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 Power of Brand Identity Research

The Power of Brand Identity ResearchEvery impression counts when promoting and maintaining a successful business, and managing your brand identity is a major factor in that success. Whether it’s your logo, your website or your business cards, your customers build an impression of your company through every interaction they have with it. Each touchpoint adds up to create your brand image. But in today’s dynamic digital market, customers have more ways than ever to engage with brands.

New and evolving technologies demand that businesses account for the myriad of platforms that can promote as well as demote their brand. Brand research across a diverse range of markets has shown that your customers’ opinions, needs and expectations can turn on a dime, particularly in the court of social media. As a result, the challenge for businesses is to navigate these platforms to ensure they don’t get lost in the crowd, or worse, stand out for all of the wrong reasons.

What Is Brand Identity and Brand Image?

Brand identity is the way a business defines itself to their target audience. Every element that helps define your brand, from name and logo to color scheme and even the language you use to communicate with your audience come together to create your overall brand identity.

On the other hand, your brand image is the perception that customers have of your brand. It is the aggregate of every experience, interaction and association that people have with your organization. Continue reading

Making VR a Market Research Reality

Virtual Reality Is More Than Fun and GamesMaking VR a Market Research Reality

Over the past four years, a flurry of product introductions has created significant buzz around the area of virtual reality (VR), and much of the hype is well deserved. Users confirm that VR offers an incredibly immersive experience. In practical terms, this means that VR users feel swept away from their actual, physical environment and transported into an entirely separate virtual environment that fully engages their senses of sight and sound. Fighting off robots in the land of Robo Recall when one is actually standing in one’s living room is both thrilling, fun and magical. However, academic research indicates that the benefits of virtual reality go far beyond offering a novel experience for gamers. Continue reading

Will Uber Health and Lyft Concierge Change Healthcare?

Will Uber Health and Lyft Concierge Change Healthcare?This year Uber and Lyft formally entered the healthcare market to offer rideshare services to nonemergency patients for transportation to scheduled doctor appointments. Patient no-shows are a prevalent problem in the US, with an estimated 3.6 million Americans reportedly missing their scheduled doctor appointments due to transportation issues each year. Rideshare services may particularly benefit older Americans, Medicaid patients and those with chronic diseases to help keep appointments and get care. Uber and Lyft have identified a wide-open opportunity that could significantly improve their business and simultaneously reduce healthcare costs and improve quality care. Continue reading

Amazon Is At It Again: Disrupting Healthcare and Pharma

Amazon Is at It Again: Disrupting Healthcare and PharmaAmazon already has a deep hook in the book, retail, delivery service, music, video, restaurant and even grocery space. It looks like healthcare is its next big target. Healthcare is a broad arena tangled in complexities. Most consumers struggle with understanding the lingo, getting quality care, managing payments and getting the prescriptions they need without breaking the bank. There are many controversial parts to how our healthcare system works, and Amazon has just tossed its hat into the ring with its announcement of its purchase of online pharmacy PillPack. What does this mean for the pharmacy space and will it impact the larger healthcare system?

The Amazon Threat Boils Down to Trust

Our team at Market Strategies has been anticipating the announcement of Amazon entering the healthcare market, so we conducted a self-funded a study to find out if consumers are open to purchasing healthcare services and prescriptions through nontraditional healthcare companies. We know that consumers have a high level of trust in Amazon, but will this level of trust extend to its healthcare services?
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Death of Net Neutrality Is Not Necessarily a Good Thing for ISPs

New Market Strategies study reveals consumer attitudes on “fast” and “slow” lanes   

Many industries are closely watching the future of net neutrality. Just last month, the Senate voted to preserve net neutrality, blocking a Federal Communications Commission plan to undo rules set during the Obama era. But short of any eleventh-hour political victories, net neutrality is set to end on June 11.

Industries such as telecommunications, technology and media have a stake in this issue. One of the more contentious aspects of net neutrality is what experts call “fast lanes” and “slow lanes.” Without net neutrality regulations, internet service providers (ISPs) could give certain content and streaming services faster connections, while slowing down other sites. It’s so controversial that even our own in-house telecom experts couldn’t agree on the issue.

While the future of net neutrality still hangs in the balance, it’s important for telecoms to understand consumer attitudes and preferences regarding this issue now. To that end, the telecom research division of Market Strategies International conducted a study to explore the potential consequences for both ISPs and streaming services. Our findings provide guidance on next steps for ISPs as politicians and consumers debate the future of net neutrality.

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The Missing Piece in Xbox One’s Big Comeback

With the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) coming up in a few days, the gaming community is eagerly anticipating what companies have in store. This year, many eyes will be on Microsoft, who has been secretive on what it plans to reveal. Their shift from the E3 show floor to the Microsoft Theatre at LA Live, just across the LA Convention Center, has heightened the intrigue.

Many people in the gaming community are hopeful that Microsoft’s move to its own space is a sign that the company has big things to share during its E3 press conference. Reading through pre-E3 online commentary, we find a community seeking a refresh of the Xbox brand, which seems to be falling behind in the current generation of game consoles. Reception for its latest console, Xbox One X, is tepid, even if it has the most powerful technical specifications.

So far, Sony’s PS4 has outsold Xbox One two-to-one.

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Xfinity Mobile’s Surprising Impact on the Cable Industry

Consumers now see Comcast as a major Quad Play provider, new data shows  

Editor’s Note: This is the final installment of a three-part blog series based on a new, independent research study called “The Xfinity Mobile Effect.” As Comcast marks the one-year anniversary of its Xfinity Mobile launch, this series explores the success and competitive threat of cable companies offering wireless service. This research was featured on Fierce Wireless.

Since the arrival of the so-called “cord cutters,” many experts have been predicting the decline of the cable industry. But rather than back down, many cable MSOs have fought back not just through technological innovation, but also by expanding their businesses. Today, the cable companies experiencing the biggest growth are those that have some sort of bundling offerings, providing a slew of complementary services to customers.

Indeed, cable companies are in a race to establish themselves in the Quad Play business. The ability to provide TV, wireless, broadband and phone services has become a competitive advantage in a world where consumers are increasingly seeking out better deals and the convenience of doing business with just one company.

The latest company to enter Quad Play is Comcast, and the plan appears to be working so far. A new study conducted by the technology and telecom market research division of Market Strategies International shows compelling evidence that with the launch of Xfinity Mobile, Comcast has set itself as a viable Quad Play competitor.

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The Quad Play Imperative

Success of Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile has potentially big repercussions in telecom, new research shows  

Editor’s Note: This is the second installment of a three-part blog series based on a new, independent research study called “The Xfinity Mobile Effect.” As Comcast marks the one-year anniversary of its Xfinity Mobile launch, this series explores the success and competitive threat of cable companies offering wireless service. This research was featured on Fierce Wireless.

Quad Play is becoming a real competitive advantage in the telecom market. With consumers wanting a more seamless experience and a better deal from their TV, wireless, broadband and phone providers, more people are choosing to do business with just one provider. There is a big incentive for telecoms to offer Quad Play options: it increases “stickiness” as customers who subscribe to various services are less likely to churn.

But a viable Quad Play strategy is not easy to pull off. It requires major investments in technology, partnerships and marketing. In fact, very few telecoms have become real Quad Play competitors so far. For a few years now, AT&T and Verizon have been unchallenged in the Quad Play space.

That is, until now.

New, independent research from the technology and telecom market research division of Market Strategies International shows that Comcast is now a viable Quad Play business. The report, which we published this week, shows that with the launch of Xfinity Mobile, Comcast is successfully gaining ground in the Quad Play space.

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Xfinity’s X-Factor

New research from Market Strategies shows Xfinity Mobile’s impressive traction   

Editor’s Note: This is the first installment of the three-part blog series based on a new, independent research study called “The Xfinity Mobile Effect.” As Comcast marks the one-year anniversary of its Xfinity Mobile launch, this series explores the success and competitive threat of cable companies offering wireless service. This research was featured on Fierce Wireless.

When Comcast first introduced the Xfinity brand in 2010, many experts and industry observers questioned the move. Blogs like Gizmodo and the Consumerist and even Time Magazine made fun of the rebrand. One branding expert went as far as calling the initiative “a complete and total waste of time and resources.”

Fast forward to 2018, and these experts couldn’t be any more off. The Xfinity brand is alive and well, with Comcast launching a wireless service under this brand in May 2017. Called Xfinity Mobile, the service uses Comcast’s extensive network of Wi-Fi hotspots and Verizon’s cell network.

In a recent independent study, the technology and telecom market research divisions of Market Strategies International sought to understand how Xfinity Mobile is performing both as a wireless service within a highly competitive market, but also as a tool that enhances Comcast’s core Xfinity Internet and TV businesses. The comprehensive research, which we released this week, reveals the impact Xfinity Mobile is making and provides compelling insight on what’s ahead for wireless providers and multi-system operators (MSOs).

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