Erin Leedy

About Erin Leedy

Erin Leedy is a senior vice president of research and consulting in the Technology Research division of Market Strategies. She has been conducting technology research since 1996, focusing on the development of new hardware, software and services for the consumer and business markets. On the qualitative side, Erin is a skilled focus group moderator who specializes in observational and contextual site visits, modified ethnographic approaches, out-of-box and beta testing and product placements in consumer and business environments. Her quantitative expertise includes customer profiling, market exploration, segmentation and choice modeling. She graduated cum laude from The Ohio State University with a bachelor's degree in industrial design. When not at work, she’s working hard to live up to her Twitter bio, which currently reads: researcher…designer…mommy…foodie…modernist…mixtapeologist…blogger.

Fortnite: Category-busting social phenomenon or pesky addiction?

Fortnite: Category-busting social phenomenon, or pesky addiction?

I live in a Fortnite house. My ten-year-old son discovered the game soon after its launch and has played it regularly on Xbox and mobile with his friends since last spring. On many mornings I have had to physically separate him from the controller (and his online friend crew) and usher him off to school. On countless evenings I have prepared chicken dinner while surrounded by the sounds of him battling and building his way toward “Battle Royale” wins. The Duo and Squad battles are the loudest, with my son and his friends shrieking in excitement with every giant sniper tower constructed and every enemy vanquished. Oh, and I mustn’t fail to mention the player dances—“emotes” that a player’s avatar can perform on-screen during a battle, not seemingly adding to a player’s ability to win but adding notably to the game’s fun factor. If you were anywhere in public in 2018, you likely saw kids and young adults breaking out into one of these dance moves—among them Take the L, Make It Rain, and my kids’ favorite, Floss.

How Fortnite Is Changing the World of Gaming

Fortnite is not just a game; it’s a social phenomenon connecting its players via the game play itself, the emotes, the live chatting, and the ability to play via various gaming platforms, both console and mobile. If you have any kind of gaming console, computer or mobile device (and your partner or mom gives you the A-OK to play), you can play and be a part of a huge global community. Continue reading

The Internet of Things: A Story of the Haves and Have Nots

The Internet of Things: A story of the Haves and Have Nots A Market Strategies study identifies diverging points of view between two emerging groups of consumers and workers in the IoT market

There’s little doubt that the Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most exciting and profitable sectors in technology today. IDC is predicting that global spend in IoT will reach a stunning $1.2 trillion by 2020—a figure that represents a compound annual growth rate of 15.6%. A recent Forbes Insights study even found that senior executives now see the IoT as the most important set of emerging technologies.

But the IoT market is also a competitive one. Companies in virtually all industries are now eager to join the IoT gold rush. Thriving in this emerging but lucrative market will require a deeper understanding of what consumers truly need, want and might adopt, whether for use in a personal or work context. Continue reading

The #1 Brand Health Metric That Social Media Must Own to Win

Many organizations struggle to choose the research approach that best understands and tracks their brand’s health and market position. Last year, the technology market research division at Market Strategies shared its thoughts on NPS and multi-measure approaches as a broader alternative. We fielded questions about social media brands that resulted in a US-based Brand Health Index (BHI), which drew from measures of satisfaction, positive brand sentiment and a brand’s strength at connecting consumers to others.

Fast forward one year to our 2017 Brand Health Study: Do we continue to see value in our BHI when measuring and evaluating brands in the social media space? And can we determine what’s driving a particular brand’s health and momentum (or lack thereof)? Let’s take a look to see how the brands stack up.

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Brand Stickiness: Boosting Technology Brands’ Customer Loyalty and Retention

Brand Stickiness

It’s midsummer, the season of sticky-sweet treats like popsicles and saltwater taffy. Man, these treats are good—and fun, even reminding us of childhood summers and beachy weekends away. But their appeal—like summer’s sunny skies and lightening bugs—is ephemeral. When brands strive for “stickiness,” they’re not going for this quickly-fading sugar buzz. They’re striving to capture the attention and loyalty of consumers, ultimately to become a long-term favored brand. And this long-term loyalty is really tough to achieve these days. In a time when we’re seeing increasingly fickle consumers choosing from countless options with a finite amount of time to give—how does a brand become sticky?

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DC Comics: Can Wonder Woman Save the Day?

DC Comics: Can Wonder Woman Save the Day?

All right, I’m back. Market Strategies’ resident blogger covering the superhero sector is here to share thoughts on the 2017 summer superhero movies, and the summer’s somewhat surprising breakout star: Gal Gadot, playing the titular hero in Wonder Woman. In addition to reveling in the spectacular success of Wonder Woman—a movie my kids and I thoroughly enjoyed, and for which we’re now rooting to win the summer box office outright—I will revisit some brand and character analyses that I conducted several years ago for my blog post, DC vs. Marvel: It all Comes Down to Batman. I’ll look at how Wonder Woman has impacted the relative popularity of the parent brands (DC Comics and Marvel Comics) and the marquee character brands including the long-reigning king: Batman. Again using publicly-available data—comparing search volumes via Google Trends—let’s see how the brands have shifted over time, and how Wonder Woman impacts the superhero brand space.

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The Words & Ideas That Captured Our Imaginations in 2016

2016 FreshMR Word CloudIt’s my last day of work in 2016, and I’ve been taking stock of what I’ve done as well as what we as a team of colleagues have done this year: what we’ve focused on, what we’ve written about, and ultimately, what we’ve learned. All told, it’s been an amazing set of adventures and accomplishments. Here at Market Strategies’ FreshMR blog, we’ve been sharing our thoughts on market research since 2011. So far this year, we published 109 posts with 69,706 words and 369,665 characters, covering scores of topics including.

What we do: Research on brand, communications, customer experience, product development, segmentation, syndicated research.

How we do it: Qualitative and quantitative data collection, marketing & data sciences.

For whom: Clients in Consumer & Retail, Energy, Financial Services, Healthcare, Life Sciences, Technology and Telecommunications.

Of all we covered in 2016, a few topics stand out distinctly:

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Beyond NPS: Multi-Measurement Approaches for Brand Health

Beyond NPS: Multi-Measurement Approaches for Brand Health

Market Strategies is often asked to recommend research approaches that guide decisions about marketing and product/brand management. A topic that’s been of keen interest lately is brand health. NPS has been the “go-to” measure for some time, but we were curious to compare it to other brand health measures so we used our quarterly consumer omnibus study as a research sandbox.

Specifically, we fielded various questions and used the results to test the efficacy of brand health approaches that would serve clients across industry sectors well. We surveyed more than 1,100 US consumers regarding brands in the social media space: Facebook, Flickr, Google, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter, Vine and YouTube. We then used these data to run multiple brand health analyses, ultimately comparing NPS and several brand health measures and indices at how well they predict our dependent variables: frequent use of the brand and intention to increase use of the brand in the near future.

If your company uses NPS and nothing but NPS, you’ll want to download this free topline research report to see the results of our experiment. Here’s additional background for context, if you’re so inclined.

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Honoring Bill Cunningham, Master Noticer


I was joking with our CEO, Rob Stone, earlier this year about how he and I have somehow turned into the unofficial obituary writers here at FreshMR (having between us written about the loss of great thinkers and doers such as Andy Grove, David Carr and Steve Jobs). I’m not entirely sure why this has come to pass, but I can theorize: we’re both intrigued by brands and brand stories—corporate and personal—and we both aspire to be keen observers and storytellers, possibly ones who have an above-average interest in “celebrity” stories in the fields of research, design and media.

Over the weekend, we lost one such celebrity—beloved and celebrated New York Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham, who has documented street fashion as a fashion journalist for the Times since 1978. A self-taught photographer, Cunningham practically invented candid street photo-journalism in the fashion space. He was a master at observing and capturing trends via his lens and then reporting on them in the Times’ “On the Street” feature. What I find amazing about Cunningham—and what I hope we researchers can be inspired by—is twofold:

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“What’s in it for me?” Incenting Others to Increase Participation and Engagement

Incenting Others to Increase Participation and Engagement

I’m entering the dating scene again this year after not being in it for 22 years. It’s a bit of a daunting transition, truth be told. The last time I was dating, popular internet “dating” options included talking with people in AOL chat rooms. The way in which I met my would-be-suitors were all via personal connections—through friends and family, through classmates and through colleagues. Things have changed substantially since I was dating in the mid-90s, with meeting romantic partners through friends down notably over that period (from 38% to 29%), as well as meeting through family (down 14% to 7%), and through coworkers (down 19% to 10%)[1]. (Note that meeting at college is holding steady at 9-10%, but I’m not in college and don’t plan to return anytime soon, so this seems a moot point.)

While my prior methods are all trending downward, several ways of meeting partners have gone up over this same period. Meetings at bars is up (from 19% to 24%), as is meeting online (from 16% to 22%)[2]. This is all well and good, but I don’t really want to hang out at bars all the time, nor am I ready to fill out my online dating profile yet. So…given all of this, might I alter the system a bit so that I can continue to rely on my preferred methods of meeting others and have good results? This is the question I have been asking myself. And over drinks with a friend the other day, I stumbled upon one method for bettering my chances at meeting a potential romantic partner: offering an incentive. Continue reading

Brand Resurgence: Don’t Call it a Comeback

2016-01-lincolnOver the last couple of months, I’ve noticed some brands in the midst of resurgence in their marketplace. While doing so, the immortal words of LL Cool J have rung out in my head (as old-school rap songs are sometimes wont to do):

Don’t call it a comeback
I been here for years
Rockin’ my peers and puttin’ suckas in fear

There are a number of “brands”—whether celebrity, automotive, retail or consumer packaged goods—that have been on the rise in the past year or so. When such a brand revival happens, I’m drawn to dig into the reasons behind the resurgence. What allows an older (and sometimes waning) brand to capture the attention of newer, younger fans and customers? Let’s look at a couple of examples and explore why their brand health may be trending up.

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