As 2008 comes to a rocky close, we surveyed our Young Adult Thought Leader Panel to see what they expect from 2009.

Many are cautiously optimistic and consider 2009 to be a transition year, both personally and for the country.

  • Most are making some efforts towards financial stability, with "major financial overhauls" in the works and 2 in 5 working towards paying off bills and getting rid of credit cards.
  • One in three are actively looking for a new job.
  • Some are looking to purchase new homes, as the drop in prices is an opportunity for first time home buyers ("I think the poor economy will help me out personally since I'll finally be able to buy a house and I have no investments that are losing money.").
  • Many expect that the Obama administration will improve the economic crises – but know that change will come slowly ("regardless of your political leaning or economic beliefs, I believe the Obama administration - simply because it's new - will bring a new certainty and confidence to the national psyche that we're currently lacking, and this will help restore stability in the economy.").

Some feel the crises of 2008 have created a sense of "unity as a result of hitting rock bottom." They expect that in 2009 Americans will learn to "waste less, band together and move forward."

Two in five are looking to simplify their lives, wrangling in spending and focusing more on themselves as well as the people they care about ("2009 will be a simpler year with less spending and more time reflecting and being with friends").

Many are looking to increase their creative outlets in 2009. One in three plan to learn a new craft and 1 in 10 say they will further pursue their current creative passions, ranging from photography to songwriting ("I want to grow as an artist and as a person").

Many plan to be healthier and fitter in 2009, with 3 in 5 resolving to lose weight and go to the gym.


We are a New York-based market research boutique agency specializing in non-traditional, ethnographic approaches that thoroughly immerse our clients in their consumer’s world.


Our online panel of thought leaders consists of keen cultural observers (ages 18-39) who have been hand-recruited and pre-screened for their progressive, conceptual and tastemaker abilities. Their backgrounds are in diverse fields with particular emphasis on academia, the arts, entrepreneurship, blogging, entertainment, retail and technology. For this poll we surveyed 100 Panelists aged 18-35 (male and female) nationwide. The research was conducted on December 30, 2008.

Zandl Group
109 Ingraham St., Suite 404
Brooklyn, NY 11237


DIY - Crafty holiday gifting

This NY Times article on the rise of crafty holiday gift-giving comes as no surprise to us. Not only have we seen this in our own research, but we personally gave (and received) more diy gifts this holiday season, from infused salts and cooking oils to handmade tote bags. It feels great to get creative and give something a little more personal. Just a nice little glimmer to come out of the this holiday's economic climate.

For Craft Sales, the Recession Is a Help
Published: December 22, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO — Feeling the pinch of the economic downturn, some holiday gift-givers are saving money this year by making their own presents or — for those who lack the time or talent — buying handmade gifts from others.

Craft stores, from giant chains like Michaels Stores to small scrapbook supply shops, are reporting that sales are higher compared with the last holiday season, and online marketplaces for handmade goods, like Etsy, are seeing a boom in listings and transactions. (continue at nytimes.com)

iz, jmd


PET FUN - Kitty Wigs

Kitty Wigs...wow...nothing else to say.
(Thanks Brandi for the tip.)
-jmd, bks



For Immediate Release
December 16, 2008

With the economy in turmoil and unemployment on the rise, many Americans are taking the time to re-evaluate what makes them happy and healthy. From coming out to vote for Change this November to putting a hold on excessive (and ultimately unfulfilling) spending, we’re seeing a desire to overcome these troubled times through positive transformations.
Detoxing the Purchases
Many Americans believe that our excessive consumption led us astray – people were living beyond their means & buying things that they didn’t need. Today, consumers are more likely to take a step back and gauge the value of their purchases; there’s more of a sense of wanting to buy things that are useful and to not waste money on “junk.”
Detoxing the Government
The last 8 years have seen an incredible lack of transparency in the White House. With Obama’s win, the American people spoke out for change, openness, and a new vitality for our leadership. The Obama campaign itself embodied this “detox spirit” by not going negative when under pressure.
Detoxing the Social Circle
In tough times, people like to be able to draw on their network of friends and families for assistance. Many are realizing that “toxic friends” or “frenemies” just don’t fit into their new-found support structure and these relationships are being weeded out in favor of small circles of trusted allies and positive influences.
Detoxing the Home
In order to maintain this positive shift, American’s are finding it more and more important to focus their efforts on the home. From de-cluttering to free up space & energy to switching to natural, toxin-free household & HBA products (e.g. Method, 7th Generation, Dr. Bronner’s) to turning the fridge into a treasure of organic, local (and even home-grown) uber-healthy foods, the home is being converted to a safe haven from toxins.
Detoxing the Body
Cleansing diets are becoming more prevalent and are taking many forms – raw foods diets, gluten-free diets, and vegan cleanses (popularized by Oprah) are just a few of the ways American’s are jumping “self-first” into the detox lifestyle.

We are a New York-based market research boutique agency specializing in non-traditional, ethnographic approaches that thoroughly immerse our clients in their consumer’s world.

Zandl Group
109 Ingraham St., Suite 404
Brooklyn, NY 11237

WATER COOLER - Chase Crawford DOES Look Like Carmen Electra

So we got to talking about the cast of our beloved Gossip Girl, and a couple of us noted the physical similarities between Chase Crawford (Nate) and Carmen Electra (I know, it sounds weird - and not everyone was buying it at first). Well, to bring light to the uncanny (and quite random) resemblance, we put together this little animated pic:



December 10, 2008


We surveyed 100 members of our nationwide online panel of thought leaders, aged 18-35, about their spending habits now vs. a year ago. Across all 12 categories surveyed, the amount they are spending is down an average of 35% with home furnishings taking the biggest hit and video games and professional work attire down the least.

The key learning from this study and many of the others that we’ve conducted over the last year is that the consumer has become the ultimate bargain hunter armed with the tech tools they need to hunt down favorite name brands whenever and wherever they are on sale. They are not necessarily buying the cheapest item instead they are playing a game with the retailer to see how low prices will drop on an item they want before they scoop it up.

They expect good deals on everything

Consumers are touting their frugality and thrift along with their tech smarts in ferreting out favorite brands on sale. They are also more willing to try cheaper alternatives. In these newly frugal times, impulse purchases are being curbed while they wait for items to go on sale.

80% said they only shop for sale items while 66% are using coupons more now than in the past. They are also more likely to be shopping at wholesale clubs and at discounters. For some, H&M and Forever 21 are starting to be considered too high-end.

Over one-third are shopping more at thrift stores while an equal number are using Craigslist more often.

Must-haves do still exist

The two categories they are least likely to trade down in are food and electronics. In the food category, moms are reluctant to trade down in quality for the family’s meals e.g. “I won’t sacrifice and buy cheap garbage”. However, they are looking for sales, using coupons and doing more of their food shopping at Wal-mart and Costco.

In electronics, Apple still is the brand to beat with its iPhones and MacBooks making even the thriftiest pry open their wallets (e.g. “The iPhone costs what it does. There are no sales”) and (“Recently bought a MacBook even though I could have purchased a much cheaper PC notebook alternative but my laptop is pretty much my life and I am willing to pay a good amount for a stylish, reliable one”).

1 in 10 indicated fashion is somewhat of a priority – some mentioned that specific brand names were important but most cited work clothes which have become more important in today’s job market (e.g. “I want to look my best at work”).

Discreet splurges

Everyone is cutting back but we are also seeing people reshuffling their priorities in order to maintain some of their favorite brands and services e.g. staying with their very expensive hairstylist but going less often, going barhopping less often but stocking up the at home bar with top shelf spirits, buying all clothes on sale but not sacrificing name brand toiletries e.g. deodorants and toothpaste.


We are a New York-based market research boutique agency specializing in non-traditional, ethnographic approaches that thoroughly immerse our clients in their consumer’s world.


Our online panel of thought leaders consists of keen cultural observers (ages 18-39) who have been hand-recruited and pre-screened for their progressive, conceptual and tastemaker abilities. Their backgrounds are in diverse fields with particular emphasis on academia, the arts, entrepreneurship, blogging, entertainment, retail and technology. For this poll we surveyed 100 Panelists aged 18-35 (male and female) nationwide. The research was conducted on December 10, 2008.

Zandl Group
109 Ingraham St., Suite 404
Brooklyn, NY 11237


BUSHWICK - Arts & Culture


I checked out a new reading series at the Bushwick Public Library on Saturday.
Read my post on BushwickBK.com!



PRESS - Zandl Group Weighs in on 2009 Trends

Anna & Paige recently spoke with the AP about trends to watch for in 2009.
Check out the article below:
Entertainment to go, cautious consumers in 2009
December 15, 2008
By The Associated Press
(AP) - What will be the top trends of 2009? Here's what professional trendspotters forecast:

-THE TREND: The "Cuspers"
Marian Salzman, trend spotter, chief marketing officer for Porter Novelli Worldwide

The "Cuspers" are Boomers born between 1955 and 1964, said Salzman.

She predicts the Cuspers, sometimes called Generation Jones, will continue to rise to power. She ticks off a list that includes president-elect Barack Obama, Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations nominee, and Caroline Kennedy, who could be tapped to run for Sen. Hillary Clinton's vacant seat.

Unlike older Boomers, Cuspers are more egalitarian, more tolerant and more anxious to make a big difference, she said. Look for more Cuspers in leadership roles, said Salzman. And look for their "let's get on and do it" message to resonate with the masses, she said.

-THE TREND: Detoxing
Anna D'Agrosa and Paige Newman of the Zandl Group

Newman and D'Agrosa see aversion to "toxic spending" _ living above one's means and buying things they don't really need or want.

"Lately, several people have even mentioned that the recession almost seems like a blessing because they are now forced to readjust their values and make different choices, says Newman.

Even those who are OK financially are choosing to cut back, place more value on substantive things and focus on personal relationships that are not based on buying.

-THE TREND: Credit crunch couture/DIY and upcycling
Jeremy Gutsche, Chief Trend Hunter, TrendHunter.com; Rita Nakouzi, director, Promostyl, North America

Inexpensive designs are getting a lot more attention, says Gutsche.

Designers such as Vivienne Westwood, who made a splash in her spring/summer 2009 collection by emphasizing fashion statements that work on a limited budget, including necklaces made out of safety pins and shawls from tablecloths, are going in that direction, he says.

The credit crunch is also adding fuel to more folks doing it themselves, DIY, says Gutsche. A troubled job market and the need for extra cash will motivate hobbyists to transition their love for their craft into a cottage industry.

That dovetails with "upcycling," reusing an item so that it doesn't become waste. The term comes from "Cradle to Cradle" authors William McDonough and Michael Braungart.

"There would be no waste if we upcycle everything that we've used," Nakouzi says.

Last year, Etsy, a site where people buy and sell handmade things, challenged users to create an upcycled object to sell on the site, she said.

Nakouzi said to look for things like a chair cushion made out of old neckties, and more restaurants and hotels using reclaimed materials.

-THE TREND: Distraction as Entertainment
Ann Mack, Director of Trendspotting at JWT

Content creators are layering a multitude of media into entertainment for simultaneous consumption and engagement, Mack said.

For example, "LittleBigPlanet" users are gamers, social networkers and content creators, "The Hills" 'Backchannel' social networking site is where fans can gather to talk about the show as its happening on TV, and author Stephenie Meyer has a playlist that readers can listen to while they're reading the Twilight series, she said.

"People are almost in an entertainment bubble of sorts," said Mack.

-THE TREND: Mobilize Me
Jane Buckingham, president of The Intelligence Group

The year 2008 was all about computer saturation, says Buckingham, with people Facebooking, uploading videos on YouTube and watching television on their laptops.

"But next year your media friend might start collecting dust when a mighty mini version takes hold," says Buckingham. "With the iPhone, the Bold and the Google phone, we're beginning to truly be able to take our shows on the road."

For example, the iPhone can be a baby monitor and a Google phone, such as the T-Mobile G1, has a barcode scanner which allows you scan any barcode at the store and then immediately compare prices online.

Buckingham said she's heard of people cutting their Internet service to save money and relying on their phones. After all, an iPhone is much easier to fit into your pocket than an iBook, she says.

-THE TREND: Feedback 3.0/Clever Consumer
Reinier Evers, founder of TrendWatching.com; Jeanine Recckio, beauty and lifestyle futurologist, Mirror Mirror Imagination Group

No longer can companies ignore the millions of people who complain online about defective products and bad service, says Evers.

"The recession will put consumers in a more powerful position," he said.

Feedback 1.0 was the lone customer posting a review or complaint and companies ignoring him. Feedback 2.0 was when millions posted, with companies largely ignoring them. Feedback 3.0 finds companies listening and replying, says Evers.
For example, Starbucks lovers can already "help shape the future of Starbucks," by sharing their ideas online, and hotel managers can respond to complaints and praises posted on TripAdvisor.

Recckio says that in these rough economic times, the consumer carries more power. She's telling the retailer, 'I'm not shopping unless it's on sale,' or 'This is nice, but I don't want to pay this price,'" she says.

And the retailer is bending because it needs the sale, she says.

-THE TREND: The Dowdy Look
From David Wolfe, trend forecaster, The Doneger Group

It's going to be trendy to dress dowdy, Wolfe says, with faded colors and melancholy looks. The look is almost a backlash to the flashy, celebrity driven, sexy style that has been dominant for the last decade, he says.

"In a funny way, I think it is a successor to grunge," he said. "I think it's going to be much more sophisticated and really kind of poetic and pretty."

That's not to say people are going to shop at Goodwill and thrift shops. People will go to high priced designers to look like they're not spending a lot of money, he said.

But looking lavish will seem emotionally wrong, he said.

-THE TREND: Let the Good Times Roll
The Trends Research Institute's Top Trends of 2009

During the Great Depression, arts and entertainment flourished, according to founder and director Gerald Celente.

When times are down, people want to lift their spirits, says Celente, adding that Americans have been working more and playing less.

He predicts that while angry music will be part of the new tunes, there will be a re-incarnation of upbeat and swinging sounds. There will also be more dance halls, particularly for the young, single under-40 cabin feverish crowd.

"The last thing they are going to do is cocooning," he says. "They're going to want to go out and play and laugh it up and dance like they did during the Great Depression."

Full article here.

ADS - Pepsi Max: One VERY lonely Calorie

BBDO Düsseldorf brings us this captivating (and quite somber) 'One very very lonely calorie' campaign for Pepsi Max. Not sure when/where it was used or if it was simply concept. Doubtful we'll ever see an American version of the campaign here in the States, but it's certainly worth passing around for a laugh - or a tear.

I Believe In Advertising

HEALTH - Just like Rogaine for your lashes...

Eyelash extensions are so last year!

Botox manufacturer Allergan is looking for FDA approval on a variation of a glaucoma combatting eye drop called Lumigan that has been found to also make eyelashes longer and fuller. While Lumigan is currently marketed for glaucoma, news of 'Latisse', the eyelash-expanding variation, and it's potential profit estimates pushed shares of Allergan up 5.8% on Friday.
CBS News: Glaucoma Drug Doubles As Eyelash Enhancer

PRESS - Irma Zandl on the Power of the Tween Dollar

Irma Zandl quoted on BND.com :


The recent success of the movie "Twilight" showed the power of both a vampire romance and the tween dollar.

A big part of the movie's success -- it had the fourth most lucrative weekend opening of the year -- came from female moviegoers in the teen and so-called tween demographic, usually described as being between 8 and 14.

When the movie's female lead, Kristen Stewart, appeared last month at a store in Paramus, N.J., hundreds of star-struck girls waited for hours for an autograph and a few seconds of time with the actress.

Paul Pflug, spokesman for Summit Entertainment, the film's producer and distributor, said the movie showed that the girls' young teen demographic -- and younger -- is worth targeting.

"I think it made people aware that this really is a segment of the audience that would go out and support a product that's made directly for them," he said.

That wasn't news to fashion retailers, for whom malls present a particularly sweet spot.

Anna Martini, president of fashion retailer Groupe Dynamite Inc., said the company conducts extensive demographic studies before opening its Garage stores, such as one at Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus this fall.

"We tried to target malls that had a high density population of teenage girls," Martini said. "Whether you are selling iPods, or apparel or are in the cell phone business -- it's a pretty influential, important demographic. Because to a large extent they are trendsetters. In that demographic, you are in or you are out. They get influenced by their peer group, by music, by movies such as 'Twilight.'"

EPM Communications Inc., a New York-based market research firm, estimates tween spending power nationwide at $43 billion.

Irma Zandl, president of New York-based The Zandl Group, which tracks market trends and consumer insights, said some marketers try to tap into the tween market hoping to build customer allegiance that will last as the consumers age.



PRESS - Zandl Group Quoted in WWD


Chilly Scenes of Consumer Spending for '09
by Valerie Seckler
Posted Wednesday December 10, 2008
From WWD Issue 12/10/2008


"This holiday, a group of 300 people in their 20s and 30s who are considered tastemakers by the trend forecaster Zandl Group, said they were being more discriminating about fashion purchases for themselves. Apparel for the workplace and boots top their shopping lists.

'That has a lot to do with the job market, if they're looking for jobs, and secondarily, wanting to seem as buttoned-up as possible in their current work environment,' said Irma Zandl, president of Zandl Group. Unemployment rose to 6.7 percent in November from 6.5 percent the previous month, and 533,000 jobs were lost, the biggest monthly increase in 34 years. Some economists project the jobless rate could rise as high as 8 percent next year - twice the estimated 4 percent considered more typical in the U.S.

The tastemakers are getting choosier about holiday gifts too. 'There's more of a sense of wanting to buy things that are really wanted,' Zandl noted. "People don't want to waste money on junk."

Three-quarters of the cohort had holiday gift budgets of either $100 to $300 or $300 to $600 when polled by Zandl in mid-November."

Full article here (subscription required).


BUSHWICK - Anna's Weekend Picks on BushwickBK


Anna D'Agrosa's weekly arts & culture picks on BushwickBK.com.




(From the December 2008 Young Adult Hot Sheet)

For Immediate Release
December 8, 2008

With the US Department of Labor reporting a nation-wide unemployment rate of 6.7% in November, predictions showing a rise to at least 8% in 2009 and underemployment (e.g. part-time workers) reaching a 15 year high, young adults are unsurprisingly concerned about job prospects and security. Our panelists frequently tell us that the number one thing on their “Wish List” is to have a good job, but with today’s economic uncertainty, we’re seeing a shift towards responses like “keep my job” or “find a full-time job.” As we have been reporting over the course of the year, young adults are “feeling the squeeze” and adopting a DIY attitude about everything from nightlife to home improvements; we see this trend continuing into the job market as well, fostering a spirit of creativity and inspiring entrepreneurial solutions to the unemployment crunch.

Online social networking is a ubiquitous presence in the young adult lifestyle, and panelists are tapping into a whole new crop of networking sites with a decidedly professional bent. Sites like HigherEdExperts and SquaredPeg offer professional development in a social networking setting. Location-based networking on sites like BrightKite are also being used as tools to meet people in specific cities and create connections from the ground up. Yammer, a microblogging service like Twitter is also focused on business and allows only individuals with the same corporate email address to join a given network. These tools are becoming increasingly important for building a professional structure and as a way to get one’s foot in the door when it comes to job seeking opportunities.

Another arena young adults are inhabiting for information (or to spout their frustrations!) is the blogosphere. From slag sites like GlassDoor and JobSchmob, where workers are encouraged to vent about their situations to industry blogs DealBreaker, where companies and insiders from the financial world go to publish news and rumors, office gossip abounds online. According to a recent article in the New York Times, companies are feeling pressure to blog about layoffs themselves in order to “better control the message” rather then let someone else write the story. Not only are the companies who blog about layoffs receiving sympathetic responses, start-up companies with job opportunities follow the posts with an eye towards recruiting.

Pink Slip parties are popping up across the country for recently laid off workers and recruiters alike. These grass-roots gatherings are drawing attention from recently laid off young adults as well as those worried about job security. Aside from the fun & drinks, attendees are encouraged to mingle with company representatives and head hunters to make connections and find new jobs.

They say you should dress for the job you want, not the job you have, but with uncertainty in the economy and lay-offs on the rise, we're noticing more and more young adults dressing up for the job they want to keep. A recent study of our Young Adult Panel revealed that 13% plan to spend money on clothes by the end of the year, specifically work clothes from retailers such as Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, H&M and JCrew.

By applying their passion for tech & social networking to career quests, young adults are already showing their ingenuity during this down time. Additionally, we’ve been hearing from more young adults around the country that their life or career goals are to start their own businesses. With heroes like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook) and Sergey Brin & Larry Page (the Google guys), we expect to see some genius “web 3.0” ideas to come out of this recession period. Keep in mind – the beloved iPod was developed in the midst of the Dot-com bust!

We are a New York-based market research boutique agency specializing in non-traditional, ethnographic approaches that thoroughly immerse our clients in their consumer’s world.

For this analysis we also tapped into our online panel of thought leaders which consists of keen cultural observers (ages 21-39) who have been hand-recruited and pre-screened for their progressive, conceptual and tastemaker abilities. Their backgrounds are in diverse fields with particular emphasis on academia, the arts, entrepreneurship, blogging, entertainment, retail and technology.

Zandl Group
109 Ingraham St., Suite 404
Brooklyn, NY 11237
t. 718.366.1000
f. 718.366.1004


TECH/AGRICULTURE - Apple on an Apple

Pretty awesome! Who says farmers don't know how to get their tech on?

"An owner of a Fuji apple orchard printed up custom stickers of iPods and the Apple logo. He then put the stickers on his Fuji apples while they were still young and on the trees. A month later after the apples had matured, he removed the stickers. As you can see the lack of sun reaching the apple cause them to keep the stickers original design."

[Blog!Nobon] via [Weird Asian News]
-jmd, ad


BUSHWICK - Anna's Weekend Picks on BushwickBK


Check out my weekly arts & culture picks on local blog BushwickBK.com.
The new Zandl hood is super fun!
Come visit!

Direct link: http://bushwickbk.com/archives/767



TECH - Follow The Zandl Group on Twitter!


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BUSHWICK - Emerging Art Scene...Again

The Zandl Group's new neighborhood has made the presses again!
NYC art luminaries are taking an interest in Bushwick's emerging art scene. Jerry Saltz (accompanied by Roberta Smith) recently took a tour of some open studios during Arts in Bushwick's BETA Spaces festival and reported on the hood's art cred, focusing on 4 up-and-coming galleries: Norte Maar (which doubles as an apartment), Pocket Utopia, English Kills and Lumenhouse. Props to Bushwick-based artist (& our friend) Kevin Regan for the great pic of Pocket Utopia!

Article here: http://nymag.com/arts/all/indie/52571/