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  • Gamers often run counter to stereotypes: Here’s what you need to know about them
    • 05/15/18
    • Technology
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    Gamers often run counter to stereotypes: Here’s what you need to know about them

    “That was close… watch out!” That was my husband, his eyes fixated on his 32-inch UHD monitor as he coordinated with his squad mates over the microphone-equipped headset to escape death in the massively popular online game Fortnite. The excitement over live actions was palpable, contagious even for me who never really got into multi-player online games or computer games for that matter. My first-hand gaming experience is largely limited to playing Luminosity on my iPhone, for now.

    One way or another, electronic gaming has become an important part of the leisure time for many of us. According to the latest data from GfK Consumer Life, about three in ten online Americans age 15+ now play electronic or video games daily or on most days, up from less than a quarter in 2009. Another 22% do so weekly, and one-tenth play monthly. Younger men remain the most engaged with gaming – nearly six in ten daily gamers are men and the majority (55%) are Millennials or Post-Millennial teens; but women and older Americans have also come to claim a notable share of the pie.

    Contributing to the growing popularity of gaming is a more flexible, engaging, and multi-dimensional experience. Take Fortnite. You have the option to play on gaming consoles, computers, and starting in March this year, iOS mobile devices. You can not only play the game but watch the gameplay live while interacting with the broadcasting player in real-time. In fact, on March 25th, a global Fortnite match orchestrated by popular Spanish YouTuber elrubiusOMG drew in a record of 1.1 million concurrent viewers, shattering the previous record set less than two weeks before on game streaming site Twitch by pro-gamer Ninja and hip-hop icon Drake. The three-and-a-half hour tournament racked up an astonishing total of 42 million views for the entire duration. And it does not stop there. The first Fortnite eSports tournament took place this April in Las Vegas, where hundreds of fans, semi-pros and pro-gamers from all over the country played against Ninja and each other. The riveting event has been hailed as adding a welcome new dimension to the rapidly growing eSports market by allowing casual gamers to not only observe but play alongside pro-gamers.

    Gamers represent an enticing target group for marketers for reasons beyond their sheer size and the rise of eSports or streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming. GfK Consumer Life findings reveal a few key facts about gamers that marketers need to know.

    • Willing to spend: PC gamers, often swearing by the platform for its superiority in graphics, processing power and selection of games, have been fueling the upsurge of gaming PCs even as the overall PC market faced challenges in recent years, motivating computer manufacturers from HP to Dell to boost up their gamer-focused offerings.Gamers’ openness to spend, however, goes well beyond gaming devices or even electronics overall, which these tech enthusiasts are naturally drawn to. With a high level of consumer confidence and often in the acquisition stage of life, gamers – particularly daily and weekly gamers – are substantially more inclined than the rest to plan for large purchases including vehicles, homes and home appliances.
    • Social and influential: That image you may picture when thinking of a hardcore gamer – an isolated “geek” with no social life spending most of his time playing games alone – is far from the reality. Gamers today are among the most social – for example, daily gamers are highly engaged with social media. And many feel that belonging to the groups that share their interest is essential to their wellbeing. After all, with the rise of online multiplayer and social network games, gaming today is often an intensely social experience and gamers are more likely a virtually connected bunch. But gamers’ social experience is by no means limited to teaming up with their gaming buddies to battle for glory in the virtual world. On average, daily gamers spend over an hour more than the rest per week hanging out with friends around town.

    With a broader network and a willingness to connect, gamers are influential. Daily and weekly gamers show a high tendency to make product recommendations to various types of people – from those who share their hobbies and interest to perfect strangers they simply run into at stores. And the majority have posted online reviews in the past month.

    • Beyond function: Gamification is a way of life for devoted gamers. Out of a list of 57 personal values that GfK Consumer Life measures, Having Fun and Excitement are the most differentiating for those who play electronic games at least weekly. And this focus on fun is reflected in their product expectations. Compared to the average American consumer, daily and weekly gamers are more likely to seek out fun and novelty in everyday products and admit that the look, feel and smell of a product is very important to them.
    • Beyond fun: Fun-seeking they may be, the typical gamer today is NOT a laid-back free-spirit only concerned about having a good time. Often Millennials and Post-Millennials trying to establish themselves at work and in life in general, daily and weekly gamers demonstrate a high propensity to fall into the Achievers values segment, a group that prioritizes on getting ahead and obtaining social status. Part of that status comes from being ‘in the know.’ Gamers, especially daily gamers, often want to be seen as knowledgeable and smart. This points to opportunities for not just products that entertain but those that inform and enable productivity.

    While intended for a broader audience, the commercial ‘open your eyes’ for the freshly released Oculus Go – Facebook’s first standalone virtual reality (VR) headset hyped to finally take VR beyond the niche – may actually resonate particularly well with gamers by promoting enrichment through ‘living every story” and learning to “love a life different from your own.’

    In conclusion, gamers – the newfound darling of many marketers across categories – deserve the attention. But stereotypes don’t always apply. To resonate with this group, think enabling fun but also function, and personal achievement but also social connections.

    Veronica Chen is a Vice President on the Consumer Life team at GfK. She can be reached at Veronica.chen@gfk.com

  • Wireless audio equipment still highly demanded in Germany
    • 05/09/18
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    Wireless audio equipment still highly demanded in Germany

    GfK's findings on the German audio market

  • Discover the impact of World Cup Fever 2018 in APAC
    • 05/09/18
    • Technology
    • Singapore
    • English

    Discover the impact of World Cup Fever 2018 in APAC

    The FIFA World Cup is the most prestigious and popular football tournament; highly anticipated and the most widely followed sports competition in the world. With its global reach and high consumer engagement, the spectacular event no doubt, has a significant impact on the global economy when it takes place every four years.

  • How is the VR industry developing?
    • 04/27/18
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    05/17/18 - 05/18/18
    How is the VR industry developing?

    Join us at this year´s VRX Europe in Amsterdam from May 17-18 to hear GfK speak about the latest market trends in VR. 

  • UK Consumer Confidence drops two points to -9 in April
    • 04/27/18
    • Financial Services
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • FMCG
    • United Kingdom
    • English

    UK Consumer Confidence drops two points to -9 in April

    GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index decreased two points in April 2018. Four of the five measures were lower, with the remaining measure increasing.

  • UK Consumer Confidence drops two points to -9 in April
    • 04/27/18
    • Financial Services
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • FMCG
    • Global
    • English

    UK Consumer Confidence drops two points to -9 in April

    GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index decreased two points in April 2018. Four of the five measures were lower, with the remaining measure increasing.

  • Global quarterly smartphone demand down year-on-year though revenue growth remained strong
    • 04/25/18
    • Press
    • Technology
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    Global quarterly smartphone demand down year-on-year though revenue growth remained strong

    Global smartphone demand fell two percent to 347 million units in the first quarter of 2018 (1Q18). 

  • Tapping into people’s need to take a break
    • 04/16/18
    • Technology
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    Tapping into people’s need to take a break

    I had two friends who posted on Facebook recently within hours of each other. One had spent the day at a theme park with her family, all of whom left their phones “in the car ON purpose. Best way to enjoy the day together!” The other had been sharing many stunning photos of a vacation in Egypt; yet on the last day, she decided not to take photos but “just to see with my own eyes.”

    This is hardly surprising. “Experiences are more important than possessions” perpetually ranks among the highest-rated attitudinal statements in the annual GfK Consumer Life global study. It ranks seventh out of 42 statements listed. It also ranks third for teenagers 15-19 and in Canada.

    Taking a tech break

    It is certainly ironic that my friends talked about their tech breaks on social media, yet this reflects the mixed feelings many people have toward technology. Yes, it helps us do many things we could never do before, but people are increasingly recognizing its addictive nature as a real problem. This is something that we warned about two years ago when we found that Technology Leading Edge Consumers were in the forefront of being concerned about this drawback to technology. Fully 45% of global consumers belonging to this early adopter group agreed “I find it difficult to take a break from technology, even when I know I should,” 13 points higher than average.

    Taking a tech break can be easier said than done, of course, and going cold turkey isn’t necessarily the answer. Some brands take a hybrid approach by promoting tech use specifically to make time for real life. For example, Citi is promoting its mobile app with a cute dad-and-kids ad and the slogan “spend the moments in the moment.” The Pocket Points app motivates students to focus on classes; when they lock their phones while on campus, they earn rewards points for local and online merchants.

    Another approach is to take a complete if temporary break from tech. Musician Jack White has banned phones from his upcoming concert tour because he “wants people to live in the moment.” Organizations such as the YMCA and Boy Scouts encourage families to help children take a tech break.

    The Story Inn goes a step further with its slogan “One Inconvenient Location Since 1851.” The Inn is actually a cluster of buildings in a virtual ghost town in Indiana that offers lodgings, dining, and a venue for special events. Rooms are billed as “One Distraction-Free, Tranquil Escape” and have been converted from the likes of a one-room schoolhouse, carriage house, and grain mill. They don’t have TVs, phones or internet service.

    Taking a real-life break

    Vacations represent a different kind of break, a pause from the real life that so many people find stressful. Destinations like Walt Disney World epitomize this type of experience on a grand scale, but an infinite number of products and services can offer mini-breaks at any time and anywhere.

    The Rituals home- and body-care brand emphasizes the benefits of incorporating soothing experiences into everyday life. “They are the seemingly meaningless moments we all tend to overlook. Rituals unveils these moments and reminds you to experience them with joy.” L.L. Bean encourages people to “live every day like it’s the weekend.”

    Then there is literal escapism – the phenomenon of escape rooms, a hybrid of team role-playing and the classic locked-room mystery. Although not for everyone (such as those with claustrophobia), they can provide respite for problem-solving thrill seekers.

    Most people prefer more serene escapes, however. The share of respondents to a GfK Consumer Life global survey who prefer a relaxing vacation over an active one is 62%, up 7 points from 2012. Photos submitted by respondents indicate that sandy beaches top the list of places where people like to relax, followed by other outdoor venues such as forests, lakes, gardens and parks. We don’t need research to tell us that nature makes us feel good, but in fact, research does bear this out.

    And yes, video games provide escapism, too, but it’s important to keep in mind that most people still don’t view virtual experiences on par with the real thing. Just 30% of global consumers agree that “virtual interactions with people and places can be as good as being there in person,” ranking it #40 among 42 attitudinal statements.

    Conclusion

    Virtually every product and service can tap into people’s desire for experiences, whether they be social or solitary, physical or intellectual, tech or non-tech. The key is to understand precisely what kind of experience your customers crave.

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  • Consumers prefer smartphones over digital home assistants as Smart Home controllers
    • 04/16/18
    • Home Appliances
    • Technology
    • Home and Living
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Smart Home
    • Tech Trends
    • United States
    • English

    Consumers prefer smartphones over digital home assistants as Smart Home controllers

    GfK’s 2018 Smart Home report for the US shows that nine in ten (89%) consumers see the smartphone as a controller of home products and services – up from 70% in 2015.

  • Was it Good Friday or Black Friday? Tech Sales Soar at Easter while DIY struggles
    • 04/11/18
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • United Kingdom
    • English

    Was it Good Friday or Black Friday? Tech Sales Soar at Easter while DIY struggles

    The early timing of Easter 2018 combined with crazy weather conditions, has brought about a very different pattern of trade to that seen in previous years. In fact, comparisons between Easter 2018 and 2017 show stark differences for both the Technology and DIY sectors.

  • GfK partners with Deutsche Telekom for bi-annual global employee survey
    • 04/04/18
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    GfK partners with Deutsche Telekom for bi-annual global employee survey

    Deutsche Telekom provides telecommunication and information technology services and solutions to clients in more than 50 countries

  • UK Consumer Confidence rises to -7 in March
    • 03/29/18
    • Fashion and Lifestyle
    • Financial Services
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • FMCG
    • United Kingdom
    • English

    UK Consumer Confidence rises to -7 in March

    Spring is in the air with increases across the board on personal finances, the general economy and purchase intentions 

    GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index increased three points in March 2018.  All five of the constituent measures recorded higher values. 

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