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What’s Changed for You in the Last Month? – A COVID Tale

April 3rd, 2020 by John Richelsen

I was in a writing workshop with my friends at FrazierHeiby, a great communications firm in Columbus, Ohio. They asked us the question “What’s changed in your life in the last month?” I’ve often said that I like the zombie genre because…



Let’s Paw-ty 

March 12th, 2019 by Kathleen Costello

Pets have frequently been a part of my life, and according to Level 7’s holiday survey this is also the case for over 65% of US households. I’ve had dogs and cats mostly – sometimes just a dog sometimes just a cat and sometimes both. But over the past several years 


Has Interest in Football Deflated?

 January 30th, 2019 by Kelly Staruck

With Superbowl LIII just around the corner, many are focused on predicting the outcome but what about viewership? In last year’s Superbowl, nearly 8 million fewer people watched the game, down 7% compared to…


Wait Until 8th Grade or 8 Years for a Smartphone?

January 14th, 2019 by Kelly Staruck

Parents of young children have to decide at what age they want to give their child a smartphone. And is it a debate? Or does it just slowly creep up on you and it’s suddenly happened? It is easy to say you won’t or shouldn’t…


Two-Thirds Support President Trump’s Stance on Re-Gifting. Where Do You Stand? 

December 17th, 2018 by Kathleen Costello

Level 7 Market Research is back this year with an update on our 2016 Holiday Survey. In 2016, we looked at holiday relevant topics through a current events lens. And what was in the news in 2016? …


No, We Are Not Telemarketers!

October 5th, 2018 by Kathleen Costello

I recently spent an entire weekend hanging out with a bunch of people that I had just met. And as usually happens among people who’ve never met, the conversation quickly turned to what we do for a living…


Generation ME

June 1st, 2018 by Mandy Napierala

In the technology driven society we live in today, no one understands technology like Gen Z. They’ve had it from the beginning. They’re the kids that played with iPads as toddlers, and watched TV for hours after school. Gen Zer’s rely on media and technology like it is oxygen. Now I may not have been the child playing with an iPad at the age of 2, but I am a fellow Gen Zer. I am…


Your Career Doesn’t Always Work Out as You Planned… Thank Goodness

June 29th, 2017 by Kelly Staruck

Reflecting over the past 2 years, it’s been a whirlwind of change and emotion. Today I’m running my own business with two amazing partners but a few years ago I was happily employed by a company I had been with for a long time and never planned to leave…


“What can I do now to prepare for a career in market research?” she asked

June 20th, 2017 by Kathleen Costello

A friend of mine is an adjunct professor at a local university, and recently invited me to speak to her qualitative methods class as part of a career day panel. There were tons of great questions, but one question in particular really got me thinking…


Flying in Formation – Is Communication that Hard?

May 24th, 2017 by Kathleen Costello

It’s been hypothesized that migrating geese fly in a V because it helps them communicate and coordinate with each other. Not only are they conserving energy, they know what the goose next to them is doing and are able to anticipate changes. Well today I was reminded for the umpteenth time…


Why Ratings Alone Never Tell the Full Story – Messaging Studies

May 9th, 2017 by John Richelsen

Here’s a common issue we’ve come across in messaging studies – picking the true winner. So tell me if this seems familiar. You’re shown a series of messages about a brand and you’re asked to rate them on a 5 or 7 or 10-point scale as to which is the most…


Focus Group Tips – Get Them Talking, Keep Them Talking

March 17th, 2017 by Kathleen Costello

Every focus group moderator has their own personal style. I’ve come to rely on four basic strategies that can work for anyone, regardless of your approach to moderating. These tips were first introduced during formal moderator training many years ago.


Bump The Lamp – Why Details Matter

March 3rd, 2017 by John Richelsen

I read an interesting article (and a short YouTube video. Watch it.) about a term coined by Disney during the filming of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” The term is called bumping the lamp. It’s where the animators thought of all the little details…


Don’t Take That Tone With Me, Young Man – Writing Engaging Surveys

February 17th, 2017 by John Richelsen

I’m sure that your mom has uttered that phrase at some point in your life – usually coupled with your full name so you knew you were in big trouble then. Some things in life must be approached with a certain tone and temperament. Certainly when it comes to…


Launch Scrubbed – Pre-empting the Problem

October 21st, 2016 by Kelly Staruck

Many of you have heard about product launch disasters. New Coke. The Apple Newton. Heinz Purple Ketchup. At one time in some boardroom somewhere, these were all thought to be brilliant ideas. But in practice – flops. And no matter how hard…


Marathons and Market Research

October 14th, 2016 by John Richelsen

Last Sunday I ran my seventh marathon in eight years. Although I’m a lifetime market researcher, I’m a late-bloomer when it comes to running. It was one of those things where you think “I want to run a marathon before I turn 40.” It didn’t happen by the way – but I did get it in before….


Who Won the Debate? What the Polls Don’t Tell You…

September 27th, 2016 by John Richelsen

So you’re one of the estimated 80+ million viewers of the first presidential debate and you’re wondering, “Did my horse come in first?” If you’re like me, you listen to the pundits pontificate on who performed better or what did the focus groups say (Can I say that as both a researcher AND a political junkie, this time of year is like my Superbowl). The early polls…


The Well Coached Observer

September 23, 2016 by Kathleen Costello

Over the years Level 7 researchers have conducted many studies that called for us to talk to people in person – either by meeting them in their home, tagging along on a shopping trip, or shadowing them during some activity. These types of studies present…


Rate this Blog Post on a 1 to 10 Scale

May 26th, 2016 by John Richelsen

It seems simple enough. You want to know how your customer rates you on a particular metric; let’s say how likely they are to buy your latest innovation. So what do you have them rate you on? On a scale from 1 to 5? 1 to 7? 1 to 10? Believe it or not…


Consumer Panels – High Maintenance AND High Reward

May 12th, 2016 by Kathleen Costello

So you’re thinking about establishing a consumer panel…now what? There are many benefits to forming a consumer panel but there are concerns as well. As part of deciding whether to commit to a panel, be sure to ask yourself or your client these important questions…


How to Avoid Drowning in the Sea of Sameness

May 5th, 2016 by Kelly Staruck

So you think you stand out among your competitors – but just how different do you appear to customers? We find that as much as our clients think they are differentiated from their competitors, their prospects often…


Market Research ≠ Insights – The Difference Between “That’s it?” and “That’s it!”

April 28th, 2016 by John Richelsen

How many times have you commissioned a research project and the results came back as a loud, dull thud? The report is full of charts and graphs and…


Between Bartenders and BFFs: Great Ethnographies Start with Great Relationships

April 21st, 2016 by Kathleen Costello

Like your bestie or your barkeep, it’s a lot easier to talk when you’re in your comfort zone. That’s why many of the qualitative research studies we do require a technique called ethnographies. These are field observations like meeting with participants…


The 5 Questions about Mobile I Wish I Heard More from Clients

April 15th, 2016 by Kelly Staruck

It’s no surprise that mobile usage continues to rise, 68% of adults own a smartphone, which has nearly doubled in the past 4 years according to 2015 PEW Research. Only among 2 demographic groups is that not the majority – adults 65+ (30%) and


Engagement vs Interruption: Are You Making an Impact or Just Making Noise?

April 7th, 2016 by John Richelsen

Our marketing and advertising clients often ask us “Am I moving the needle with my customers? And not only that, am I making a difference?” These questions often come up after the big advertising splashes like…


What Net Promoter Doesn’t Tell You

March 31st, 2016 by John Richelsen

The Net Promoter Score has often been touted by the Harvard Business Review as the one number you need to predict growth (which may or may not be true). That it’s a simple way to gather data to…


Market Research in Advertising. Friend or Foe?

March 18th, 2016 by Kelly Staruck

Advertising agencies often rely on market research for three primary reasons: to gain insight into their client’s customers/markets (including better understanding of agency prospects), ad concept testing and campaign effectiveness. David Ogilvy (founder of….


The 3 Most Important Questions in Brand Development – Lessons from Uber

March 10th, 2016 by John Richelsen

While reading a recent article on Uber’s backlash on its new logo (though perhaps the backlash has more to do with its questionable practices), it got me to thinking about other re-branding failures like JC Penney and New Coke – the response….


Don’t Guess What Your Customer Is Thinking

March 4th, 2016 by Kathleen Costello

Not too long ago I was at the gym getting ready for the day. I did what I always do… I tore off a long piece of paper towel, placed it on the counter and set my makeup bag on top of it. A woman from the….


+ or – 5%: Fun with Math

February 26th, 2016 by John Richelsen

So it’s election time and poll numbers abound. Pundits will talk about virtual ties and margins of error and the like – but what does that actually mean and how is it calculated? And as a marketer, where can you be confident that….

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