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  • Map of the month: Office Supplies Potential in Austria
    • 07/25/16
    • Geomarketing
    • RegioGraph
    • Regional Market Data
    • Picture of the month
    • Global
    • English

    Map of the month: Office Supplies Potential in Austria

    GfK's Map of the Month for July shows the regional market potential for office-related supplies, including telecommunications and mobile communications devices, internet service providers, PCs, networks, printers, multifunctional devices, projectors, software, office furniture and security systems.

    • 07/21/16
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global Study
    • Global
    • English

    One in three ‘always concerned’ about their safety and security

    Close to a third of the online population across 21 countries firmly agree that they are always concerned about their safety and security. Brazil and Turkey have highest levels of people concerned; Sweden, Germany and Netherlands lead for feeling safe. Women not always more safety concerned than men.

    • 07/20/16
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    Pokémon Go: Consumers are playing with their privacy

    Pokémon Go is the new augmented reality game released by Niantic over the last two weeks that has taken the world and social media by storm. Players take the role of Pokémon trainers, and use their smartphones to capture monsters that are overlaid onto the real world using the smartphone’s camera. They are tasked with collecting all 151 Pokémon, and game play also includes using real world locations as PokéStops – where special items can be found, and Pokémon Gyms – where players can battle Pokémon left by other trainers.

    Security concerns around personal data

    On Tuesday 11th July security concerns around Pokémon Go were widely reported in the news media. These stemmed from the iPhone version of the app asking for full permission to access the Google accounts of users after it was installed. This level of permission includes access to Google Maps history, Google searches, and even the ability to read Gmail messages.

    Niantic reacted quickly to this and updated the app on Tuesday, releasing a statement saying that this was an error and they are working on a client-side fix so Pokémon Go only has access to basic profile data.

    Pokémon Go as an outlier: Does security really matter to consumers?

    According to research conducted in 2015 by GfK Consumer Life, 48% of consumers in the USA and 37% of consumers in the UK agree that “It is very important to actively manage my online identity and personal information”.

    However since its release Pokémon Go has held the number one position in the App Store. Whilst download information is not made publicly available, it is safe to assume that downloads of the game numbered in the millions, even before Niantic updated the permissions required.

    This means that millions of consumers were prompted to confirm that the application could have full access to their Google account and chose to accept.

    This begs the question: How much do consumers really care about their data? If the latest gaming craze is enough to convince consumers to allow this level of access, do these claims around the importance of privacy add up in real life? At what point does a product or service become attractive enough that concerns around privacy no longer matter?

    A powerful tool in understanding consumer behavior

    If nothing else this is a reminder of how much information mobile devices collect, and how easy it is for smartphone users to allow third parties to access this information without really considering the consequences.

    Even with the new lower levels of permissions Pokémon Go is still collecting GPS, profile and account information.  This allows them to build up a robust set of location data alongside identifiable information, a very powerful tool in understanding consumer behavior.

    But the story doesn’t end here – in addition to gathering valuable information passively, augmented reality games can also be used to influence consumer behavior.

    A new frontier: Advertising in virtual/augmented reality

    Niantic have previously worked with brands such as Softbank and AXA to include in-game advertising in their virtual reality worlds, and the developers have stated that they plan to do the same with Pokémon Go.

    Players of Ingress can use in-game items to give them an advantage over their opponents. The game includes rare and improved versions of these items in the form of the ‘SoftBank Ultra Link’ and the ‘AXA Shield’. The AXA Shield is more likely to be obtained by the player when they visit an AXA location, encouraging the players who want the very best items to engage with partner brands.

    Similarly in the not too distant future Pokémon trainers will be able to visit real world brick and mortar locations of Niantic’s partners to receive additional items or other in game benefits.

    Thus the real power of augmented reality games lies not only in the wealth of information brands are able to collect on users, but also on the ability to influence behavior in the real world via benefits offered in the virtual world.

    Jack Millership is a Research Manager of Market Opportunity and Innovation at GfK. Please email him at to share your thoughts.

    This article first appeared in ResearchLive 19/07/16.

    • 07/19/16
    • Global
    • English

    Can brands provide the leadership that Americans desire?

    What do Americans want in a leader? What are their hopes and dreams for the country? What are the deeply held values that will resonate with them? Over the next two weeks, the Republican and Democratic parties will be addressing those questions in their national conventions. But what the parties say may be more reflective of their bases and establishment than what people are feeling.

    Research by GfK Consumer Life suggests that Americans increasingly are yearning for a kind of society that their divided, divisive political system may not be capable of giving them. Don’t be surprised if Americans turn more to you – the stewards of businesses and brands they love – to manifest what’s in their hearts and minds.

    Character-based leadership

    Ironically, as the parties are poised to nominate two presidential candidates who are widely distrusted, Americans increasingly want leaders they can believe in. When asked which of 14 qualities are important to them in leaders, the three most cited are:


    1. “Accountable – is responsible, admits and learns from mistakes”
    2. “Honest – always tells the truth”
    3. “Integrity – is the same person in all settings”

    And this focus on character has strengthened over the past decade.  In contrast, “strong – always sticks to his/her guns, never backs down, never wavers” and “experienced – has been through a lot and draws on the past,” two qualities that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have largely positioned their campaigns on, rank dead last.

    Much more important are to be “knowledgeable,” “a good listener,” and “flexible,” ranked 4th-6th on the list.

    Ambitious but socially conscious

    For more than a year, we have seen the country and world in the midst of the most marked-values shift in almost a decade. The independent-minded, go-it-alone individuality that America is known for has, in fact, faded to the background. We’re becoming more a nation of strivers – hungering for prosperity – but also a nation more focused on being smart and socially conscious.

    This blend is reflected in the personal values rising most among Americans. Ambition, knowledge, and open-mindedness are up most. Equality, self-interest, simplicity, and social responsibility are also up markedly.

    This blend of values is echoed when Americans are asked what describes their ideal society. Desired most: A society “where anyone can rise to the top, solely on their ability”, that “actively encourages” work-life balance, with “strong local communities where people, support and take care of each other”, where “anyone can be elected to public office regardless of how much money they have”, and where “people are accepted and treated as equal regardless of their sexual/gender identity”. Solid majorities across political affiliations, generations and gender agree.

    The two strands of achieving and social consciousness can produce tension. One way to look at the current tensions in America is as a reflection of these forces. But they don’t have to be mutually exclusive. And we see this in the research. Most “Achievers,” the GfK Values Type embodying principles like ambition, self-interest, wealth and status also put a high value on open-mindedness, equality, and tolerance.

    Brands and the role of social stewardship

    You can already see this new blended vision in the marketplace. It’s in the growing appreciation of social stewardship – and not just for corporate social responsibility (CSR) darlings like Toms shoes or Warby Parker. A good current example is Mini’s “Takes the States,” the carmaker’s annual owners’ rally. Each year it links to a social cause. This year, in partnership with Feeding America, it’s fighting hunger. The Wall Street Journal ad campaign for the effort is also a model for storytelling combining video, text and graphics.

    Leadership can also be putting forth a vision – as the Ad Council did in its recent release of John Cena riffing on what America means. Or just saying you can reach your dreams no matter where you began, as Nike did in its recent Ronaldo ad, the most-watched spot on YouTube in June.

    In a year when people are looking for something to believe in, brands may be the answer. Character-based leadership, ambition, and social consciousness – the qualities people want in leaders – can also be the growth path for business.

    Jon Berry is a vice president and consultant for GfK Consumer Life. Email to share your thoughts.

  • ‘Always concerned’ about safety and security: 21 country comparison
    • 07/19/16
    • Global Study
    • Global
    • English

    ‘Always concerned’ about safety and security: 21 country comparison

    One in three of the online population across 21 countries are ‘always concerned’ about their safety and security.

  • Global study: safety concerns
    • 07/19/16
    • Global Study
    • Global
    • English

    Global study: safety concerns

    One in three of the online population across 21 countries are ‘always concerned’ about their safety and security.

  • Optimizing regional sales potential through key market insights
    • 07/14/16
    • Consumer Goods
    • Geomarketing
    • RegioGraph
    • Global
    • English

    Optimizing regional sales potential through key market insights

    Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu is a regional German brewery. They use our geomarketing software to analyze and objectively evaluate its regional sales and then optimize its business.

  • GfK Effective Packaging
    • 07/14/16
    • GfK PackEdge
    • Global
    • English

    GfK Effective Packaging

    A turnkey and scalable solution to optimize your package designs before they hit the shelves.

    • 07/13/16
    • Consumer Goods
    • Global
    • English

    How to take control of the shopper’s purchase journey




    Understanding the shopper’s purchase journey is one of the toughest challenges manufacturers and retailers are facing today. However, armed with the intelligence on what route shoppers take when making a purchase, how different online and offline touchpoints influence their purchase decision, and which media they are exposed to, you can optimize your omnichannel strategy. So what do you need to do to take more control of the shopper’s purchase journey?

    Make sure your brand can be found

    Shoppers of all ages invest a significant amount of time in researching their purchases. Often they turn to their phone first to search online for products. However, they also use their mobile device at other points along the purchase journey. For example, 40% of shoppers use their mobile device to compare prices while in-store, according to our FutureBuy 2015 survey1. You therefore need to ensure that your brand’s website is optimized for mobile, that your products and brand come at the top of any relevant search, and that your pricing is consistent across every channel.


    Don’t forget the crucial role of the store

    More than half (51%) of shoppers buy in-store because they want to see and feel products before they buy them2. You can’t underestimate the role of the store in helping shoppers to make up their minds about a purchase. Guiding shoppers to shelves and signage featuring your product, ensuring tester products are immediately available, and providing advice to help them with decisions are all important parts of controlling the shopper’s journey.

    Enhance and amplify your brand with social media

    Don’t forget that the purchase journey can be a social experience. While in-store, 36% of today’s Connected Consumers take pictures of products with their mobile device, while 40% use it to contact family or friends for advice3. But consumers don’t just publicize their “likes” and share pictures online. They also make their “dislikes” and complaints known too. By listening to conversations on social media, you can use this intelligence to accentuate the positive aspects of your brand and to respond to potentially negative comments quickly. It will also help you to understand what information your future customers need, enabling you to provide it for them.


    Understand media consumption behavior

    According to our Global Young Shopper survey4, 18% of young shoppers discover personal care products through adverts in magazines and newspapers, while 36% discover them through digital advertising. With this type of information, you can gain a cross-media perspective and optimize your ad spend.

    Develop strategies that overcome barriers to purchase

    With 42% of shoppers citing delivery charges as a barrier to buying online, pureplay brands will need to develop strategies to address this5. Omnichannel brands, on the other hand, will need to ensure that their product is always in stock, both online and offline, and that consumers can purchase it at their convenience.

    Take more control

    You can win back some control over the purchase journey through your own brand’s website and communications, for example, by offering web visitors rewards such as vouchers, introductory offers and free gifts in exchange for their email address. The benefits of encouraging consumers to visit your brand’s website are evident in the fact that FMCG companies experience a 44% uplift in sales share where customers have visited the brand’s site prior to purchase6>.

    In summary, by understanding shoppers’ purchase journeys, you can plan your ominchannel strategy to include all key touchpoints, optimize your marketing and communication strategies, tailor messaging and prioritize touchpoints that drive sales, and manage media planning to capture all opportunities.

    Email to share your thoughts.















    Interested to find out more?



    Follow the shopper’s purchase journey here
















    1 Future Buy 2015 survey of 25,000 respondents across 25 markets

    2 Future Buy 2015 survey of 25,000 respondents across 25 markets

    3 GfK survey among 25,000+ mobile users (ages 15+) in 23 countries – global average – rounded

    4 GfK Global Young Shopper survey of 7,040 respondents across 10 markets

    5 Future Buy 2015 survey of 25,000 respondents across 25 markets

    6 GfK GXL Media Efficiency Benchmark (Germany)











  • Consumer climate in Europe increases significantly
    • 07/13/16
    • Press
    • Financial Services
    • Public Services
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    Consumer climate in Europe increases significantly

    All in all, however, the consumer climate for the EU28 underwent a considerable increase from March to June 2016, rising by 4.1 points to 13.1 points.

    • 07/11/16
    • Consumer Goods
    • Global
    • English

    3 things businesses can learn from the direct selling industry

    Though media has popularized the rise of the peer to peer economy through the lens of Silicon Valley tech-fueled juggernauts, the direct selling industry – arguably the granddaddy of networked personal selling – is thriving in America. At the Direct Selling Association’s annual meeting last month, we had the opportunity to discuss the industry’s key fundamental practices that can be applied to any business’ strategy for success.

    Adapt to a more flexible workforce

    According to the Direct Selling Association, over 20 million Americans were involved in direct selling in 2015, with roughly 90% working part-time.  Direct selling is an increasingly appealing opportunity as four in ten Americans already work in “non-traditional arrangements,” that is to say, part-time, self-employed, temporary or contract work. As recent results from GfK Consumer Life indicate, our attitudes towards employment are changing. Only one in four Americans now aspire most to the traditional full-time job outside the home. On the other hand, 54% are interested in going into business for themselves, while 74% of aging Boomers readily admit that they want to “work off and on when they choose to” in retirement.

    As Americans increasingly seek flexible job opportunities and/or secondary income opportunities, expect corporations to foster the entrepreneurial spirit, while employer/employee relationships become increasingly driven by productivity over loyalty.

    Streamline the shopping journey

    Expedite product experiences – One of the key tenets of direct selling is personal interaction. In our age of information transparency and convenient e-commerce, 63% of Americans still do not like shopping online because they can’t see, touch or try on before they buy. Further, by providing a more curated selection of brands and solutions, the direct seller is a welcome alternative for the rising population of Americans (now over 52%) who are suffering information overload when making purchases. It’s not surprising that traditional retailers are revamping their stores into experiential centers.

    Build trusted influence – 80% of Americans claim that there are so many ads, they don’t even pay attention to them anymore. And with only 1 in 3 trusting advertising messaging, cutting through clutter and building trust are perennial marketing challenges, ones that most direct sellers can leapfrog by interacting directly with the end user. So, it’s no surprise when family members and friends are consistently the most trusted sources for product information or ideas. Our consumption choices may be increasingly influenced through social networks, but personal networking for direct selling not only delivers product intimacy, it also allows for customized selling experiences tailored down to the party or individual audience member by someone they know or have come to trust.

    Online retailers are beginning to adopt this approach. Trunk Club, a men’s e-commerce clothier, assigns members a personal assistant who develops a targeted understanding of their clients’ needs with the goal of delivering an increasingly bespoke selection of products.

    Capitalize on consumer trends

    Today, Americans value their health more greatly than a secure retirement or even a happy marriage. It’s also the #1 thing they want to improve on, with over 50% willing to spend the time AND money to do it. It’s no coincidence, then, that over 1/3 of direct selling revenue in 2015 was generated in the health and wellness industry, the fastest growth area in the past 3 years.

    Additionally, 56% of Americans (and two in three Millennials) are increasingly looking for novelty and fun in their shopping experience, even for everyday products. Rodan + Fields, for example, developed an interactive skincare solution tool, providing consumers with customized product recommendations based on their key skincare issues and unique situations.

    As consumers seek out the next big thing, marketers can take a lesson from agile direct sellers who recognize the need to innovate faster than the pace of change in order to thrive against their competitors and compete against the general market.


    As new business models continue to emerge, marketers need to continuously reevaluate their alignment with a changing American workforce, reconcile the need for both analog and digital selling models, and innovate along with both macro and nascent consumer trends.

    Eric Wagatha is a Senior Vice President of the Consumer Life division of GfK. Please email to share your thoughts.

    • 07/08/16
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Global
    • English

    Does everybody need to do everything to do video right?

    If you were to cook up a video service for subscribers today, what ingredients would you need?

    The recipe for success would surely include a significant measure of exclusive content, mixed with a generous combination of subscriber and other data sets, served with full control over brand, content and delivery. And of course, appetizing presentation would also be crucial, regardless of screen size.

    But we’ve inherited a rather different offering, and the video content industry – previously horizontally split into studios creating content, and operators and networks curating and distributing it – is now gravitating towards a vertically integrated end-to-end model, inspired by Netflix and Amazon Prime. At the IBC conference in Amsterdam on September 10, 2016, a panel of industry leaders and experts will discuss how they see the future of video emerging.

    Getting the right recipe – Exclusive content, Flexibility, and Ease of Use

    The overwhelming reason that users sign up to Netflix is for its original content. In the GfK SVOD content consumption tracker, we have seen the importance of exclusive content grow, mirroring Netflix’s increasing investment in producing its own programming. Netflix-owned titles make up half of the top ten titles viewed on the service, and include dramas like “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black”, as well as factual series such as “Making a Murderer”.

    Amazon too is investing more in content creation, though it’s not yet the principal reason to subscribe. This is already changing, however, and we expect massive publicity and advertising around the launch of its original content series, such as the multi-million pound UK investment in “The Grand Tour”.

    Flexibility and ease of access – enabled by end-to-end control of content, platform and subscribers – are also key elements that underpin the attractiveness and value of subscription video on demand (SVOD) services. Our tracking shows that, far from being watched on the move and on mobile devices, the majority of content is viewed at home and on a TV screen. This is where the vertical integration of some services pays dividends, as they also control the method of delivery. More than half (54 percent) of viewing events for Now TV are watched on a TV screen using another device, and two thirds of these are through the Now TV box. The Amazon Fire device also drives most of the connected viewing for Amazon. The fact that Amazon can control the distribution of its app across connected devices, including its own branded product, adds more value for users.

    Finally, ease of use is crucial, too. Viewscape, our new global viewing study, shows that Netflix rates higher on satisfaction metrics than almost every other digital video provider in the UK, with the exception of BBC’s iPlayer.

    What’s next? SVOD and going direct

    For decades the industry has prospered with horizontally segmented industry models. If this indeed is the only blueprint, then it has huge implications for licensed content owners, broadcasters, networks, cable operators – even (smart) television manufacturers.

    Many players that have previously been part of the existing industry models are contemplating launching end-to-end vertical SVOD services. Going direct is a global trend. It is true for broadcasters (Globo’s AVOD launch in Brazil, November 2015), media owners (Turner’s FilmStruck, TYVO by Doğuş Media Group for Turkish drama) and cable operators (Sky’s Now TV). With everyone trying to go direct, will all these different services actually reach their respective targeted audiences or will there have to be consolidation?

    The industry – to some extent – has answers here, too. Smart TV manufacturers like Samsung are vying to become over-the-top content (OTT) hubs which help manage different “light” subscriptions. Even more interesting is Amazon’s move to offer its new Streaming Partner’s Program, which bundles video subscription services à la carte.

    The result could be a few powerful hubs with a menu of “light” subscriptions available. The key question for the future landscape is which players will be able to offer a hub, and which will have to become subsidiary services to the hub?

    I can’t wait to see what our panel of senior industry leaders and influencers including Christian Brent from Fox, Francesco Venturini of Accenture, Martin Guillaume from Ericsson, William Linders from UPC and Efe Cakarel of MUBI will have to say about the future of SVOD on 10th September.

    For more information about the conference and the main program, visit