Inspiring Stories

Researchers, please tell us about the impact of surveys you’ve conducted with AnswerPanel.

We’ve just launched so we don’t have stories here yet.  But they sure will be inspiring when we do!  In the meantime, here’s a story about a survey I did when I worked for the advertising agency that launched USA Today.

USA Today

I was the brand strategist at launch.  USA Today was ground-breaking — colorful, graphic, digestible, diverse, informative, as current as you could get, available everywhere — a paper Internet.  Amazingly, Al Neuharth just thought it up and did it.  Without marketing research.  There was one problem: no one was buying it.

I did the first ever marketing research, using a mall intercept sample (it could have been done here today). We learned that people understood the paper’s benefits perfectly.  The brand personality was spot on.  The problem?  The perceived reader personality.  No one would be seen reading the lightweight “MacPaper,” even though they secretly liked it.  A lot. We changed the advertising from introducing the paper to changing the image of its readers.  It worked.  USA Today is one of the most successful new products of the past few decades.  I think of this every time I open a hotel room door in the morning.