With only six months remaining until the United States elects its next President, we have already seen one of the most drama filled election cycles in recent history. In the six months since our last research, the list of candidates has slimmed to five from the original nineteen, and we are starting to see more consistency of voters’ viewpoints. Check out our infographic and results below.


Below are a few highlights from our newest political research:

  • It’s getting more real – significantly more respondents are actively following the 2016 presidential election now (37%) than were in September 2015 (29%).
  • Jobs and the economy, followed by healthcare, still top the list of issues respondents are most concerned about. Education rounds out the top three, lowering taxes to the number four spot. National security also knocked minimum wage out of the fifth spot.
  • Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz are gaining momentum:
    • On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders gained 11% since September 2015 and is polling equal with Hillary Clinton as being the top choice for president.
    • As the field narrowed on the Republican side, Donald Trump did not gain new supporters, remaining stable at 19% as the top choice, while Ted Cruz gained 8% (increasing from 2% to 10%).
  • Despite Sanders’ momentum, respondents still feel that Hillary Clinton is the most electable candidate (33%, up from 29% in September 2015).
  • Bernie Sanders is more likely to be considered by 25% of Republicans, compared to Hillary Clinton at 20%.
  • John Kasich is most likely to be considered by Democrats at 23%.
  • Candidate rejection (% indicating they would never vote for this candidate) is the highest with a significant increase of 12% for Donald Trump (from 69% in September to 81% in March), while Bernie Sanders has the lowest Rejection Rate at 51%.
  • Fun Fact: More than a third of respondents (36%) feel positive towards the idea of Democratic Socialism. However, 56% of those could not properly define the political ideology.

Interested in our previous election research? Click here to view the post. 

Concept Testing: Turning Consumer Insights into Better Products and Services


concept testSome new products and services are groundbreaking, successful and quickly become integral parts of our lives. Others aren’t. Numerous studies have shown that as many as 80% of new product launches fail each year. If you or your clients have an idea for a new product or service, make sure there is market demand before you get in too deep. A small investment in quantitative research early in your exploration could save significant expense in the future.

In this blog post, we highlight the basics of concept testing – including what it is, study design and best practices. To learn more about Lab42’s approach to concept testing, you can download our full whitepaper below.


A Concept Test is a research strategy designed to assess the market viability of a new product or service. It will help you determine how appealing the concept is, how likely consumers are to buy or use it, and to identify areas for further optimization.


study designLab42 uses a very straightforward process for testing concepts. After screening for the appropriate audience, qualified respondents are exposed to the un-priced concept and asked a battery of questions to assess its appeal, effectiveness and potential customer motivation. In addition to our standard set of concept test questions, we can also add additional modules that will allow you to understand the appeal of specific features of the concept and determine the acceptable price ranges for the product or service. We finish the survey by asking respondents for their demographic information, which will allow us to analyze the aggregate data along these demographic points.


There are 4 main elements to consider when doing quantitative concept tests:

  1. Target audience: think about who will be buying or using this product or service. Is this product/service meant to be targeted just to them, or do you need to think broadly about potential users as well?
  2. Recommended product description/depiction to be used in the test: We recommend exposing respondents to a clear depiction of the concept, either with text or an image accompanied by text. The image should portray the concept as close to reality as possible, and the text description should be no longer than three short paragraphs.
  3. Monadic v. sequential design: You may have a few variations of each concept that you want to test. If this is the case, there are two primary options for evaluating and comparing the variations.
    • Monadic: In a monadic design, each concept is tested in isolation of the other concepts, and each respondent only evaluates one concept.
    • Sequential: In a sequential design, a respondent is exposed to and evaluates all concepts, generally in a random order all within the same survey.
  4. Recommended sample size: When testing once concept, Lab42 recommends a sample size of at least 300 respondents. However, before deciding on the final sample size, consider the following factors:
    • Size of target population
    • Acceptable margin of error
    • Confidence level desired
    • Methodology: monadic or sequential
    • Budget and time limitations
    • Subgroups required for analysis

Concept testing is a critical step before launching any idea, product or service – better decisions begin with better data. By gaining insights from potential customers on the appeal of the broad concept, as well as identifying areas for improvement, you are able to alleviate some of the inherent risks of launching new concepts.

Using Research and Data to Drive Your PR

At Lab42, we realize how challenging your job can be as a PR or communications professional. One successful media pitch can make a huge difference to your clients’ businesses. However, clients do not always have pitch-worthy news. Even if you have a PR strategy already in place, you can propel your clients’ media exposure to new heights by generating genuinely newsworthy data using market research.

When we started Lab42, we realized that the best way to display our market research prowess was to conduct our own survey, generate compelling insights, and transform those data points into an infographic. The tactic worked quite well for us. Our research and infographics have been picked up by dozens of news outlets, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Mashable and Newsweek (to name a few). After seeing our success with this method, we started recommending it to our clients.

Traditionally, market research has been used for internal projects – customer and employee feedback, concept testing and ad testing, for example. But market research is also a strategic marketing and PR tool. Generating custom, specific insights for your client or business is a great way to stay top-of-mind with the media.

If you are new to the world of market research, here are key points to keep in mind:


Make it interesting

Make sure that the story you are trying to tell is actually interesting – not only to reporters, editors, and producers, but also the audience you are targeting. Try to tie your story in with timely topics or existing news to make it even more relevant.

Use large samples

With a bigger sample you can look at meaningful sub-groups using crosstabs or data filters, which can help support the story you are trying to tell.

Create multiple storylines

A benefit of online surveys is that they can be very flexible. Instead of honing in on one idea, think of potential alternate storylines when creating your questionnaire. That way, even if the data doesn’t fall the way you were hoping, there are more topics to explore with the data.


Use leading questions in your surveys

Of course you want to have compelling data points to share, but make sure that your survey is not designed to elicit specific responses. Reporters, editors, and producers are quick to disqualify pseudo-research. Quality data is the key component to data driven PR, and having leading questions in the survey only discredits the overall research.

Make it all about your client/product/business

Instead of just focusing on your subject, try to tie in timely topics or other news events. It helps to broaden the storyline and raise overall interest, and can increase the likelihood that your story will be picked up.

Use too much industry jargon in the survey

Using too many industry-specific words or phrases might not only confuse your survey respondents, but could cause misrepresentations of your data. Try to use more general verbiage in order to connect with a wider audience.

Creating a survey and capturing unique consumer insights is just part one of a good PR strategy. However, to make your data more digestible, turn your data points into a visually appealing infographic. Infographics and data visuals are a great way to tell your story in an engaging way and are flexible enough to be shared both online and offline.

If you are looking for a way to take your PR campaign to the next level, try incorporating market research. The result will be a stronger story for your client and customized insights for the media.

Interested in learning more about Data Driven PR? Check out the webinar that Lab42 co-hosted with tech PR firm Walker Sands. 

An Introduction to Lab42’s Proprietary Sample

The market research landscape is constantly evolving. Just 15 years ago, telephone surveys were among the gold standards of research, and online research was in its infancy. The ways people communicate, consume entertainment and information, as well as the way brands engage consumers are changing rapidly. According to recent research by PEW, 85% of US adult population is internet users and 65% uses social media, while only 60% of the population has a landline phone.

As people spend an increasing amount of time engaging online, through social media and apps, it was only a matter of time before companies would develop ways to engage consumers where they are naturally spending their time.  As a result, Lab42 has developed a unique platform to collect sample sourced through partnerships with social media networks, e-retailers, games, and applications, providing an attractive alternative to traditional sample panel providers.

In this blog, we will outline how the Lab42 sample is collected, how we validate it, the benefits of using our sample, as well as similarities and differences between the Lab42 sample, panel sample and river sample. Continue reading this post…

Holiday Shopping 2015: Shoppers Starting Earlier, Spending More

Each year, we have our own holiday tradition at Lab42.  We research how consumers plan to shop for the holidays. It appears as though the recession is fully in the rearview mirror for holiday shoppers this year, with many consumers planning on spending quite a bit more during the holidays than they have over the past few years.

According to our newest research on Black Friday and holiday shopping, 62 percent of shoppers plan to start their holiday gift buying on or before Thanksgiving (up from 58 percent in 2014 and 55 percent in 2013). Only 12 percent of holiday shoppers plan to wait until Cyber Monday (November 30, 2015) or later to start their shopping.

Our research also shows that consumers continue to believe that holiday shopping shouldn’t start until after the Thanksgiving turkey has been carved, with 7 in 10 respondents agreeing that stores should be closed on Thanksgiving Day. However, the chance to snag a great Black Friday deal isn’t lost on consumers, with 27 percent of respondents saying that they are planning to start their Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving Day/Evening (an increase from 23 percent in 2014 and 26 percent in 2013).

The data also shows increased support of Cyber Monday compared to last year, with 48 percent of consumers in 2015 saying that they prefer Cyber Monday to Black Friday, an increase of 6 percent over 2014 shoppers (42%). Additionally, while less than three-fourths (74%) of shoppers plan on shopping on Black Friday this year, nearly 8 in 10 (79%) plan to shop on Cyber Monday.

Check out our Snapshot Report, and download the snapshot report below.

Black Friday 2015 - Snapshot