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Brand Strategy Key Findings – September/October 2011

Parents’ Online Spending Habits
Popular Car Colors
Continued Popularity of Social Media Dominated by Facebook
Measuring Customer Engagement
Social Media and Brands
Mobile Shopping Technology, Small but Growing

Parents’ Online Spending Habits

Recent research shows that Dad spends more than Mom for download music, games or movies from the Internet. See the chart below for details.

Male parents are also online with their children for more hours each week than moms. Among parents who own any type of online device, dads spent 4.5 hours on the Internet with their children, compared with 2.9 hours for moms.

A 2010 Yahoo! survey showed that fathers, versus childless men, make more purchase decisions in categories such as consumer packaged goods, personal care and apparel. However, 66% of dads say they felt ignored by child and baby product advertising and 57% felt alienated by those advertisements – even though 80% were either primary or shared decision-makers about such products.

Types of Online Content Paid for by U.S. Mom and Dad Internet Users, February 2011 (% of respondents)
Parents' Online Spending Habits | sauarage research Sept. Oct. 2011 key findings | market research

Popular Car Colors

White is the most popular vehicle color in the world, followed by black and silver, according to the car-paint supplier PPG Industries.

In North America, white came in first, making up 20% of the 2011-model-year cars. Silver was second at 19%, followed by black (18%), gray (15%), red and blue (tied at 9%), naturals such as brown, tan and gold (7%), green (2%) and other colors (1%).

Results varied in Europe and Asia, though both continents had the same three color choices on top.

PPG also reported that 48% of car buyers make choices based on color, and 31% are willing to pay extra for a vehicle that expresses their personality through color.

Continued Popularity of Social Media Dominated by Facebook

According to Nielsen, social media now accounts for 22.5% of the time that Americans spend online, compared with 9.8% for online games and 7.6% for e-mail.

Facebook is Americans’ most used social media brand, spending 53.5 billion minutes on from computers at home and work during May 2011. This is up 6% from 50.6 billion minutes in May 2010. Other popular social media sites include Blogger (723.8 million minutes); Tumblr (623.5 million minutes); Twitter (565.2 million minutes); and LinkedIn (325.7 million minutes).

Facebook reaches 70% of active Internet users in the U.S.; 62% of Facebook visitors are female.

Measuring Customer Engagement

Successful marketing goes beyond making the sale; it’s a much longer and involved process called customer engagement. Customer engagement includes the interactions, experiences and context that create and nurture enduring, profitable customer relationships.

Leading Metrics Used by U.S. Marketing Executives to Assess Customer Engagement, April 2010 (% of respondents)


Social Media and Brands

A majority of Americans (86%) have interacted with a company or brand online. Some 38% use social networks to do so, 16% use message boards, and 13% use blogs. This is compared to 62% who use websites and 62% who use email. The most common reason consumers are enticed to follow a company or brand via social media is to access incentives such as coupons, discounts and free products or services (77%).

Social media users follow an average of five companies or brands on Facebook and Twitter. One-third (33%) do not follow any, and 8% follow 10 or more.


  • Some 62% of affluent Americans (top 10% of households in terms of annual income) feel more comfortable shopping online if they can call someone directly for assistance. Some 76% have used a mobile devise to compare prices, and 21% have used such a device to research product information while shopping in a store.
  • On average, 33% of college students spend six or more hours online via computer, cell phone, gaming console or other electronic device.
  • Most U.S. college students say the Internet has made it easier to feel close to people, compared to 28% who say it has made it harder.

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