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Tracking the impact of COVID-19

Over the past several weeks, COVID-19 has created extreme uncertainty consumers and businesses. In response, our team is compiling weekly trend updates that examine the current state and explore lasting changes the virus may bring.

So far, we’ve covered topics including how behaviors are shifting in categories such as health care and financial services and how brands can adapt their marketing efforts – and more trend updates are on the way. Interested? Download them here.


| Creative, Culture, Research

The HENRY Consumer: High Earners, Not Rich Yet.

HENRY – high earners, not rich yet – describes consumers who are high earners but whose income is largely dedicated to covering their high costs of living. First coined to describe a segment of millennials, members of Gen X and Boomer generations are now categorized as HENRYs if their spending behavior is driven by aspirational lifestyles they hope to fully afford in the future.

The high costs of HENRY lifestyles are often a combination of elite education, residency in high-cost-of-living areas and aspirational purchasing behaviors. Even receiving incomes within the top 20%, this segment currently has few assets saved and invested. Described as the “working rich,” HENRYs emerged as a target for financial services and wealth management – classified as a prime opportunity for brands to become a part of these consumers’ upcoming luxury lifestyle. Sharing the broader millennial generation’s distrust of traditional financial institutions, HENRYs are interested in digital offerings that provide personalized and accessible data, real-time education, and automated advising strategies.

Interested in learning more about the unique behaviors of HENRY consumers? Download the full report here.


| Research

A Year Filled with Wisdom.

When we launched our Quote to Self project this past February, we were unsure where it would take us, who we would meet and if people would even participate. Asking the question “What advice would you give to your 15-year-old self?” turned into more than we expected. Check out a few highlights from our team:

  • We met a man in Budapest who was reading on a bench by the Danube. When we asked him “The Question,” he thought about it, shook his head and said, “I can’t. That is too big of a question.” We were walking around a nearby park about an hour later when the same man came up to us and said excitedly, “OK, I have an answer now. I would tell myself not to be afraid. Fear is a lie. You can do whatever you want and be whatever you want to be.” We felt honored that he took the time to find us.
  • On a very hot June afternoon, we came across a photographer from California who was visiting Minneapolis. He answered our question in an extremely positive manner: “It will work out, and in the end you’ll get to where you’re trying to go. Crawl before you walk, crawl before you walk.” We laughed with him and had a short conversation. Afterward, he took our photo and we parted ways.
  • In Prague, on the Charles Bridge, we met a Scottish man who now lives and works in Prague. He said he rarely goes to the touristy parts of the city but felt the urge to visit that day. He, like most others we met, was skeptical upon our approach but quickly warmed up. We had a great five- to 10-minute conversation (much longer than most of our interactions), and at the end he said he was so glad he decided to follow his urge to be a tourist that day. His advice: “I trust my 15-year-old self to be the same as my now 50-year-old self. And I wouldn’t try to ask my 50-year-old self to give advice to me because I’m the same man as I was then and the same person. I don’t need to advise me and I couldn’t advise him.”
  • We asked a mother at United Noodle (an Asian marketplace) with two kids under the age of 7 – one in her arms and another at her feet. At first she was flustered by the commotion and our request, but then she paused to think about it and looked at her kids. Her response was a mixture of reflecting on her life and thinking about her kids. It stayed with us because it was such a great dynamic of looking into the past and the future.

Now, that’s just a snippet of what happened in the last 10 months. To see more stories, visit our Quote to Self webpage or our Instagram gallery.

 


| Creative, Culture, Quote to Self Project, Research

Public Sector.

Whether we’re closely following an election or simply grabbing a cup of coffee in a crowded café, there’s a good chance we’ll hear someone mention taxes – and what our taxes pay for at the local, state or federal level.

While opinions abound (and we’re certainly not here to give one), one thing we’ve been thinking about lately is the people compensated by those tax dollars. No, not just the politicians making the news. The everyday people: firefighters, snowplow operators, public defenders, librarians, mail carriers and beyond.

What’s life like for people who work in the public sector? Is their experience different than it is for those of us in the private sector? Learn more in our latest insight.


| Creative, Culture, Research

Embrace All Your Passions.

Do you remember when your parents enrolled you in multiple extracurricular activities? It wasn’t a secret that they wanted to keep us occupied and busy throughout the year. Activities varied from sports to art classes, acting, dancing or music lessons. We loved bits and pieces of each activity, but we ultimately focused on one or two we enjoyed the most.

At our 15th anniversary party, we asked guests to interact with our Quote to Self exhibit and give advice to their 15-year-old selves. One partygoer, Grace, submitted advice that really stuck with us.

“Readily embrace all your passions. You don’t need to choose one.”

We reflected on how participating in different activities added a little excitement to our lives. We got to meet new people and really express ourselves. So why not make time for the activities you love to do? It might bring out the kid in you.

If you have a nugget of wisdom to share, visit our Quote to Self website to participate. Your advice is important and we want to hear from you!

Follow our Quote to Self Instagram and Facebook pages to see other advice we’ve collected thus far.

 


| Quote to Self Project, Research
 
 

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