spot finishing a very respectable 17th out of a total of 66 rated ads.  Crypto.com rode LeBron James to a mediocre 49th place overall, while eToro only avoided last place due to even fewer viewers liking the somewhat head-scratching bouncing QR-code approach taken by CoinBase.

While ratings are fun, ultimately the true measure of the success of an advertisement comes from what the ad does to bolster the business results of the brand itself.  MSW’s TBSM tracker incorporated the Crypto Exchange category in January, which provided a baseline read on the brands in the category.  Then the survey was run again in the week after the Super Bowl, with an aided advertising awareness question added at the end of the survey.  What were the results?

The 71% of respondents who indicated they had watched the Super Bowl were asked if they remembered seeing any ads for Cryptocurrency Exchange brands during the Super Bowl and if so, they were asked to indicate which brands they saw an ad for out of a list of 13 major Crypto Exchange platforms.   The ghost awareness level (average misattribution to unadvertised brands) was 10%.  All the advertised brands were able to comfortably surpass this level with the exception of eToro at only 10.4%.

It is also interesting to note that while claimed advertising awareness levels for Coinbase, Crypto.com and eToro are all highest among respondents aged 18 to 34, FTX really popped among those aged 35 to 54.  In fact, FTX ad awareness of 23.9% among those aged 35 to 54 more than doubled the level among the younger age group.  Chalk that up to the Larry David effect!

Next, the survey results showed an overall lifting of brand awareness levels for the entire category in the week after the Super Bowl versus the January baseline.  But the advertised brands in particular saw a very strong lift in the level of aided brand awareness.

However, the key metric collected by the TBSM survey is brand preference.  This metric has been shown to be strongly related to actual market share and

it underpins most of MSW Research’s primary research methodologies since movement in Brand Preference is validated and proven to corelate to actual in-market business results.  So, while awareness can certainly indicate that the advertising was having an effect, the true winner is that brand that sees the strongest movement in share of Brand Preference.

While all the advertised brands saw at least some level of positive movement in Brand Preference, FTX again is the winner with a jump in Brand Preference of 2.6 percentage points.  Again, this gain was driven by respondents aged 35 to 54 among whom FTX realized a Brand Preference gain of 4.3 percentage points.

Beyond the effect on the individual brands, these high-profile advertisements can have an effect on the category itself, particularly given the nascent nature of the Crypto Exchange category.  One sign of this can be seen in claimed category participation.  The percent of respondents claiming to not be buyers or sellers of cryptocurrency dropped 6 percentage points to 37% in the post-Super Bowl read.

In addition, there is evidence that the advertising and associated hype had a positive effect on branding in the category.  The TBSM survey asks respondents to select the one characteristic (from a list of eight choices) that is most important in deciding on a method to buy or sell cryptocurrency.  The only item to gain, with an increase of 4 percentage points, was “From a Brand I Trust.”

Despite the snap reviews of the Super Bowl Crypto Exchange ads which were not favorable, to say the least, TBSM tracking data suggests the advertising has been effective at raising awareness and building brands in the category.  This is particularly the case for FTX.  And the use of Larry David as spokesperson – that could never be wrong!

please contact us for more information on the MSW TBSM survey and what it can reveal in your category.

Streaming Services Deep Dive… | The Brand Strength Monitor / RDE Chart of the Week | Pre/Post Pandemic Penetration and Usage

June 22nd, 2021 Comments off

In our last Chart of the Week we started looking at the Subscription Video Streaming Services category and specifically the pandemic winner – HBO Max.  This week we’re taking a deep dive and examining the Pre/Post Pandemic Penetration and Usage by demographics.

The MSW TBSM tracking service measures category penetration and level of usage as one component of the survey.  A comparison of results taken before the beginning of the pandemic to a comparable assessment from May 2021 reveals explosive growth in the Subscription Streaming Video Services category.

  • Overall, category penetration increased from 75.4% to 86.6%, which represents a 15% increase.  Moreover, claimed heavy usage increased by over half during the pandemic, from 18.5% before the outbreak to 29.2% in May 2021.  Clearly, as a result of spending much more time at home during the pandemic, people were turning to video entertainment.

 

  • Those demographic groups which have seen particularly large gains include:
    • Women, with heavy usage of streaming video services more than doubling.
    • Age 55 Plus, which had the lowest pre-pandemic penetration, but closed the gap substantially, reaching penetration of 70% in the latest reading.
    • Below Median Income, clearly also looking for entertainment options and perhaps enticed by some of the newer services, particularly lower cost “basic” plans.

 

  • Clearly these results are consistent with the surge in subscription levels reported by the major subscription streaming video services for 2020:
    • Netflix added 37 million new subscribers worldwide in 2020 – easily the largest annual increase since expanding into video streaming 14 years ago.
    • Hulu added 9 million new subscriptions, a 29.6% year-over-year increase.
    • While Disney+ debuted with very strong numbers pre-pandemic, growth continued to surge through the pandemic. The service hit 100 million subscribers in March 2021; a remarkable feat for a service just over a year old which initially hoped to reach 60 to 90 million subscribers by 2024.
    • At the end of the first quarter of 2021, HBO and HBO Max totaled 44.2 million domestic subscribers – far exceeding the 33.1 million subscribers a year ago (before HBO Max).

 

While subscriber growth is seen to be slowing with the easing of the pandemic, it is clear the pandemic accelerated the trend toward the use of streaming services, particularly among those groups which had been slower to adopt the technology.