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    • 12/09/16
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    A look back at the results from our 2016 Global PR Studies




    Did you know that, each month, we publish country-by-country findings on a new topic from our international study?  As 2016 comes to a close, let’s take a look back at the survey results and the sentiments from consumers around the world.

    Reasons for trying to look good

    For the first month of 2016, we looked at people’s reasons for trying to look good and the time they spend on personal grooming.  What we found in this study was that peoples’ top three motivations for wanting to “look their best” are in order to feel good about themselves, to make a good impression on people they meet for the first time, and to set a good example for their children.  Italians, Argentinians and Americans spend the most time on personal grooming each week, and the top three motivations for looking good change depending on respondents’ ages.

    Virtual interactions

    In February, we looked at virtual interactions, asking participants if they felt that virtual interactions can be “as good as being there”.  Internationally, 23% of online consumers agreed that virtual interactions with people and places can be as good as being there in person.  Brazil and Turkey have the highest level of agreement, while Germany and Sweden disagreed with the statement the most.  Internet users aged 20-29 and 30-39 years old were the age groups most likely to agree.

    Company responsibilities

    Company responsibility was the topic for March.  We asked over 27,000 people worldwide to select the top three most important responsibilities for companies today.  The three most important were providing good jobs for people (47%), producing good quality products or services (41%) and being environmentally responsible (37%).

    Enjoy life today and save later

    For April, we discovered that savers just outnumber fun-lovers internationally, asking people in 22 countries if they want to “enjoy life today and worry about savings and investments later”.  We found that women are more likely to be savings-minded, and that twenty-somethings beat teenagers on highest percentage of fun-lovers.  Out of all the countries surveyed, Hong Kong was the only country where over half of the online population favored saving today.

    Pet ownership

    In May, we studied which countries have the biggest percentage of pet owners, and what kind of pets were the most popular.  Among the results were that over half of people internationally have a pet living with them, and that Argentina, Mexico and Brazil have the highest percentage of pet-owners, while Asians are least likely to own a pet.

    Always reachable

    For the month of June, we asked participants how strongly they agree or disagree that “to me, it is important to always be reachable, wherever I am”.  Nearly half (42%) of the connected population internationally firmly agreed with the “always reachable” mindset, while 11% firmly disagreed.  Germany, Sweden, Canada and Netherlands had the highest level of disagreement with the importance of being always reachable.

    Safety and security concerns

    Are consumers always concerned about their safety and security?  This was our focus question for July, and we found that 32% of the online population firmly agree that they are “always concerned about my safety and security”.  Brazil and Turkey have the highest levels of safety concern, while Sweden, Germany and Netherlands lead for feeling safe.  Age has little impact on numbers concerned for personal safety and security.

    Home improvement

    Home improvement aspirations was the topic for August, looking at which aspects of the home that people would most like to improve if they could.  39% of those surveyed chose the “interior décor or design” of their home as the area most needing improvement, while “the overall size or layout” and “the furniture” closely followed (38% and 35%, respectively).  Women were more likely to choose décor, while men were more concerned about the size and layout of their homes.

    Health and fitness tracking

    September showed us that a third of the people surveyed track their health or fitness using an online or mobile application, or using a fitness band, clip, or smartwatch.  China leads all countries in this trend, with 45% of its online population monitoring their health and fitness.  Brazil and USA are at 29%, with Germany (28%) and France (26%) following.  China, Russia, France, Australia and Canada have more women tracking their health or fitness than men.

    Physical concerns around aging

    For the month of October, we looked at consumers’ physical concerns around aging and which conditions they worried most about having now or in the future.  Internationally, the top five concerns are eyesight getting poorer, not being as mentally alert, lacking energy, having trouble taking care of themselves physically, and losing mobility / being unable to walk or drive.  In Russia, “losing your teeth” was a top five concern, while “getting wrinkles or sagging skin” rated highly in Japan and Korea.

    Helping others

    The final topic for 2016 looked at how often people in different countries help others or do volunteer work. People in the Netherlands and the USA are the most generous with their time, with a quarter of their online populations helping others or doing volunteer work at least once a week or more. They are followed by Mexicans at 22%. Internationally, less than a quarter of people say they never help others or do volunteer work.















    Find out which topics we will delve into next



    Follow along with our monthly Global Studies














  • GfK and KKR enter into an Investor Agreement to support the long-term growth strategy of GfK
    • 12/08/16
    • Press
    • Global
    • English

    GfK and KKR enter into an Investor Agreement to support the long-term growth strategy of GfK

    GfK SE (“GfK”) and Acceleratio Capital N.V., a holding company controlled by funds advised by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (together with affiliates, “KKR”) today announced that they have signed an investor agreement under which KKR will launch a voluntary public tender offer for all outstanding publicly-traded shares of GfK for EUR 43.50 per share in an all-cash transaction.

  • Reputation drops for top ten countries in 2016
    • 12/08/16
    • Public Services
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Brand and Customer Experience
    • Global
    • English

    Reputation drops for top ten countries in 2016

    Results just released by GfK show that all of the top ten countries in the leading Anholt-GfK Nation Brands IndexSM (NBISM) have suffered falls in their global reputation this year – with eight of those being classed as significant drops. 

  • Germans' 2017 purchasing power to climb 1.7 percent
    • 12/06/16
    • Geomarketing
    • Geodata
    • Global
    • English

    Germans' 2017 purchasing power to climb 1.7 percent

    Germans' 2017 per-capita purchasing power will increase nominally  by 1.7 percent to €22,239. The country's 25 most populous districts alone  comprise one-fourth of Germany's total purchasing power. These are some of the findings  of the 2017 GfK purchasing power study released today.

    • 12/05/16
    • Retail
    • Global
    • English

    Millennials: Are ‘digital natives’ more engaged with e-commerce?

    In a world increasingly active online, more and more questions arise to define the ‘digitally savvy’ population. We know Millennials, those reaching adulthood around the year 2000, have been born into a digital world, but are they more engaged with e-commerce brands?

    Using Millennials as a target group has been criticized, as marketers broadly categorize individuals at different life stages, with different interests and attitudes. However, this cohort of digital natives have already shown differentiating behavior in terms of social media usage, gaming and life priorities including health, marriage, having children or buying a house. For all the myths, Millennials are one of the largest consumer groups in history, they have an affinity with technology and are about to reach their prime working and spending years (Goldman Sachs).

    The E-commerce Elite

    Each year InternetRetailing UK releases a list of the top e-commerce and cross-channel retailers. We have taken the top 50 brands and added them to our GfK Crossmedia Visualizer platform to see how behavior varies among different age groups.

    When looking at the UK online population during the first half of 2016, reach is the highest among the over 45’s, particularly females. This questions the extent to which larger e-commerce and cross-channel retailers have moved their marketing focus towards the Millennial demographic, querying the untapped purchasing potential of this target group. However, although reach amongst Millennials is lower, when looking at the average duration of time spent on these sites those in the young Millennial age group (16-24) over-index significantly. This reflects that although larger retailers don’t reach as high a proportion of Millennials compared to other age groups, those they do reach are more engaged for a much longer duration.


    This higher level of engagement is particularly noticeable for retailers in the areas of Fashion, Personal Care/Cosmetics and Animals/Pets.

    Although young Millennials (16-24) spend more time visiting these sites, they do so less frequently. Younger Millennials therefore may seem difficult to reach, but with engaging content should stay on site for a much greater duration of time.


    So which retail sites have the greatest Millennial reach?

    No demographic group is homogeneous, yet we still find distinct differences for young Millennials compared to other age groups. When looking at the top 20 retail sites that over-index for a Millennial target group compared to the average reach for the total UK online population, sites related to Fashion and Education have much greater reach for young Millennials (16-24). Combined these industries account for 80% of the top 20 sites.


    In comparison, more mature Millennials (25-34) are attracted to a wider variety of e-commerce sites, visiting more general retailers including department stores and multi-content pure play brands. Mature Millennials also shop more for other people including children, engaged with sites relating to Mother/Baby and Toys. This pattern also follows for Millennial retail sites with the greatest level of engagement.

    Young Millennials are the only demographic where the top 20 sites in terms of engagement are mutually exclusive to all other age groups. This implies that Millennials are primarily engaged with brands that directly target their age cohort, including Topshop, Forever21 and Student Beans.

    Do Millennials need all or nothing?

    When looking at the top 20 e-commerce retailers with the greatest Millennial reach and engagement we have found that sites are directly targeted at this specific demographic. Therefore if retailers want to target Millennials they will generate significantly greater levels of engagement with relevant, targeted content.

    However, this is only the case for younger Millennials. We have found key differences in the e-commerce activity of young Millennials (16-24) and more mature Millennials (25-34). Younger Millennials spend a significantly greater amount of time per month visiting the top 50 retailers according to InternetRetailing UK. This is primarily due to Fashion, a key e-commerce industry appealing to young Millennials with brands providing targeted content. This demonstrates an opportunity for e-commerce brands to increase awareness and purchase intent, as the first digitally native demographic reaches its prime.

    Deep drills into the UK’s top e-commerce and cross-channel retailers is just a starting point when getting familiar with your audience’s cross-media and cross-device usage. The above case study on Millennial e-commerce behavior is fully based on data provided by the GfK Crossmedia Visualizer. This cutting edge tool offers up to date, clear and deep insights into all relevant indicators of online usage across different devices (PC, smartphone and tablet). Moreover the internet usage data from this platform is linked to unique users’ consumer profiles, including all relevant socio-demographic data and further profiling attributes such as media usage, TV consumption and lifestyle data.

    Amy Warwick is a digital senior research executive at GfK. For more information or to share your thoughts, please email

  • Remaster your trade marketing to create the perfect promotional tune
    • 12/05/16
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • Global
    • English

    Remaster your trade marketing to create the perfect promotional tune

    Join our promotion and retail expert for our webinar on 15 December and discover how to remaster you below-the-line marketing activities to create the perfect promotional tune.

  • Promotions are particularly popular with young consumers
    • 12/02/16
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Promotion and Causal Retail
    • Connected Consumer
    • Future of Retail
    • Global
    • English

    Promotions are particularly popular with young consumers

    Price comparison sites, product demos, coupons - which promotions appeal most to which age group? See for yourself with our infographic!

    • 12/01/16
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Global
    • English

    5 ways to apply design thinking to UX research




    When I was just starting out as an industrial designer, I can remember rolling my eyes when I heard some prominent designer or design agency talking about how designers were going to save the world. I thought they were a bit full of themselves (and I still do), but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t some value in what they were saying.

    They didn’t have a name for it at the time, but what they were talking about is what we now refer to as design thinking. Design thinking is broad and vaguely defined, and if you ask ten designers what it is you’re likely to get 12 different opinions; but if you examine those various opinions you’ll start to see some themes repeated, reflecting many of the tools that designers use in their process including user-empathy, prototyping as exploration, abductive reasoning, re-framing, and the list goes on. As a starting point, we have identified five tools of design thinking that can be applied in a research context.


    1. Think systemically. Rather than focus on the immediate problem, look for the larger context. You might come to understand the problem better, and you might see solutions that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Famed engineeer Paul MacCready said, “The problem is that we don’t understand the problem.”
    2. Be empathetic. It is vitally important to understand the subject from the user’s point of view. While you benefit from seeing the larger context, you don’t want to fall into the trap of seeing the issues through your lens and not the user’s. If you do, you could end up solving the wrong problem. The most useful piece of software in the world provides no value if the user can’t navigate it.
    3. Linger in ambiguity. Don’t jump to an interpretation or a solution too soon. Allow the question to be ill-defined; allow for multiple possible answers; don’t assume anything. As soon as you think you know the answer, you stop processing new information. Delay that decision point until you have all the data available, and you will make a better decision.
    4. Maintain a result-oriented focus. Instead of focusing on a solution, focus on the end result you are trying to achieve. Blockbuster focused on improving the video rental experience and did quite well, until Netflix focused on video viewing and eclipsed Blockbuster overnight.
    5. Reflect and invite feedback. Examine and re-examine your assumptions, your insights, and your solutions. Seek input from a variety of people, knowledge bases, expertise; imagine your solution in a different scenario, with a different user. Re-test not only to verify your answers, but to identify the next questions.

    Design is a subtle, intuitive, and non-linear process. It cannot simply be mapped and codified into a repeatable, cookie-cutter method, but the principles underlying it can be emulated and applied to other problems including research design. If we can remember these principles when we are planning, conducting, or analyzing research, we will open up new opportunities, generate more meaningful insights, and create richer feedback.

    Perhaps the most important element of design thinking is that—contrary to what those design luminaries would have you believe—it is not restricted to an elite group of people. As Nobel Prize laureate Herbert Simon said, “Everyone designs who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones” (Sciences of the Artificial, 3rd ed., 1996). So, while you may not have the training to design the next ground-breaking smartphone or web search algorithm, you can apply the mindset of design thinking to your area of expertise and go a step further, or maybe even leap beyond.

    Tyler Duston is a User Experience Lead Specialist at GfK. Please email to share your thoughts.















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  • A marginal fall in the Western European technical consumer goods market in Q3 2016
    • 11/30/16
    • Press
    • Home Appliances
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    A marginal fall in the Western European technical consumer goods market in Q3 2016

    GfK TEMAX® results for Western Europe, Q3 2016

  • Tap business-to-business potential with RegioGraph
    • 11/30/16
    • Automotive
    • Geomarketing
    • RegioGraph
    • Global
    • English

    Tap business-to-business potential with RegioGraph

    Efficiency at the press of a button: RegioGraph supports companies of all branches in the optimal use of available resources and regional potential down to the level of street segments. A case study from the business-to-business sector shows how.

  • Generosity lives: Four in ten people help others a minimum of once a month
    • 11/30/16
    • Public Services
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global Study
    • Global
    • English

    Generosity lives: Four in ten people help others a minimum of once a month

    Mexico, USA and Netherlands lead for populations who help others a minimum of once a month. Men slightly ahead of women overall, while 20-29 year olds lead across age groups.

  • Map of the month: GfK Purchasing Power Europe 2016
    • 11/29/16
    • Retail
    • Geomarketing
    • Geodata
    • Geo+RealEstate
    • Picture of the month
    • Global
    • English

    Map of the month: GfK Purchasing Power Europe 2016

    GfK's Map of the Month for November illustrates Europe's purchasing power density at the 2-digit postcode level. Purchasing power density refers to the purchasing power sum per square kilometer (source: "GfK Purchasing Power Europe 2016").