5 pieces of research you NEED* to know about

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I don’t know… the continuing tale of Brexit, Donald Trump’s trade war, the plight of UK train commuters, another runway at Heathrow… I am just not feeling particularly inspired nor motivated at the moment.

So the obvious antidote to such gloom? To spend some time looking around on the web of course. Here are 5 pieces of recent research you really need* to know about (*when I say need I may well be stretching the truth a little).

In no particular order…

1_ WHSmith = worst high street retailer.

You won’t have missed that the high street is in a tricky place at the moment. Just yesterday we heard bad news about House of Fraser and Poundworld.

Which? magazine has recently published results from its annual 10,000 strong survey of the best/worst high street retailers.

WHSmith is voted worst – described by one customer as a “horrid shop“. It has been in the bottom two for the last 8 years. Things are not looking good for WHSmith.

Mary Portas has also picked up on this story, highlighting that the business actually does ok financially due to its ‘retail engineering’ approach and being held up by the performance of its airport and station outlets (with those ridiculously high prices!).

It would seem to be difficult times ahead for a retailer that doesn’t have anything unique to sell and has little or no voice. In fact if you read the article from Which? you could suggest it’s maybe bad news ahead for many of those listed in 90-100th place, some having already shown signs of failure.

2_ Britain’s most scenic bus routes… revealed

Yes, this one pricked my attention as well!

Bus Users UK spent three long months collecting 15,000 votes for this one. You can literally experience the winning route by clicking here. I am on my way to Leeds right now. Maybe a good follow-up for BBC Four’s experiential bus ride TV (one of my very favourite BBC Four programmes).

Look out later this year for a Britain’s Most Scenic Bus Routes website. I’d like the organisers to also consider some urban routes which are equally spectacular.

3_ 1.6m UK workers opt for the gig economy

That might be impressive but what stands out for me from research carried out by WeMa Life is that it would seem a huge 7.3m UK workers would like to leave their job try the gig economy but don’t have the confidence they would source enough money to support their lifestyle.

One of the biggest issues holding people back is not knowing how to issue invoices or take payments. Another reason is not knowing how to connect with potential customers.

If I could charge them £1 each for this information I would be a very rich man. Hell, there’s a ton of information for free on this subject. My advice? (The advice that was given to me), just go for it.

4_ Passengers from hell are smelly and have out of control children

The long-awaited Passengers from Hell annual survey from www.airlineratings.com is in.


I think we can all relate to this from our trips on a plane. This year I will try not to commit all 10 fouls (I really can’t see myself doing number 8).

Ranking the 10 worst passenger types, readers voted in this order…

  1. Smelly passengers
  2. Those with out of control kids
  3. Prolonged seat recliners
  4. Armrest hoggers
  5. Passengers with too much carry-on luggage
  6. Those with a weak bladder
  7. The chatterboxes
  8. Passengers who exercise in the aisles
  9. Arrogant and demanding passengers
  10. Window hoggers

5_ Global brands are really (really) good

Research by McCann Worldgroup (that’s the McCann Worldgroup that earns $bn’s from working with global brands) reveals that 81% of consumers believe that global brands “can play a vital role for good“. No way, who’d have thunk it??

Interesting when you consider the recent behaviour of the likes of Volkswagen, FIFA, Samsung, United Airlines, Apple, News International, Dove, Uber, Pepsi, Oxfam and Facebook.

What the research does show is a growing trust in local brands – 56% now trusting local brands over global ones, up from 43% in 2015. That is interesting and has big implications for marketers.

Also, (certain) global brands beware… the research reveals that consumers believe “truth is the most valuable currency“.


[Photo by Michael Mroczek on Unsplash]

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