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Customer Quotient: US Airline Report

In the airline industry, comfort and service can feel like afterthoughts. But there are some airlines that manage to delight and deliver an amazing experience. We used our Customer Quotient™ (CQ™) model – which identifies strong relationship behaviors in brands – to evaluate major US airlines from customers’ perspectives.

Customer Quotient: US Automotive Report

What draws people to choose an automotive brand? Is it price? Extended warranties? Superior service? Or something else entirely? Using the Customer Quotient™(CQ) framework, which analyzes and measures the nature of the customer-company relationship from the customer’s perspective, we turned to more than 1,500 US drivers to get their take. What we discovered may surprise you: most people are drawn to an auto brand for highly personal reasons that have little to do with the car itself.

Gen Z & the Future of Mobility

Gen Z is diverse, connected, and mobile. Which begs the question: What does Gen Z want from their mobility experience? And how would they make it better? To find out, we brought together dozens of Gen Zers and execs from brands like Bose and Converse for a day of exploration, possibility, and fun. (We defined mobility as anywhere you go, anything you take with you, and how you get there.) Throughout the day we pushed everyone to step outside their comfort zones, make connections, and offer their best ideas. Our Gen Z participants spoke with passion and clarity, and brand execs were wowed by what they learned working alongside the next generation of consumers. Read this report to get a glimpse into our day and what we learned. You’ll see how everyone worked together, and you’ll discover a few insights that might inspire you to better understand, connect with, and design for the next generation.

Customer Quotient (CQ) 2016

Customer Quotient (CQ) is the capacity of a company – or brand – to build strong relationships with its customers. CQ describes and measures the five “intangible” attributes of a brand that consumers really value. The attributes that really shape the customer experience, drive loyalty, and ultimately attract customers to certain brands. And CQ shows a clear link between how well a company gets its customers and the strength of its business performance. A one point increase in CQ score can translate into millions – or billions – in revenue and net income.

Customer Quotient: US Grocery Report

More than almost any other industry, grocery and food retailers are best-positioned to drive customer loyalty by building strong relationships with customers, and reap the rewards of doing so. Because, in an industry where you’re selling products that people put into their bodies, that have an impact on how people feel, how they care for and are perceived by others, customer understanding and intuition is hugely important. This study of more than 500 U.S. consumers used C Space’s Customer Quotient™ (CQ™) to assess the strength of the relationship between leading grocery retailers and shoppers. It analyzes consumers’ perceptions of and attitudes towards food retailers -- how they feel and what they care about most when shopping for groceries.

Customer Inside: A practitioner's guide to online insight communities and how to make the most of them

Customer Inside is an indispensable guide to realizing the value of your online community, told through research and interviews with insight professionals and developed in partnership with the Market Research Society (MRS). The report reveals that the brands that are getting the most impact from their communities are those that see them as more than a research methodology. Instead, they see them as an opportunity to bring the customer inside their business as a catalyst for change and growth.

Get Creative to Get Inspired by Your Customers

In this study, we looked at some of our current communities to understand how member engagement is related to the structure and purpose of activities. We’ll review the results of an analysis exploring the relationship between the number and types of activities used to engage consumers in online communities and the volume and frequency of their participation. Then, we’ll look at some examples that showcase how a diversity of tools and techniques help consumers to leverage their inherent creativity and encourage the personal reflection and thoughtful disclosure that drives deep insight and innovation.

Customer Inspired: How to Achieve Growth in the 21st Century

Over the last year, we have conducted research that corroborates the efficacy of these behaviors. Customer QuotientTM (CQTM ), our innovative approach to measuring the nature of the customer-company relationship, is grounded in what customers, not companies, really value. CQ includes familiar measures of loyalty and experience, but reframes them from the customer’s lens to capture what desirable corporate “relationship behavior” feels like from a customer’s point of view. CQ shows that those companies that genuinely understand and connect with customers outperform their competitors.

Gen Z and the Future of Money

We invited a group of 27 Gen Zers, ages 13 to 20, and six executives from the banking, retail, electronics, and apparel industries, to participate in a full-day interactive session, Gen Z and the Future of Money. Gen Z participants were specific and articulate, equal parts skepticism for the past and optimism for the future, which, as our group made clear, they are eager to create. Download this trendspotting report to read what more about what we experienced and learned from bringing brands and their customers together.

Moving at the Speed of Business or How a Little Quantification Can Go a Long Way

Over the years, we have developed a multitude of solutions for surfacing and exploring insights, as well as validating them, quickly and in ways that can be disseminated, internalized and acted upon by our clients. For us, it has never been about “qual” or “quant.” Rather, we figure out the best way to generate the right kind of information to inform the problem at hand, and then work with clients creatively to take action and move at the speed of business.

What is Privacy Worth to Your Customers: How Financial Services Companies Can Use Customer Data to Personalize Marketing, Build Trust, and Add Value

In this study of more than 3,000 consumers, we analyze people’s perception of personalized marketing – specifically, to understand how they feel about financial services companies tracking and targeting them online. Download this report to learn what data consumers would be willing to trade for perks, what marketing practices they deem okay or not okay, and how they want to do business with financial services companies.

Why Relationship Matters in a Mobile World

As mobile devices continue to become a frequent, if not primary, means of Internet access around the globe, researchers and marketers struggle to maintain respondent engagement in online activities.

Market Segmentation in Online Consumer Communities: Does it Matter?

A team of researchers from Michigan State University independently conducted a meta-analysis of how segmentation schemes performed in smaller, private online communities. Download this report to read more about their analysis. And, learn a few ideas about how to ensure you are getting value from your segmentation while not eroding value from your investment in online communities.

The Rules of Community Engagement: A Study of the Motivations for Participation in Online Communities

Vibrant participation begins with community design, maximizing the happy intersection of what clients want to learn and what consumers want to experience. We partnered with three researchers from the Marketing Department at Michigan State University (MSU) to conducte independent research on C Space communities, looking at a range of our clients across industries, and compared their findings to benchmarks gathered from a range of other online brand communities. Download this report to read a summary of the MSU team’s analysis, and learn some key insights and implications — formulated as “rules of engagement” — that provide evidence-based guidance to any company interested in connecting with their customers through online communities.

Beyond the Bull's Eye: Building Meaningful Relationships in the Age of Big Data

This study includes research from a broad range of consumers and is intended to help companies better inform their personalized marketing efforts and the ways in which they gather, use, and share personal data. Read this research report to learn the serious risks for companies who don’t respect their customers’ wishes for privacy and control. And, learn the opportunities for companies to engage with consumers on their terms and regain control of the vendor-customer relationship.

The Collaborative Advantage: 7 Ways to Combine Big Data Methods with Active Customer Collaboration

This paper analyzes the seven reasons why researchers and marketers need to use Big Data methods with conscious, collaborative methods. Learn how to couple machine-driven methods that rely on volume, velocity, and data variety with interpersonal approaches relying on empathy and the uniquely human capacity to make meaning and to tell stories.

Proven Safe and Effective

This report explains how C Space Health has given life sciences companies, healthcare providers, and insurers a safe harbor in which to address many of their most pressing business challenges. And, it shows how many have emerged with new product launches, patient and physician education programs, benefit bundles, distribution strategies, and other outcomes that were smarter, faster, and often less expensive, while still remaining compliant with the myriad regulations governing privacy, marketing exposure, off-label usage, and adverse event reporting.

Measuring What Matters: Emotion Centric Explorer

Consumers with conflicted feelings often do not take action – they can’t decide, or they procrastinate. By understanding the underlying emotional triggers and removing the elements associated with negative emotions, marketers can change the balance towards positive emotions, and greatly activate purchase behavior. At C Space, we use an innovative methodology called Emotion Centric Explorer that utilizes free association to enable participants to reflect, recognize, and describe their feelings without constraint or judgment. By uncovering consumers’ underlying emotions, Emotion Centric Explorer provides invaluable understanding of a concept’s strengths and weaknesses.

Walls Fall Down: Building community and building trust with Chinese consumers

In this study, we examine private, Chinese-language online communities to understand more about the member experience: What drew them to the community, and what kept them coming back? Was the community perceived as a credible and trustworthy source? Were they being honest with their feedback? Through a series of community activities and informal interviews, we explored community dynamics and drivers with members and facilitators, respectively. What emerged was a holistic picture of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations for participation, how members perceive the community in relation to other online venues, and the various characteristics of an environment that engenders trust, honesty, and mutual sharing.

The Language of the Heart: Introducing Emotive Elicitation

For marketers, it’s crucial to understand consumers’ emotional motivations. We need to reach beyond the rational stories that consumers tell to justify their actions and uncover their true emotional drivers, which often are unclear even to them. Emotive Elicitation is an advanced methodology that uniquely uses a set of body language images, which serve as neutral and universal stimuli, to elicit emotions. More importantly, the body language images serve as exceptional “ink blots” on which members project their subconscious values and perceptions. In this paper, we share the results of several studies to demonstrate the breadth and depth of insights uncovered through this new methodology.

The Uneasy Courtship: How Consumers’ Trust in Financial Institutions Is Evolving

Market indicators, opinion polls, daily firsthand experience, and the research all confirm that the shifts in Americans’ mindset, priorities, and values that have occurred since the collapse of the U.S. stock market in 2008 are here to stay. Years of research results and the hands-on knowledge of financial services community managers corroborate the economic indicators. All the data points to the fact that consumers are adjusting their financial behavior to adapt to this “new normal.” Download this report to learn how consumers across multiple financial industry verticals are navigating the landscape and how it will affect brands.


We know from vast experience that when people are motivated to invest more in answering questions – when their hearts as well as minds are engaged in a task – the quality of their responses is likely to be better. So, we hypothesized that a Prediction Market in which participants invest points or play money in their predictions about which concepts are most likely to succeed in the market, would do just that. To put our theory to the test, we partnered with Consensus Point, makers of a prediction market platform called HuuNu, to evaluate the likely success of several new product ideas that had been co-created with consumers in one of our private online communities.

Character Counts: A Comparison of Mobile and Online Open-Ended Survey Responses

The explosion in mobile adoption has enabled us, as market researchers, to expand our ability to connect with consumers on-the-go, gaining insight into shopping habits, home life, and more, by soliciting in-the-moment feedback. However, must consider the quality of those in-the-moment responses. We conducted a quantitative and qualitative comparison of open-ended survey responses gathered via mobile and online surveys, and analyzed character counts from each. Our findings from this study have informed our own best practices for using mobile techniques within the online community setting – both when to employ mobile for research, and how to pose questions most effectively.


In this multinational study, we describe differences in engagement, conversation topic, and quality of contribution by country and explore those conditions that lead to the greatest vibrancy and quality.

Think Outside the (E-Suggestion) Box: Co-Creation in Private Online Communities

The paper outlines our approach to customer-driven ideation as an alternative to other co-creation and crowdsourcing strategies. We'll also illustrate our Informed Ideation methodology through a study we conducted to uncover unmet needs and generate consumer ideas within the home-office product category.

Connecting with Connected Consumers

To explore how mobility affects the lives, lifestyles and expectations of the typical U.S. consumer, we tapped into nearly 200 members of the IdeaSpace, C Space's proprietary online communities. The sample reflects a mix of male and female respondents, with a slight skew towards women and a majority under the age of 45. These members currently own a digital device or plan to purchase one within the next six months.

Tech Fast Forward

Over two phases of research, we surveyed 1,200 U.S. parents with children aged 3–12 in the household and qualitatively explored key topics with 112 tech-savvy community members and their kids. In particular, we wanted to understand how parents and children who are embracing technology might differ from their less tech-savvy counterparts, and how what we call “Tech Fast Forward” families might be blazing new trails for the rest of us.

¿Me Entiendes?

Latinos are currently becoming the fastest growing consumer group in the U.S., challenging marketers and demographers to take a fresh look at what it means to be—or become—an 'American.' The demographic buckets commonly employed in market research do not really reflect the Latino experience, nor are they capable of sorting Hispanics into meaningful, actionable segments. Yet, reaching and engaging Latinos is a critical objective for brands today, and will continue to be so for decades to come. It is a real dilemma for marketers, and one that we have experienced firsthand at C Space.

Does Community Membership Lead To Positive Bias?

In 2005, we designed a study to explore and address a common concern: that online community members would become brand fans as a result of interacting with each other and sponsoring companies over time, and that their feedback would be overly-positive, systematically skewed, and untrustworthy. In the intervening years we have seen no evidence to suggest different conclusions, nor have we found any reason to doubt the validity of the findings reported in the original version of this paper. Yet, in the fast-moving world of social media, 2005 seems like eons ago; and so we took a second look. Years later, we see the same dynamic at work in our over 400 private market research online communities that we saw then: Highly engaged, long-term dialogue with a brand doesn’t create risk, it mitigates it, by enabling an unparalleled level of specificity and candor in member feedback.

10 Best Practices for Managing Online Communities

Based on our collective experience, we’ve developed ten best practices for managing private, online communities.

Local Eyes

This study puts the “buy local” trend under a microscope, exploring where localism fits into today’s consumer consciousness, how notions of “localness” vary around the globe and the attributes and experiences people seek when buying local. A roadmap emerges for how global brands and marketers can develop the practices and messaging that will tap into the hunger for much of what localism implies.

21st Century Market Research

The emergence of social media challenges us to recognize and figure out how to intelligently embrace a new way of doing research—one that is sure to generate insight, to both inspire and inform, and to provide strategic value. We see an integrative paradigm emerging—a 21st Century model.

Eyes Wide Open, Wallet Half Shut

As thought leaders and experts in understanding consumer behavior in the context of our culture, Ogilvy and C Space teamed up to make sense of the effects the recession has, and will have, on Americans.

The Sandwich Situation: A layered look at the complex lives of multi-generational caregivers

Over the past several years, marketers have identified a growing consumer segment known as the “sandwich generation”—those simultaneously taking care of aging parents and young children. But do they understand this population? Do they serve it with relevant messaging, products, and services? Our research suggests that many brands do not.

Creating a Culture of Participation: Including the Right Customers in the New Product Development Process

In this brief report, we present research that suggests companies—by being thoughtful about type, balance, relevance, and ingenuity of activities—can survey community members frequently and still achieve robust response rates. In particular, findings suggest that “survey fatigue” is less likely to occur when companies create a culture of participation.