Lincoln Merrihew

What’s the Deal with Travel Promotions?

Image from: graph / Shutterstock Deals and discounts have been part of companies’ efforts to drive business since business has existed.  Travel is no exception.  With the recession came the advent of more frugal consumers and, in response, more aggressive use of deals.  The increasing use of digital technologies by travel-researching consumers creates a unique opportunity to gauge the impact and effectiveness of promotions. Compete evaluated several airline promotional efforts

NBA Test of Fans’ Patience

Image from: Christopher Penler / Shutterstock Strikes, labor disputes, and lock-outs are rarely good for a sport in the short-term. The most recent was between the NBA players and the NBA owners, resulting in a lock-out starting July 1st. By the time it ended the NBA season by truncated by two months and 20% of the normal 82 games. The lockout meant an estimated $1 billion in lost television ad revenue,

Cruze to Market

Many call the Chevrolet Cruze the brand’s best small car ever.  Cruze sales in CY 2011 have averaged over 20,000 units each month—that’s about 13% of all Chevrolet sales—and Advertising Age just reported “Cruze” is one of the hottest automotive brands.  Launching a new model is hard enough; sustaining interest is just as hard and in November GM announced it was slowing Cruze production as sales cooled. To assess the

Scion Music Measures

Scion has always been somewhat of an experimental brand, from marketing tactics to product design.  Music continues to play a lead role in Scion’s strategy: In July, Pandora and Scion announced that Pandora’s service would be offered in the Scion xB and tC.   And Scion recently announced it was going to effectively become an indie music label, with the Scion AV project (see scionav.com). However, Jack Hollis, Scion senior vice

Big 3 Reverse Cross-Shop: Headway!

Image from: ArchMan/Shutterstock For years, the so-called import nameplates gained market share by attracting domestic brand shoppers.  Many in the industry feel that with stable Big 3 finances and better products the reverse is now happening: import shoppers are increasing the extent to which they cross-shop Big 3 products.  To investigate, Compete analyzed reverse cross-shop rank for Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge over time.  Reverse cross-shop measures the prominence of a

Is Cruise Set to Ride the Mobile Wave?

With Apple 4s sales off to a strong start in the wake of the Steve Jobs era, use of mobile will only grow.  The travel industry, like every other, needs to understand how mobile use can best drive interest and purchases.  Within travel the cruise segment has arguably had the least success in leveraging the internet; maybe it can leapfrog other segments into mobile. To inform that potential and in

Catching Up on Condiments

Dobroslawa Szulc/Shutterstock France recently banned ketchup in school cafeterias—except, oddly enough, on French fries. First offered in 1876, ketchup today is an American staple condiment and in some circles is considered a vegetable. France is outside of those circles. But ketchup is big business: annual US sales approach $500M. To see who’s best positioned to capture some of that revenue, Compete assessed where consumers researching “ketchup” across major search engines

Ridgeline at Risk?

Recently several automotive publications have hinted that Honda may soon discontinue its innovative Ridgeline mid-size pickup.  Dodge just discontinued its like-sized Dakota.  Honda says it has no official plans to do so and just added some minor tweaks to the 2012 model.  Compete prepared a quick look at Ridgeline to inform Honda’s thought processes.  The analysis leverages Compete’s proprietary in-market automotive shopper metrics, which are based on unique consumers (i.e.,

Capital One Credit Card Top of Mind

Like many people, I get regular mailings from Capital One asking me to sign up for a credit card.  The frequency makes them stand out in my mind if for nothing else than their persistence.  But given that analog marketing (like traditional mail) and digital marketing do not exist in vacuums, it makes one wonder about the connections.  To help investigate how the volume of Capital One traditional mail might

Battle for the Hourlies: Hertz Seeking ZipCar Customers

In late 2008, Hertz entered the hourly car rental market with a service called Connect by Hertz.  Recently Hertz re-branded the service as “Hertz on Demand,” eliminated membership fees, cut hourly rates, and expanded the types of vehicles available through the service.  All of these changes are aimed squarely at zipcar.  For example, zipcar charges a $60 annual fee to take advantage of their service.  Why rebrand and cut fees? 

Fiat Shifting into (J-)Lo Gear

Fiat USA is leveraging Jennifer Lopez and her ever-expanding brand reach to support the continued launch of the Fiat 500.  Compete investigated the extent to which the Fiat / J-Lo partnership has the potential to be mutually beneficial. How’s Fiat Doing? The Jennifer Lopez ads for Fiat launched in earnest in September.   Results for Fiat’s US site through August suggest her primary job will be maintaining momentum rather than building