Consumers During Corona

Consumers During Corona

Data, trends and insights about how people are living, thinking and buying in the Corona Economy. Hosted by Steve Kraus – veteran trend watcher, Harvard Ph.D., hacky comedian. Want to better understand the consumer lifestyles, attitudes and spending patterns that define this corona-driven “New Normal”? Tune in for these fun and fast-paced interviews with leading experts in psychology, economics, consumer insights, social trends, branding, marketing and more. Released every Monday.


May 6, 2021 30 mins

Victoria Sakal is Managing Director for Morning Consult, one of the most interesting and innovative data intelligence companies to emerge over the past few years. She is also author of their Most Trusted Brands 2021 report, which we discuss in this episode. Among other things, we talk about why small businesses get the highest trust ratings, why tech brands score so well, what trust really means, and trends in trust over time. 


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Menaka Gopinath is President of the Ipsos Social Media Exchange (North America), and is recognized as one the world’s leading experts on social media listening.  

Among other things, we discuss today’s consumer mindset, the consumer trends that are emerging as The Corona Economy (hopefully) begins transitioning into the post-vaccine economy, and what kinds of brands are thriving at this time (“brands that are living out their purpos...

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Randy Wahl is President of M/A/R/C, a leading market research firm. Randy has been conducting consumer research for over twenty years, and he’s consulted for many of the world’s leading brands. 

Among other things, we discuss the latest data and trends related to consumer acceptance of the vaccine, tele-medicine, pet care, and how the post-corona economy is taking shape.

Randy Wahl can be found on LinkedIn here. The M/A/R/C website i...

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Alf Nucifora is Chairman of Luxe SF, the Bay Area’s premier industry association in luxury marketing.  We discuss the latest trends in luxury, wine, real estate, and the SF Bay Area.  He shares his insights on... 

  • Why the ‘work from home’ trend will have a lasting and profound impact
  • How The Corona Economy has minimized impulse purchases and the consumer focus on stuff
  • Why the existential dread of 2020 will likely persist into 202...
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Bob Lederer is veteran observer of the market research and consumer insights industry.  He publishes several newsletters on the industry, and produces a widely-watched daily video series on industry developments.  

We discuss the history of market research, and how the field has continued to grow during The Corona Economy as companies have been pressed to make more decisions with more speed and less information than ever before.  


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Walker Smith is Chief Knowledge Officer at Kantar, and one of the most respected experts in the study of consumer trends.  In this episode, he shares his takes on the most impactful, overlooked and interesting trends in The Corona Economy

  • The most impactful trend: the increasing importance of the home
  • The most overlooked trend: savings rates continue to rise
  • The most interesting trend: rituals and occasions are evolving

He als...

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Leslie Wood is Chief Research Officer at NC Solutions, a joint venture between Nielsen and Catalina that features one of the industry’s most comprehensive databases of consumer behavior and media use. We discuss…

  • Why spending continues to rise on consumer packaged goods, comfort food, and iconic brands (but not on private labels)
  • Why the new wave of stay-at-home orders is unlikely to change consumer behavior
  • How advertising is mor...
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Andrew Lipsman is Principal Analyst at eMarketer and was formerly SVP of Marketing and Insights at ComScore.  In this super-cool episode, he shares how David Byrne’s recent concert film American Utopia serves as a metaphor for consumer trends in the Corona Economy.  He also shares his top predictions for 2021, his take on what brands are really getting it right, and why so many predictions about future behavior go wrong, 

Check out ...

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Lilah Raynor is CEO of Logica Research, and was formerly Director of Market Research at Charles Schwab.  She publishes an ongoing study called The Future of Money, and we discuss...

  • How people are more open to talking about money than ever before… and why she thinks that openness is here to stay
  • How the younger generation has pivoted from savings to wealth building
  • The latest trends in payment methods (and why PayPal keeps growing...
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Jack O'Leary is a Senior Analyst for Edge by Ascential, and is an expert on all things e-commerce, and on Amazon in particular.  

We discuss where Amazon has been, where's its headed, and talk about... 

  • How (and how much) has The Corona Economy has accelerated trends toward ecommerce
  • Omni-channel rising: “A rising tide lifted all boats, but it lifted the Walmarts and Targets of the world a bit more than Amazon”...
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Michele Madansky is CEO of Michele Madansky Consulting and a former EVP at iHeartMedia.  We discuss...

  • Her latest research on trends among working moms during The Corona Economy
  • How trends differ across segments -- in particular, the general population vs. affluent consumers
  • Surprising findings about stress levels among working moms
  • Trends among “Breadwinner Moms” -- including the single biggest predictor of relationship success in...
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October 19, 2020 41 mins

Zach Klempf is Founder and CEO of Selly Automotive, a CRM startup that is "Salesforce for auto dealers."  We discuss how car buying behavior is evolving in The Corona Economy.  

We focus on how the supply-and-demand dynamics of the auto market are being  turned upside down by a perfect storm of disruptive (and sometimes conflicting) factors: 

  • fewer people are commuting to work
  • mass transit is less available
  • ride...
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Scott Johnston is SVP of market intelligence firm Numerator, and has his finger on the pulse of today's consumer.  We discuss how the "panic buying" of the early Corona Economy wasn't exactly what it seemed, how purchasing behavior changes when it shifts from offline to digital, how click-and-collect is evolving beyond early-adopters, and more. 

Dig into Numerator's insights here, and connect with...

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In this episode, I discuss new data on The Corona Economy with two colleagues from online survey firm QuestionPro -- Vivek Baskaran (CEO) and Dan Fleetwood (President of Research and Insights).  Topics include:

  • The latest trends in consumer confidence (“bi-focal optimism”)
  • Two-thirds of Americans are seriously questioning the American Dream
  • What consumers have missed the most during the Corona Economy
  • Consumer spending projections ...
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Kathy Sheehan is an expert on consumer trends, with a particular focus on Gen Z and Millennials.  She previously ran Roper Reports (a well-known study of lifestyle and consumer trends), and is now SVP for insights consultancy Cassandra.  

In this episode, we discuss how...

  • The corona pandemic accelerated the on-going pandemic of burnout
  • The corona economy is shaping trends in categories as diverse as ecommerce, dating apps, influe...
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September 13, 2020 63 mins

Chris Perry is an ecommerce expert and a good friend -- I particularly admire his ability to build a professional community, and to entertain while he informs.  

In this episode, we discuss the Corona Economy and...

  • The CPG marketplace, particularly the role of private labels and store brands
  • The role of Amazon (“in 2020, every day has been Prime Day”)
  • The incredible “shrinking shelf” -- with consumers seeing fewer options as the d...
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I’m Steve Kraus and I’m inviting you to check out the “Consumers During Corona” podcast

Each week I’ll take a data-driven look at the latest trends in how people are living, thinking and buying in a marketplace turned upside down by a global pandemic and the fight for social justice

I’m a Harvard Ph.D. and a hacky comedian and a long time trend watcher who has spent his career studying what makes people tick.  I’m excited to be inter...

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