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Smart insights: Technology

If you want to attract today's connected consumers, it's essential to embrace technology and to understand consumers' use of technology.

It is impossible to identify opportunities or design superior consumer experiences that secure loyal, returning customers unless you have accurate understanding of your customers' current experiences, unmet needs, evolving choices and future expectations.

Our technology market research experts give you this information.

We deliver market and consumer insights that help you create engaging and relevant concept designs, product positioning, advertising and customer experiences. And our key performance indicators for brand, proposition development and user experience keep you focused on the actions that will deliver the strongest business results.

Whatever specialist technology sector you operate in, we provide insights on market performance, consumer research and trends at both global and local level: IT and IT B2B, consumer electronics (CE), photo, office equipment, home appliances (MDA), telecommunications hardware and telecoms service providers.

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    • 01/18/18
    • Technology
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    Xennials: An untapped opportunity for marketers

    Much has been written about US generations for, well, generations. Starting with the “Lost Generation” that fought in World War I right up to our present-day debates about what to call the Post-Millennial audience, Americans have an endless fascination with the differences between these seemingly distinct and roughly 20-year age groups. But as society and technology evolve at a faster rate than ever, perhaps the parameters for each generation will shrink over time? The “Xennial” generation is a term recently coined for those stuck sandwiched by Gen X and those industry killers, the Millennials. Born (roughly) between 1977 and 1983, this group is caught between two worlds in more ways than one. They grew up as technology did, learning to use computers and cell phones in their teen and college years. Many were hit hardest by the tech bust, 9/11, and the Great Recession, which happened at critical moments in their nascent careers. And they exhibit a curious mix of the cynicism of their Xer elders and the optimism of their younger counterparts. Recent research from GfK Consumer Life uncovers how Xennials serve as the bridge between the infinitely dissected Millennials and oft-neglected Generation X. A quick look at their outlooks on finance, technology, and the home spotlights a unique group worth taking more seriously.

    Confident and driven

    In spite of living through major financial instability, Xennials remain more financially bullish than their elders – and their juniors. GfK Consumer Life research shows that they’re most likely to believe that now is a good time to make purchases, feel that the US economy is fair in the opportunities it provides, and be satisfied with the amount of money they have to live on today. They also lead in the belief that the best place to put money is where it can generate income – not where it is simply the safest – and feel more strongly than adjacent age groups that being able to start your own business is still a part of the American Dream. In fact, thrift is a lower-ranked personal value for this micro-generation. Perhaps it’s this financial confidence that makes Xennials more content in other arenas. They’re more likely to express satisfaction with multiple aspects of life, from career and relationships to health and their social lives. And in their leisure time, they’re more apt than neighboring generations to prioritize both physical and mental challenges. Brands can leverage this outlook by providing Xennials with opportunities to try new things, take a few risks, and feel even more empowered.

    The technology tipping point

    Full disclosure: I am an Xennial (class of 1980), and nowhere is it more clear than in my relationship with technology. I had my first email account nearly a decade before my first cell phone. Today, I take full advantage of mobile technology, social media, and streaming services, but have yet to cut the cord, still subscribe to a few paper magazines, and Snapchat recently became the first app that instantly went over my head. However, I still wouldn’t hesitate to call myself tech-savvy. Our research at GfK Consumer Life shows a similar pattern. Xennials are more likely than Millennials and Gen Xers to see the technology they own as an expression of themselves, and you’re more likely to find innovative devices like fitness bands, VR/AR headsets, smart home appliances, 4K Ultra HDTVs in their homes. Yet many members of this unique audience still straddle the low-tech line, as they’re more apt to read magazines on a weekly basis and watch video content on something physical such as a DVD. For tech companies to effectively communicate with this group, these nuances are important to understand. “Retro releases” such as the return of the Nokia 3310 phone capitalize on this generation’s intermittent desire for simple technology – and nostalgia.

    Staying close to home

    Earlier in this century, young Americans began moving back in with their parents in greater numbers than ever before. And as of 2014, “living with parents” is now the most common living arrangement for 18-34-year-olds for the first time in the modern era. Perhaps as a consequence of this shift, Xennials today are more home- and family-centric than those both younger and older than they are. Compared to Millennials and Gen Xers, they’re more likely to describe their homes as a family haven, prioritize family bonding during their leisure time, and predict that they’ll be living close to family ten years from now. Interestingly, Xennials are also most apt – out of the three generations – to enjoy advertising that emphasizes the comforts of home, a clear message to marketers on where to direct their creative energies. Xennials index higher than their immediate age peers on regular at-home activities such as cooking and meal planning, but their homes also have a modern twist. They’re most likely to pay professionals to do chores to save time for themselves, and demonstrate greater interest in new home developments such as energy-efficient appliances and open floor plans. With an audience that’s more open to thinking about the home in new ways, there’s a host of new opportunities for marketers.

    The lesson for brands

    Only time will tell if the Xennials continue to differentiate themselves from those just a little older and younger than them, and if our perception of generations evolves to include narrower age ranges. But in the meantime, brands can learn powerful lessons about the needs of Americans born at a brief, pivotal time in our nation’s history. Rachel Bonsignore is a Senior Consultant on the Consumer Life team at GfK. She can be reached at rachel.bonsignore@gfk.com. hbspt.cta.load(2405078, '13e65c1f-147b-466d-a5ba-18657a8a6ae5', {});
    • 01/11/18
    • Technology
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    Understanding net neutrality makes US consumers more likely to support it

    A new GfK study is shedding light on one of the most talked-about subjects at this week’s CES conference – Internet (“net”) neutrality.
    • 01/09/18
    • Industrial Goods
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Distribution and Supply Chain Management
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    Tech developments that will impact your supply chain in 2018

    Fast changing customer purchase cycles have made supply chains more and more complex in the tech industry. The network of resources and suppliers has significantly expanded and has increased in complexity due to globalization. Today’s businesses must be able to quickly identify changes in consumer demand in order to adapt their supply chains for maximum efficiency.
    • 01/04/18
    • Financial Services
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Media Measurement
    • Shopper
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Consumer Life
    • GfK-MRI
    • Global
    • English

    At CES, GfK will help brands target a new generation of "beyond digital" consumers

    At this month’s CES, GfK will draw on exclusive research into the Now Generation (ages 15 to 25) to help brands succeed with tomorrow's most valuable consumers.
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  • Brand and Customer Experience (BaCE)

    Brand and Customer Experience (BaCE)

    Brands are under pressure to develop emotional connections and relationships with consumers and business decision makers.  Brands need to respond in-the-moment, to enrich the customer experience – and develop strategies that influence ”moments of truth” throughout individual brand journeys.  

  • Digital Market Intelligence (DMI)

    Digital Market Intelligence (DMI)

    When consumers shop, search, communicate, gather information and engage with companies or brands online, they behave differently depending on which device or screen they are using. They expect a consistent experience regardless of the channel or device they are using.

  • Point of Sales Tracking

    Point of Sales Tracking

    Retailers and manufacturers are under pressure to develop products and services that maximize sales and profit and to keep customers coming back.

    Success relies on having the most up-to-date sales data, combined with robust analysis to understand which products and services are performing well in the market – and which are not. With this information, clients can set clear strategies for commercial growth and increase return on investment.

  • User Experience (UX)

    User Experience (UX)

    Our user experience (UX) research and design experts help our clients create and improve customer experiences for existing or new products and services

    Today’s consumer is bombarded with promises for compelling experiences. They are sophisticated and demanding.  To be successful, a new product or service needs to be intuitive, usable, engaging and desirable. The user experience needs to be emotional in order to be memorable.

  • Market Opportunities and Innovation (MOI)

    Market Opportunities and Innovation (MOI)

    Brands are under constant pressure to maintain relevance in an increasingly crowded market. Identifying when, where and how to deliver compelling experiences that deliver new value for both consumers and brands is critical.

  • Trends & Forecasting

    Trends & Forecasting

    ​Today’s steady stream of new offerings and shortening product lifecycles place a unique pressure on businesses to stay ahead. Consumer purchasing behavior shifts more rapidly than ever.

  • Geomarketing

    Geomarketing

    Our geomarketing solutions and consultancy provide our clients with smart insights into location-specific factors that impact the success of business sites, shops, sales territories, target groups, as well as chain store and distribution networks.

  • Mystery Shopping

    Mystery Shopping

    Consumers face a complex array of brand touch points every day of their lives. To deliver a consistent brand experience, marketers need to know how consumers are actually experiencing their brand. Our mystery shoppers give you all the help you need to understand these experiences, and respond to them to maximize the return for your business.

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