Month: March 2023


Not Just Tesla: EVs Come Into Their Own in the U.S. Auto Market

  • March 30, 2023

  • Eyes4Research

Over the past few years, electric vehicles (EVs) have experienced a rise in popularity as costs of production have decreased, and the benefits of clean transportation have come into sharper view for consumers, thanks to more effective awareness campaigns. In addition, charging stations are becoming more available around the country, which has also contributed to a rise in EV adoption. 

But as EVs have become more popular, they have still lagged behind the sales of other cars– until 2022. Marking a decline for the first time in a decade, fewer cars were sold overall in the U.S. in 2022 compared to the year before. But out of the vehicles that consumers did buy last year, more of them were electric. EV sales jumped by more than two-thirds in 2022 compared to 2021, with EVs accounting for 5.8% of new car sales.  Helping to encourage consumers to go electric is the EV tax credit, which was provided in the Inflation Reduction Act. It is expected that the EV tax credit will continue to boost demand for electric cars over the next few years, setting the U.S. on pace to reach its goal of 50% of the EV market share by 2030, a significant increase from the current 6% position.

The Growing EV Market Share 

While EV pioneer Tesla was still the market leader in 2022, with 64% of the share, that number was down from 66% in the previous quarter. Newcomers like Rivian and Lucid did not account for much of the burst in EV sales last year, but both manufacturers have boosted their production and have their sights set on gaining ground in 2023 and having more of a presence in the market in the near future.  Newcomers as well as legacy automakers are trying to catch up to Tesla and capture their share of the growing demand for electric vehicles.  

New models of EVs are being introduced to the market, appealing to an increasing group of auto buyers who have been weary of electric vehicles up to this point. GM, Hyundai, and Ford are out front and leading the other automakers who are working their way deeper into the EV market with the production of the Chevy Bolt EV, Hyundai IQONIC 5, and the Mustang Mach-E

Can Production Keep Up With Demand? 

With consumer preferences shifting towards embracing electric vehicles, one of the crucial questions is whether manufacturers will be able to keep pace with the increasing demand. Production capabilities will be under the microscope as automakers race to secure the necessary battery materials to build EVs at scale. According to a recent article by Bloomberg, by the end of 2022, the production of fully electric vehicles accounted for 7% of North American car production, up from 4.7% the year earlier. 

But First, More Charging Stations

To meet the demands of more EVs hitting the road in the U.S., there will need to be at least about 13 million charging stations in place by 2030 to account for the growing electric vehicle infrastructure needs. For reference, there are currently only 56,256 charging locations around the country. 

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has made $5B available for installing charging stations across the country, including along the interstates as well as in urban areas in convenient and safe locations. President Biden has pledged that the government will fund the installation of 500,000 chargers. 

Read more about EVs and the automotive industry on the Eyes4Research blog. Eyes4Research also has everything you need to collect high-quality insights from automobile owners. Our panels are comprised of B2B, B2C, and specialty audiences ready to participate in your next research project. Learn more about our automobile owners panel and our other specialty panels here.


Blast from the Past: The Power of Nostalgia Marketing

  • March 28, 2023

  • Eyes4Research

Even though the memories and the moments that trigger them differ, the complex emotion of nostalgia is one that resonates with every generation. It is that specific combination of bittersweet happiness and longing for a time gone by that some marketers have successfully leveraged over the years. Let’s take a look at nostalgia marketing and what it takes to execute an effective nostalgia marketing strategy. 

What is Nostalgia Marketing?

Nostalgia marketing is a common strategy that takes well-known pop culture highlights from decades past and uses them to infuse new life into contemporary marketing campaigns to build trust with consumers. In short, nostalgia marketing taps into an audience’s fond memories and transfers that positive sentiment to a brand.

Why Nostalgia Marketing Works with Consumers

  • It evokes emotion

Revisiting old television shows, movies, music, and other pop culture moments will always evoke emotion in sentimental audiences. 

  • It makes people feel comfortable

Nostalgia marketing draws from a time that it perceived to be more ‘simple’. When brands align themselves with these memories, they can boost sentiment by tapping into that feeling of comfort, before the pressures of adulthood, like mortgages, children, car payments and the like made life more complicated and stressful. 

  • It’s relatable

Anyone who has spent time on social media has seen the ‘Only 80’s Kids Remember’ memes. Of course, whatever is on the list will be things that people from other generations will remember too, but it doesn’t make the content any less relatable to the target audience. Regardless of the generation a brand aims to reach, pinpointing a specific memory will forge an immediate connection with the audience. 

  • It creates more authentic campaigns

An effective nostalgia marketing campaign makes an audience feel like a brand is ‘one of them’. Drawing from shared experiences and finding common ground with an audience helps campaigns resonate on a deeper level. 

Creating a Successful Nostalgia Marketing Campaign

  • Know your audience

The first step in any effective marketing campaign is knowing the audience. For a nostalgia marketing campaign, it’s important that a brand uses data to know the age of its target audience. Once a brand knows how old its audience is, it will be able to dig into the pop culture archives and pull out the moments to create new content that will resonate with its target consumer. 

  • Pair the old with the new

Finding the right juxtaposition is an effective strategy to demonstrate the growth of a brand or of an industry in general. For example, a fitness brand could feature clips of retro workout apparel by showing an aerobics class from the 80s to communicate how the retro gear inspired its new collection. Beauty brands often do this when demonstrating how a new product is easier to apply or has been formulated with more advanced technology than an earlier version of the product. 

  • Encourage Audience Participation

Brands should never let an opportunity to collect user-generated content (UGC) pass them by. If brands are sharing content from their past, they should ask their audience to do the same. By keeping an eye on content created by its consumers, brands can build an archive of content that they can use to showcase the loyalty of their customers for years to come. 

  • Leverage brand history 

Brands that are established and have been around long enough to have an audience of young people who have grown into adulthood have content that they can pull from when this audience were children. This could be reviving an old campaign or some other type of memorable promotion. 

A more recently launched brand could do something similar by sourcing older content related to the industry in general. The strength of this approach is demonstrating how the industry has changed, or how technology has evolved over time. It serves as a reminder to the audience of how things used to be when they were younger. 

Nostalgia marketing gives brands an opportunity to dig through the archives and pull from content that resonates with their target audience. To add even more firepower to this strategy, brands should leverage content from creators who share the same memories and can connect with their fans. 

Read more about branding and marketing on the Eyes4Research blog. Eyes4Research also has everything you need to collect high-quality insights from consumers. Our panels are comprised of B2B, B2C, and specialty audiences ready to participate in your next research project. Learn more about our specialty panels here.  You can also download our new Advertising study here to learn more about consumer attitudes toward advertising. 


4 Important Elements to Consider When Building Your Brand

  • March 23, 2023

  • Eyes4Research

Brand building is not something that happens overnight. Before a product hits the shelves, and before a popular jingle is heard for the first time, comes the slow and thoughtful work of putting the puzzle pieces of a brand together. A company’s brand is its most important asset. Consumers are likely to be more familiar with a brand than they are with the company behind it. 

When deciding what a brand should look like, feel like, and even sound like, there are some important points that brands should consider before introducing themselves to the world. A strong brand is a collection of well-executed elements that will set it apart from its competition. 

What are Brand Elements?

The different components of a brand are comprised of various elements. These include not only visual details (image, color, text) but also the components that distinguish it from similar brands– what makes a brand truly unique. Well-crafted brand elements attract and retain loyal customers, as well as create a stronger workplace and motivate employees. 

All brand elements are strategic– they contribute to building the company and its image, regardless of the demographics of the target audience. There are many elements that can be employed to create a successful brand, but there are 4 to keep in mind to stand out in the market. 

Brand Essence

The most essential part of a brand is what it represents– its values, mission, and its goals. What a brand stands for is how people will connect or not, with it. This becomes the foundation of the brand’s story and is useful for more than just the marketing strategy. It is helpful for the brand’s team to keep in mind during the decision-making process to make sure that consumer-facing efforts accurately represent the brand. 

Brand Positioning

Brand positioning is comprised of all of the aspects that affect a brand’s position in the market. A brand’s status is often one of the reasons that a consumer will choose one brand over another. Brand positioning is shaped by understanding its target audience, something that can be achieved through market research

The data collected through research can tell a brand what its target audience is already getting from a competitor, and what the brand can offer that audience that is different from what is already on the market. Once a brand has determined who its target audience is and who its competition is, it can create a brand positioning strategy. This helps set the direction for crafting the other brand elements. 

Brand Personalization

Consumers expect a lot from brands. They want to connect with them on a deeper level and want to feel like a brand’s story provides something that resonates with them. Brands have learned how to appeal to their consumers as people and they have learned how to adapt to what attracts their attention. A brand’s personality includes elements like brand voice and language– they help illustrate how a brand intends to communicate with its target audience. 

Regarding language, brands should be sure to adapt their language to that of their intended consumer. This is another example of where doing the proper market research is crucial, as it will tell you exactly how your audience communicates, and what kind of messaging with effectively connect with them. 

Brand Communication

Every brand has something to say to its audience. What is important is knowing the most effective way to convey that message to consumers. This is where having a strong communication strategy is essential. Effective communication is part of the marketing strategy and an important branding element. It should be established with the most important parts of your business in mind– brand name, slogan, and message. 

While the fact that a brand’s name and slogan should be catchy and easy to remember is obvious, honing the message and story of a brand is not as simple. A brand’s core messaging represents what it wants to communicate to its audience. But it’s clear that a brand cannot keep repeating the same words over and over again, across all of its channels. Brands should create a set of key messages that will shape the consumers’ perception of the brand and will help light the way for the main communication strategy. 

Read more about branding and marketing on the Eyes4Research blog. Eyes4Research also has everything you need to collect high-quality insights from consumers. Our panels are comprised of B2B, B2C, and specialty audiences ready to participate in your next research project. Learn more about our specialty panels here.


How the Internet of Things Will Impact Business in 2023

  • March 23, 2023

  • Eyes4Research

While the Internet of Things (IoT) is not a term that the average person is using every day, it is safe to say that the average person is indeed deeply engaged in the Internet of Things every day, as a result of the devices that they use daily. IoT has seen steady growth in applications for business, household use, workplaces, and as a way to connect people and municipal functions in cities. 

As a quick refresher, the Internet of Things is a term that describes the ecosystem of devices and technologies that are connected to the internet that is constantly collecting and transmitting data to be implemented and analyzed. Connected cars and smart appliances and smart cities are examples of IoT that we use every day and have become more commonplace in short order. With IoT continuing to grow, businesses need to keep these technologies on their radar and take advantage of how they can leverage IoT to fuel their own growth and refine their operations. 

What is Expected of IoT in 2023?

This year, IoT is forecast to continue its explosive expansion, with the number of installed IoT devices predicted to hit 30.9 billion by 2025. This expansion will be the result of increased investment on the development side, which translates to increased incentives for designing and producing IoT hardware and developing and applying the software aspect of IoT, which is also rapidly growing. When you consider the fact that IoT technologies are being adopted globally at a faster rate than the adoption of electricity and telephones, it helps to put its outstanding growth into more perspective. There are a few trends to keep an eye on this year that are the drivers of the growth of IoT. 

Healthcare Applications

The pandemic helped give rise to innovative solutions in healthcare, and that will be one of the trends that will drive the expansion of IoT in 2023. The development of personalized smart medical devices like smartwatches, fitness trackers, and smart scales are examples of how these innovations that made sense for business have become practical realities for patients and consumers. 

The primary benefit of these devices is that they are able to analyze and transmit highly accurate measurements of the body’s indicators, which allows treatments to be administered accordingly. It can also allow physicians to monitor the efficacy of their treatments or take notice of side effects and adjust their treatments, meaning that the patient will spend less time dealing with those side effects and get the best possible application of their course of treatment. 

Smart Cities

Smart cities have evolved recently to incorporate a variety of IoT data collection techniques. The goal of smart cities is to provide a more citizen-friendly, economically, and financially viable way to manage large metropolitan areas. This trend is expected to continue to help fuel IoT growth in 2023. These smart cities use connected sensors, lights, and meters to collect and analyze data, which is then used to improve infrastructure and utilities. 

Amsterdam is an interesting example of how smart cities work– as one of the first cities in Europe to fully embrace an integrated smart city model, its citizens are incentivized with energy storage units when they connect their homes to the smart grid. Having homes connected to the grid allows for the current and the voltage of the electricity grid to be constantly monitored, resulting in increased efficiency and reduced energy costs. 

Data Analysis

Data is an important weapon for any business to have in its arsenal. It gives a team the information they need to lay the groundwork for an effective strategy and execute it. Buying and selling IoT data is predicted to become even more essential to the development of IoT in 2023, as it continues to play a substantial part in the development of data collection and analytics. A good example of this is the application of IoT devices in the supply chain sector. The collection and transmission of data at intersection points along the chain allow companies to avoid crises and minimize their impact. 

Read more about the latest tech trends on the Eyes4Research blog. Eyes4Research also has everything you need to collect high-quality insights from tech consumers. Our panels are comprised of B2B, B2C, and specialty audiences ready to participate in your next research project. Learn more about our specialty panels here.


Consumers and the Future of the Film Industry

  • March 10, 2023

  • Eyes4Research

Since their inception in the early 20 th century, Hollywood and the film industry have been
major drivers of consumer pop culture. There’s no doubt that Hollywood is synonymous
with modern American culture, and as the film industry has influenced American
consumer habits, Americans were historically the biggest supporters of the industry. In
2020, though, many things changed. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, China
overtook North America as the largest box office territory in gross receipts and the rise
in Chinese and Indian cinema has challenged Hollywood’s global hegemony in the
industry. Perhaps even more important, the emergence of online streaming services
has also challenged the traditional American cinema. In this new, post-COVID cinema
landscape, film and cinema companies will only be successful if they understand
consumers’ changing tastes and the trends that will affect the industry in the years

Hollywood may have been a major force behind American consumerism, but consumer
trends have also affected how the film industry has done business and will continue to
do so in the future. Even before COVID closed down cinemas across the country, many
permanently, consumer tastes were moving away from the “in theater” movie
experience. In a 2018 study about consumers’ movie watching habits, 28% of the
respondents strongly preferred to watch movies in a theater, while those who preferred
streaming were 15%. Two years later, in June 2020, those numbers were nearly
inverted from 14% preference for the theater and 36% for streaming. Although COVID
certainly played a role in that inversion, streaming already had a large audience before

the pandemic and the trend was well underway. These numbers raise the questions:
what’s the future for the cinema industry and how does that future affect the average

An examination of current film and cinema industry trends, as well as the emergence of
streaming services, particularly day-and-day release, reveals that this new
entertainment paradigm is not so simple. The film and cinema industries will have to
adapt to new consumer tastes, while the streaming services will constantly seek to
replace empty theater seats with more downloads from the comfort of one’s home.
Ultimately, successful brands will realize that consumers want more choice and freedom
to consume movies and content in a variety of different ways, on a plethora of different

Welcome to Hollywood!
There’s no doubt that America is the home of the global film industry. The oldest and
first film studios began in Hollywood in the early 1900s, although inventor Thomas
Edison almost made West Orange, New Jersey the epicenter of the film industry in the
late 1800s. The first sound films hit cinemas in the late 1920s, and by that time a film
culture had taken hold across the country. Americans of all backgrounds, in all regions,
enjoyed spending their disposable income at movie theaters, and even after the Great
Depression hit in the 1930s, Americans continued to patronize movie theaters as a form
of escape. The emergence of affordable televisions, and television studios in the late
1950s, didn’t change Americans’ movie going habits much either, as the two forms of

media peacefully coexisted for decades, offering different niches for American
consumers. But by the 1990s new technologies began to challenge the dominance of
the cinema.

As computers became more affordable and the World Wide Web became accessible to
a wide percentage of the population in the 1990s, entrepreneurs began reimagining how
people watched moves. Video cassette recording (VCR) machines was the standard
consumer technology used to watch movies at home during the 1980s and most of the
1990s, but by the late 1990s digital music disk DVD (DVD) machines and streaming
was becoming more common, with the latter eventually disrupting the home
entertainment space as well as the cinema/theater. Facilitated by increased bandwidth
and affordable internet access, companies were able to offer their customers on-
demand access to movies “streamed” on-line.

Video rental company Netflix made the first leap into streaming in 2007, and by 2008 its
streamed content surged past its DVD rentals. The business model was a success, so
within a few years other notable companies – including Hulu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV,
Disney+, and HBO Max – followed with their own streaming, on-demand movie
services. Despite the phenomenal growth of streaming brands in the 2010s, though,
movie theaters continued to have the monopoly on first-releases. But the events of 2020
changed many things in the world, including how people consumed movies.

COVID and the Film Industry

Before the COVID pandemic disrupted the global film and cinema industry, streaming
services were setting the stage of things to come with day-and-date/simultaneous
releases. Simultaneous releases are films that are released in theaters and on
streaming services, simultaneously, giving both consumers and film studios more
choices. The new trend began in the 2000s with independent films and small film
studios, but greatly increased when the COVID pandemic hit in 2020. Movie theater
companies were immediately faced with a new paradigm that offered more choices to
the consumer.

Although consumers were forced into this new entertainment paradigm, they quickly
accepted the reality. By May 2020, 62% of US adults subscribed to at least one
streaming service. Overall, the number of Americans who subscribed to streaming
services doubled from an already large number of 125 million to about 250 million, and
perhaps more importantly, the time the average person spent streaming increased by
75%. Consumers have enjoyed the convenience of streaming and film studios have
welcomed the lower costs as well, but theater owners and companies have been hurt by
diluted box office revenue.

Consumer Bailout of American Theaters?
Despite the massive challenge posed by streaming brands and the problems of COVID,
there are some signs that the American cinema industry has rebounded and adjusted to
the new normal, which may bode well for consumers. In 2022, total cinema revenues
are expected to reach $4.4 billion, which is a 91% increase from 2020. With that said,

it’s still a 61% decrease from pre-COVID numbers. Inflation was also thought to throw a
monkey wrench in the movie theater industry’s recovery, but in the summer of 2022
visits to AMC Theatres, Regal Cinemas, and Cinemark – the “big three” of American
movie theater chains – were only down 24.9%, 15.5%, and 4.1% respectively from the
same period in June 2019. The apparent resiliency of the American movie theater
industry is the result of a combination of brand loyalty and new strategies by the movie

An initial glance at the numbers of who’s going to movie theaters today may at first
seem quite negative. Casual movie goers haven’t yet returned to the theaters, as 49%
are no longer visiting multiplexes, with some studies estimating that 8% of that number
will likely never return. The good news for theaters is that those who have returned to
the theaters are loyal, frequent movie goers who go to the cinema at least once a
month. This loyal consumer base will drive future sales, and the movie studios and
cinema chains that realize this will prosper. The evolving movie goer demographic has
already changed the content theaters are showing: big budget action films have
continued to sell well in the new paradigm, while dramas may soon be relegated to

Future Trends
The trend in moving watching is definitely moving toward more streaming and less
theater activity, but this doesn’t mean that new innovations or opportunities aren’t

available for entrepreneurs and consumers in the movie theater space. It’s likely that the
hybrid model of simultaneous releases will continue to grow, with loyal movie goers
keeping the cinema industry profitable. The number of movie theaters will probably
decrease, and expect to see smaller theaters, but loyalty to the concept and certain
cinema brands will ensure the industry’s survival. And as streaming brands also adjust
to this new reality, expect to see even more consumer orientated changes in those

You’ve no doubt recently watched a video on demand and noticed advertising before,
during, and after the content. This advertising, which is known as advertising-video-on-
demand (AVOD), is expected to increase dramatically in the next few years. Consumers
can pay a monthly fee to watch the content ad free, or watch it with ads as part of a
larger streaming service’s bundle. IMDb TV first launched in 2018 with AVOD content,
and although many thought it was a bad idea, by 2021 the streaming service had 55
million monthly active users and many million more who watch the brand’s AVOD
content on larger streaming services such as Amazon Prime. Overall, film and TV
consumers today enjoy the freedom to choose movie theaters or streaming, as long as
the experience is user friendly.

A recent survey about streaming and movie watching habits revealed that 55% of the
respondents chose “ease of use” for what they liked best about their favorite services.
This answer includes not just the features of streaming services, but the ability and
freedom to watch streaming content on an array of devices. Today’s movie consumers

enjoy the freedom to watch new releases in a movie theater or at home on a computer,
tablet, or even their phone. As smartphones technology improves, expect more people
to watch simultaneous releases on their phones.

The New Theater Paradigm
Some experts believed that a combination of streaming technology and the COVID
pandemic would be the death knell of the movie theater business, and although reports
of American cinema’s demise have been greatly exaggerated, the business landscape
has sure changed. The major successful studios, cinema companies, and streaming
services have realized that consumer tastes regarding movie going is evolving and the
brands that offer their customers more choices and freedoms concerning how to watch
content will be poised for success in this new entertainment paradigm.

About the author:

An industry leader and influencer – Rudly Raphael specializes in all aspects of research logistical design involving quantitative methodology,  implementing internal system infrastructure to streamline business processes, channelling communication and developing innovative research solutions to ensure Eyes4Research remains a competitive force in the marketplace. An entrepreneur, inventor (patent holder), blogger and writer – his articles have been published in various magazines such as Medium, Ebony Magazine, Bussiness2Community and also cited in various journals and academic publications. 


5 Issues That Could Affect the 2024 Election

  • March 9, 2023

  • Eyes4Research

November 2024 might seem like an eternity from now, but the puzzle pieces of the upcoming election are slowly starting to fall into place. While we wait to see exactly which candidates will end up on the ballot, what has come into sharper focus are the issues that could affect the outcome of the election. Here are 5 things that could be front and center on voters’ minds as they head to the polls next year.

Foreign Policy

When it was revealed that a Chinese spy balloon was spotted flying over several states in February and that it was part of a larger Chinese surveillance program that has been operating for several years, Americans were alarmed. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle demanded to know why it took so long to shoot the object down. Several days later, it was confirmed that the U.S. military shot down another unidentified object over Alaskan airspace. 

The war in Ukraine will be another geopolitical issue on voters’ minds. While Americans continue to largely back the U.S. effort to provide security support, along with its allies, Republican lawmakers have started to express reservations about how much longer that support should continue, and some voters have followed suit. 


The results of the midterm elections, which handed Democratic unexpected victories across the country, were proof that the issue of abortion was important for many voters, who were still angry by the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe v. Wade. In Wisconsin, there is a race for an open seat on the state’s Supreme Court, and whoever the newly elected judge is will join the rest of the court in hearing about the state’s contested 1849 abortion law. This law allows for no exceptions for abortion, except if the life of the mother is at risk. Groups on both sides of the issue have committed to funneling money and resources into this judicial race. 

Social Security & Medicare

When Florida Senator Rick Scott introduced his multi-point plan that details his ideas to sunset all federal legislation in 5 years, older voters were immediately concerned about what that meant for programs like Social Security and Medicare. Scott’s thought process is that if a law is worth keeping, Congress would just pass it again. President Biden has seized upon that messaging and has been telling voters that Social Security and Medicare would be on the chopping block, along with other entitlements. Scott has pushed back, stating that it is “dishonest” to assert that he would get rid of two programs that so many older voters rely on. This will most likely be a major part of the narrative as election season gets underway. 

LGBTQ-Related Issues

Led by Florida governor Ron DeSantis, Republicans have put their power behind legislation that targets members of the LGBTQ community. Gender-affirming health care, transgender high school and college athletes and drag queen shows have all been in the crossfires of GOP lawmakers. The most talked-about of this new batch of legislation is Florida’s so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law, which bars elementary school teachers from teaching anything that is related to topics concerning sexual orientation and gender identity. Lawmakers in several other states are considering similar laws, as well as ones that would ban gender-affirming health care for minors. 


Also on the agenda of many Republican lawmakers, including some who are rumored to be presidential hopefuls, is the topic of education. More specifically, how much choice parents should have over what their children are being taught in their classrooms. Florida governor DeSantis is again leading the way, with his administration rejecting an Advanced Placement course on African American studies. 

This follows earlier discourse that arose ahead of the midterms of 2022 regarding the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in K-12 education. Even though CRT is taught primarily in graduate-level classes at universities, it has become a catch-all phrase for any teaching about race and racism in school, in general. 

Read more about registered voters on the Eyes4Research blog. Eyes4Research also has everything you need to collect high-quality insights from registered voters. Our panels are comprised of B2B, B2C, and specialty audiences ready to participate in your next research project. Learn more about our registered voter panel, as well as our other specialty panels, here.


Work, Gap Year, or Job Training? Why Some Young People Are Deciding Against College

  • March 7, 2023

  • Eyes4Research

The disruption at colleges and universities during the height of the pandemic had a lasting and dramatic effect on college students. In addition to students being required to make the shift to remote learning while their campuses were closed, a recent study conducted by Montclair State University found that students at the university were profoundly affected by stress related to academic and financial issues, as well as COVID itself during lockdown in the spring of 2020. For many, these pressures led to them making the decision to take a break from their studies or drop out of college altogether. 

Some high school students, who dealt with their own stressors while adjusting to a different type of school day during the pandemic, are opting to delay college or choose a different path that doesn’t include earning a college degree, at all. So what is it that is causing students to forgo college, and what are they choosing to do instead? 

The Rising Cost of College

Even before the pandemic upended the lives of college students, the price of education was skyrocketing. According to the most recent College Board’s Trends in College Pricing report, private colleges increased tuition by about $7,000 on average every ten years from 1991 until the pandemic. Over the last 30 years, average private college tuition prices have nearly doubled from $19,360 in 1992 to $38,070. 

The same report reveals that public universities saw a shocking tuition price increase of 158.2% from 1991 to 2021. Many universities have announced plans to increase tuition even further, citing inflationary pressures as a primary reason. Highly selective schools, such as Ivy League institutions are the least likely to be affected by a drop in enrollment because of their increased tuition price tags. Needless to say, the sticker shock of earning a college degree is causing many families to think twice about sending their students to college.

Choosing Work Over Books

While some experts still see an economic slowdown on the horizon, the job market is still strong enough that some students are choosing to earn rather than learn, at least for the time being. Some college students are taking fewer credit hours so they can work more, and others are deciding to leave their coursework behind so they can devote their time to their jobs. In fact, a report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center found that the number of undergraduates currently enrolled is down 6.6% from two years ago– evidence that more young people are choosing to work. 31% of the students polled for the same report specifically cited the strong job market as one of the reasons that they do not plan on finishing school and want to look for a job instead. 

One of the disadvantages of this decision is the fact that studies have shown that college graduates will earn nearly $1 million over the course of their careers. For students who decide to drop out of college or forgo college altogether to work, the loss of potential earnings and to some degree, career advancement limitations, could be significant. 

Career and Technical Education Take Shape

Once known as vocational training, CTE programs are preparing high school students for high-paying jobs around the country. What used to look like home economics or  ‘auto shop’ class, has evolved into a more specialized and sophisticated tool for education reform. Nearly 8.3 million students participated in a CTE program in 2020-2021, up from 7.5 million the previous year, according to the U.S. Department of Education. 

CTE courses range from culinary arts to landscape design and prepare students for high-earning jobs straight out of high school, as well as having the added benefit of boosting graduation rates. In many school districts, these programs partner with local industries to align their course offerings with current labor market needs. Some of these programs even offer a free Associate’s degree, giving students an opportunity to complete the final two years and earn a Bachelor’s degree, if they choose to do so at a later date. 

As disruptive as COVID was for students, it helped bring to light the fact that there are other options for young people who might not be quite ready for college or simply rather take some time to work and decide what they want their future to look like. 

Read more about education and college students on the Eyes4Research blog. Eyes4Research also has everything you need to collect high-quality insights from college students. Our panels are comprised of B2B, B2C, and specialty audiences ready to participate in your next research project. Learn more about our college student panel, as well as our other specialty panels, here.


Sustainable Consumers: Who Are They and What Do They Want? 

  • March 1, 2023

  • Eyes4Research

The number of people who consider themselves sustainable-minded consumers is on the increase, and brands have taken notice, with messaging that highlights their own attention to more environmentally-minded practices and ingredients. Recent research by IBM revealed that 77% of consumers consider sustainability and environmental responsibility to be at least “moderately important” brand values. This trend is reflected in the sales data, as sustainably-marketed products have seen growth that is five to six times higher than comparable conventional products, according to a study by Harvard Business Review.  But who are these sustainable consumers and exactly which sustainability claims inspire them to buy?

Who Are Sustainable Consumers?

Overall, interest in sustainability tends to be evenly distributed between genders.  And although there are other factors that also impact interest in environmental issues, like income level, geography, education level, and dietary habits (plant-based, vegan, vegetarian, etc), it is age that is the biggest difference between those who are more attuned to sustainability and those who are not. 

It is younger consumers– specifically Gen Z shoppers, who tend to have an eye toward environmental concerns when making purchasing decisions. In a recent interview with CNBC, Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider described sustainability concerns among the company’s younger customers as “off the charts”, and a major influence on their purchase decisions.  But Gen Z isn’t the only generation that is environmentally minded. Millennials also care deeply about these issues, even if their attitudes about other social issues temper a bit as they age. Sustainability seems to be the exception to that rule, as it remains an issue that they keep in mind when shopping for food and other products, such as clothing and pet products. 

Staying on the subject of generations, it is also worth noting the influence that younger generations can have on older ones with regard to sustainability.  Young people who don’t have much disposable income need to rely on their parents and maybe grandparents, in order to get what they want. Over time, this can begin to influence the decisions of those older people and have a ‘trickle upward’ effect that could leave a mark on future consumer behavior. 

What Does ‘Sustainability’ Mean to Consumers? 

Now that we know who the sustainable consumers are, what are the exact motivations that they have in mind when they are deciding on one product over another? Environmentally-minded shoppers want to buy products that are healthier and clean, they want to reduce their individual environmental footprint, and they want to leave behind a better planet for future generations. In a recent study on sustainability, McKinsey found that 85% of consumers buying plant-based foods are motivated by health reasons, making the case that for these shoppers, their personal health is directly tied to the health of the planet. For these consumers, sustainability and health are essentially synonymous. 

With this in mind, what are the specific claims that shoppers look for when they want to trust that a product is indeed sustainable, both in the item itself and how it was produced? There are more than 20 eco-labels and environmental certifications for food in the United States. In the McKinsey study mentioned above, 33% of respondents cited ‘recyclable’ as the most impactful sustainable packaging claim that they look for when buying a new product. In the sea of eco-friendly messaging, including some that are meant to mislead consumers, as is the case with ‘greenwashing’, this finding points to the fact that shoppers want sustainability claims to be truthful, clear, and familiar. 

How Brands Can Authentically Capitalize on Sustainability

In 2022, the Baker Retailing Institute at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania conducted a study that found that 90% of Gen X consumers were willing to pay 10% more for sustainable products, compared to 34% two years prior. This not only points to the influence of younger generations that was mentioned earlier, but it is also evidence that there is room for brands to look at their practices to offer more environmentally-focused products to their customers. There are three ways that brands can capitalize on the trend toward sustainability in ways that will be authentic and resonate with consumers: 

  • Don’t Try to Do it All: The brands that will win over eco-minded consumers are the ones who make the sustainable transformation by choosing just one or two areas that they can refine, and do it well. 
  • Involve Your Customers: Consumers want to be involved in a brand’s sustainability efforts, but their actions in the process need to be clear, simple, and engaging. Similar to the earlier mention of the recycling claim on packaging– it is something clear and simple that involves the consumer as part of the sustainability process. 
  • Know Your Customer: The most important thing a brand can do is to know their consumer. Market research can help brands learn exactly what their customers want regarding sustainability. What does a consumer’s household size, education, income and age tell you about which packaging claims and environmental messaging will resonate with them? A brand that sticks the landing with its sustainability narrative will win loyal customers

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