Recent Posts

Smart value in the smartphone market: the highs and lows

July 25, 2014 1:30 pm by in Technology

Within as little as three years, 69% of the planet’s population will own a smartphone. That’s 5.2 billion people with a smartphone by 2017, from Abuja to London, Mumbai to Zagreb. As the market continues to expand it gets closer to saturation point. What impact will this have on the average sales price of these increasingly ubiquitous devices?

Sales of higher priced smartphones set to decline

The (Social) Science of Complaining

July 23, 2014 6:55 am by in Consumer Goods, Public services, Retail, Technology

It is becoming clear that technology is affecting how disgruntled consumers complain about poor products and services and, as a result, how companies must respond. We asked UK consumers which channels they had used to make complaints to a company or service provider.[1] The results show that the average consumer has used more than one channel (1.8 to be specific), with men and 45-54 year olds using the most diverse range of methods. Only 22% have never complained, and the most commonly-used channels are email (49%) and telephone (40%).

Clear patterns in the Middle East tyre market

July 23, 2014 5:51 am by in Automotive

A four-month GfK universe study in United Arab Emirates [UAE] and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia [KSA], plus a seven-month study in Egypt of tyre retail sales, has revealed much about marketplace dynamics and customer behaviour: essential intelligence for well informed profitable business.

This is a highly effective way of scrutinizing complete markets, through widespread face-to-face interviews within retail outlets. GfK’s retail audit process consists of monthly data collection from shops that are specially selected using a stratified sampling methodology.

Value-based purchasing initiative in American hospitals

July 22, 2014 10:06 am by in Health

Historically, hospital reimbursement in the United States has utilized a diagnosis-related group (DRG)-based system that brings incentives for volume and inexpensive products over quality health care. In describing the relentless pressure to keep up-front costs low, a hospital executive noted, “Drugs and devices are easy areas to focus on where costs are concerned, because there’s a price tag on them. You’re going to be using the cheaper option. There’s no discussion.” As a result, a race to the bottom ensued, as industry competed to offer the lowest-cost products.

Change is in the air

Quality real estate enhances retail drawing power of small and mid-sized cities

July 21, 2014 10:11 am by in Retail, Travel & tourism

Retail centrality is an established benchmark for evaluating retail drawing power. This indicator compares the purchasing power of the population of a given region to the retail turnover generated at that location. Retail turnover that exceeds the purchasing power available to the local population signifies that the local retail trade is able to draw purchasing power from the surrounding region.

Mid-sized German cities such as Straubing, Weiden and Passau once again surpass large metropolises in their ability to attract consumers from surrounding areas. According to GfK’s 2014 study on retail centrality in Germany, the quality of the local retail real estate in mid-sized cities is a key factor in drawing shoppers from outlying regions.

Non-invasive prenatal testing: A genomic leap forward for fetal health

July 21, 2014 8:15 am by in Health

Most expectant mothers are offered prenatal testing in the form of blood serum and ultrasound tests. The goal of this testing is to inform parents of the health of their fetus through the detection of genetic abnormalities. More specifically, the tests identify if a fetus has an abnormal number of chromosomes, which is known as aneuploidy. This can result in minor, severe, or sometimes even fatal, mental and physical ailments.

Although current prenatal testing methods can moderately assure parents that a fetus has no genetic abnormalities, the lack of absolute certainty can lead to mothers undergoing unnecessary invasive procedures that put the fetus at risk, or worse, making a decision to terminate a fetus that is actually healthy.

New Energy Vehicles Drive a Huge Emerging Market

July 15, 2014 9:12 am by in Automotive

In the last decade, China’s automotive industry has developed at an extraordinary pace. By 2009 it had overtaken the USA as the largest vehicle producer and seller in the world. But in the current and future global climate, such growth will generate problems, with national energy security, environmental damage, long-term climate change and urban congestion. This set of challenges has driven the Chinese government to focus on the development of New Energy Vehicles [NEV] as a national strategy, which is creating an incredibly rich seam of opportunity for both domestic and international manufacturers.

For love or money: Where next for customer incentives in financial services?

July 8, 2014 11:36 am by in Financial services

It looks like we’re coming out of the worst days of the recession, and research from GfK shows that UK consumers are starting to return to brands they trust. But when times were tight, people learned to look for value and they now expect incentives for their loyalty. How should financial service brands ensure that those rewards not only encourage loyalty, but help develop stronger emotional ties with brands and increase engagement levels?

The Affordable Care Act – the final stretch of implementation

July 7, 2014 8:01 am by in Health

After years of anticipation, federal and state governments will work with health plans to provide coverage for the first Exchange / Marketplace plan members. This, however, poses many questions for providers, patients and manufacturers on product access and reimbursement. Healthcare expenditures, particularly in pharmaceuticals, will rise, and health plans will be looking for ways to contain these costs. The rising cost of new drugs and the increase in patients who will seek these treatments – major drivers – would suggest health plans will look to their formularies to control costs. How these health plans navigate the system will have major market access implications on manufacturers and must be considered when developing access strategies for pipeline products.

Two Decades of Media Tumult

June 30, 2014 1:03 pm by in Media & entertainment

The release this month of the 2014 edition of the annual Ownership and Trend Report from The Home Technology Monitor™ (HTM) marks my 20th year directing this service. It has certainly given me a unique vantage point to watch the ebb and flow of the ever-changing media world. We’re going to take a quick look at the world of 1995 versus 2014 , if for no other reason than to let us sit back and contemplate just how much change there has been.