Lincoln Merrihew

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

Chrysler 200 Post Launch

The Chrysler 200 was one of several recently-launched models designed to highlight the rebirth of Chrysler.  Its advertisements featured Detroit musician Eminem, and have won several awards.  In October 2010, we set some general measures one might use to gauge the 200’s early success based on the then-current results for Sebring (200’s predecessor) vs. key rivals Accord, Sonata, Camry, and Fusion.  Now nearly a year later, we’re checking back in.

Google & Zagat: Batman & Robin

Google just announced it is acquiring Zagat Survey (Zagat), a historic and significant player in the restaurant review space.  The purchase is another component of Google’s growing travel-related arsenal and also supports its focus-local efforts.  Zagat notes that its “commitment to accuracy and fairness” is consistent with Google’s and that together Zagat and Google will make a “dynamic duo.[1]”  Compete reviewed recent results for zagat.com with context to inform what

FAA Airline Tax Holiday

One result of the recent government budget crisis was that the FAA temporarily lost its authority to collect certain taxes from the airlines, including a 7.5% federal excise tax on domestic travel.  The result was a temporary and partial airline tax holiday. Airlines could have passed the benefits on to consumers as lower fares.  Most did not and instead kept fares flat (raising prices to offset the missing taxes), pocketing

Scion Seeks Soul and Souls

The Scion brand was among the first “alternative” automotive youth brands in the US.   Highest-ever monthly sales were 19,252 units in August 2006, but Scion may have lost its soul since.  In 2010 (before any earthquake-related shortages), sales averaged 3,800 units a month.  Compete assessed key drivers of Scion sales (shoppers and conversion) to help reveal the drivers of Scion’s off-pace results, and fielded a survey on consumer perceptions of

Leaf and Volt—Are Shoppers Charged?

The Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt are arguably the market darlings for vehicles powered primarily by electricity (Leaf is all electric; Volt has electric motors with gasoline power as an augment). While not expected to be volume vehicles in the early years, each is important to the market overall and to their parent brands. To assess their success to date, Compete quantified each model’s in-market shopper volume over time. As