Understanding the Base: A Roadmap for Brands to Win the Middle of the Country

The 2016 election highlighted a major disconnect between what the media thinks they know about US consumers and what Middle America actually thinks and believes. This study will help brands understand how to better target all Americans with their products and marketing campaigns.


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The majority of media and marketing companies are based in large metropolitan areas and, if the last couple of years have taught us anything, it's that there can be a glaring gap between the "reality" shown in the media and marketing and the "reality" of middle Americans. The result of this failure to understand a sizeable portion of the country is that the themes, ideals and beliefs depicted in consumer marketing may be fundamentally different than those that make up a majority of the "middle of the country" audience.


  • Gain a foundational understanding of the unique set of needs, values and motivations that set middle Americans apart from those who live in major metropolitan areas.
  • At the same time, understand key similarities between middle Americans and Americans in major metropolitan areas to identify universal needs, values and motivations
  • Segment this market into different high value "middle of country" consumer types and prioritize "middle of country" consumer segments for each separate industry
  • Provide insights for any industry on how marketers and product developers can better meet the needs of high value "middle of country" consumer segments
  • Provide each co-sponsor with a report customized to their industry with a customized "middle of country" segment opportunity analysis to which only they will have exclusive access


Over the last couple of years it has become apparent that politicians, media and marketing have to some degree ignored middle Americans, not taking the time to fully or clearly understanding their attitudes, beliefs, values and motivations.

Methodology: Quantitative

Quantitative Design

Number of Interviews: 3000

Interview Length: 20 minutes

Statistical Analysis:

· Multivariate cluster-based segmentation, using geographical regions, attitudes and need states will serve as the basis of the segmentation.

· Cluster analysis is the use of mathematical models to identify groups whereby consumers in the same group (called a cluster) are more similar to each other than to those in other groups. These homogeneous groups are known as consumer segments.

Design Rationale:

We will be talking to a very large, diverse sample that represents the core of middle America. Through the large sample, we will be able to cluster segments of respondents together that most closely relate on their attitudes/beliefs/needs. We will then be able to provide detailed profiles of core segments of middle Americans as well as side-by-side views on how they are similar/different from one another and from Non-Middle Americans. Insights about each segment will enable recommendations on the best means of reaching these consumers and underlying messages to try to tap into or avoid, as well as any product development needs that are under-served among these groups.

Quantitative Research Target

Gender: 50% Male, 50% Female

Ethnicity: Approximates national population distribution

Ages: 18 to 74

Additional Demographic Screening:

Respondent screening will be balanced to census on age, gender and region.

n=2000 "middle America" respondents defined as:
Respondents will live anywhere in the US EXCEPT California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Illinois, Minnesota, New York state, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, Washington DC, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia
n=1,000 respondents from the excluded states listed above (ie. NON-middle Americans)

Geography: US Only; Approximates national population distribution


Reporting: Formal Report; Summary Report

Presentation: Web-based

Additional Deliverables:

Each subscriber will receive a report customized to their industry and tailored opportunity analysis on the "middle of country" segments for their brand that no other subscribers have access to.

Funding Timeline (once project is approved): 60 days

Timing: 10 weeks from funding to delivery of final report


Company: Fisheye Research

Previous Projects: 1

Rating: Supplier has not been rated

Supplier's Qualifications:

At our foundation, Fisheye Research is a full-service research firm that focuses on quality data with creative approaches. Through strong partnerships with our clients, we strive to go beyond the data and tie together macro trends and competitive analysis in order to provide more actionable insights. Fisheye specializes in foundational research approaches such as A&U research and consumer segmentation and target identification.

Fisheye Research Team:

Jenny Kramer, a Founding Partner at Fisheye Research, is a proven leader with 15 years of experience in research. After getting her Masters in Evaluation and Organization Behavior from Claremont Graduate University a mentor introduced her to the world of Market Research, and she hasn’t looked back since.
Jenny has extensive supplier side experience, having previously worked at Lieberman Research Worldwide and Murphy Research, as well as deep client side experience from a management role in Consumer Insights at Sony Electronics. Jenny’s experience spans across several industries, including Consumer Electronics, CPG, Retail, Health & Fitness, and Food & Beverage.
An ambitious story-teller, Jenny strives to dig deeper into learnings to ensure the whole story is told. Jenny has a keen understanding of the internal playing’s in organizations and how research is best consumed. Jenny is passionate about working closely with clients and building deep relationships in order to inform more strategic projects and actionable insights.

Dave Silcock’s analytical mindset and business expertise combined with his sincere passion for client service make him a consistent deliverer of business impact for his clients. Dave’s methodological and strategic understanding allows him to combine consumer insight with macro environmental intelligence to help his clients creatively solve complex business problems and successfully execute large-scale strategic initiatives.
Prior to co-founding Fisheye Research, Dave served as a Research Director at Murphy Research after beginning his market research career at Lieberman Research Worldwide. Dave has lead a wide variety of high-visibility research initiatives both domestically and internationally for many of the world’s most iconic companies, and specializes in foundational and strategic research such as market segmentation, brand equity measurement, positioning research and target identification.
Dave has an MBA from Liverpool University and loves to synthesize the business principles he learned with his approach to research to deliver a stronger product to his clients.

Adam Turner has over ten years of experience in advertising research. He started his career in advertising at Hall & Partners after receiving his masters degree in cognitive gerontology from the University of Southern California.
Following H&P Adam spent time at Lieberman Research Worldwide and at THREE Group where he served as head of analytics for three years. At each of these companies, Adam lead several large scale custom segmentation initiatives for clients in a wide variety of industries. Adam has also provided modeling and statistical insights for more than a hundred advertising effectiveness/efficiency studies and served as a co-creator and lead statistician on several proprietary advertising engagement models.


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