United States of Video: How Video Content Is Impacting Americans’ Brand Discovery and Purchase Decisions

This ambitious project will build on existing learning, while leveraging new behavioral data together with robust qualitative and qualitative phases, in understanding the new role of video in consumers' product and brand discovery journey.


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Digital video's role in the discovery process for new products and brands has become even more of a crucial consumer touchpoint than ever before. This multi-phased original project will reveal how brands can more successfully leverage video as a critical piece of the discovery process. As one piece of this project, behavioral tracking will examine the role of video pre COVID and post its immediate impact.


  • Understand how different generations use video to learn about brands, including the impact of different usage on their discovery journey, product uderstanding, and brand connections
  • Identify where in their discovery path consumers use video and for what purpose
  • Learn how newer video destinations and platforms are impacting discovery
  • Uncover how video is used differently in the discovery journey based on lower vs. higher price points
  • Learn what types of video consumers turn to and why, including how different types of video (UGC vs. reviews vs. traditional ads vs. influencer videos) play different roles in discovery. Understand the impact of intentional video (a search on YouTube) vs. passive video (an ad viewed on Hulu), including the beliefs, knowledge, and/or behaviors that viewing spawn. Identify what’s missing from the video landscape and how brands can better leverage video through the customer discovery path.


This ambitious work will provide a roadmap for brands and organizations to better leverage video in consumers' discovery process.

Through this multi-point methodology, including behavior data at different points in time related to the COVID crisis, we'll develop a playbook by identifying best practices for using video across platforms, product/service price-points, and generations

Consumers, especially in these insulated times, are interacting virtually not only more with each other, but also with brands. Video, across generational cohorts, plays a powerful role in product and brand discovery.

But, so much is still to be understood. How can brands better leverage video during consumers' purchase paths? What are the behaviors around video discovery that lead to viewing, sharing, and action? That's what this study is all about: the first behavioral-based, cross-generational revelation of how brands can best harness the inherent power of video.

Methodology: Qualitative/Quantitative

Design Rationale:

There will be three stages to the research:

Stage One: Observation (Behavioral Tracking)
Stage Two: Exporation (Digital Diaries)
Stage Three: Validation (Online Survey)


Stage One: (Observation) will examine where and when consumers engage with brand-related video in a digital-discovery environment.
Digital tracking of search and video discovery behavior via Luth ZQ behavioral tech solution for 60 days (30 days pre-COVID-19 "stay at home" period, 30 days during the stay-at home window).

Sample: Consumers who’ve made a purchase after noticing or watching a video (ad, branded video, review, influencer video, etc.)

Sample size: 800
200 per generation
100 each of purchasers of low vs. high price-point items within each generation

Review 60 days of digital-video behaviors (30 days pre-COVID-19, 30 days during stay-at-home)
Unearth key digital-video consumption patterns

Qualitative Design

Number of research sessions (or interviews) by specific approach:

8 sessions of 6-8 respondents each

2 sessions among each cohort: Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Boomers

5-day duration

Qualitative Research Target

Gender: 50% Male, 50% Female

Ethnicity: Approximates national population distribution

Ages: 13 to 75

Behavioral/Lifestyle Screening:

Consumers who have made a purchase after noticing or watching a video (ad, branded video, review, influencer video, etc.)

Additional Demographic Screening:

Stage Two: (Exploration) Understand the role video plays in the discovery and buying decision processes, and how brands can better optimize video in consumer connections.

The second stage of this research process (Exploration) will comprise of an in-depth digital-diary qualitative investigation, leveraging a combination of exercises and discussion (with opportunities for clients to monitor discussion and tag specific respondents or conversations for probing/clarification follow-ups).

The goal of this stage is to understand the role video plays in the discovery and buying decision processes, so that brands can better optimize how and where to use video.

Discussion to include broader range of video than Stage 1 (e.g. TV, trailers, etc.).

Live "experiment" to include a series of video discovery tasks (broken out by low vs. high product pricing tiers), with diary recording and follow-up discussion of sources consulted, videos watched, acceleration points, confusion points, and missed opportunities.

Geography: US Only; Approximates national population distribution

Quantitative Design

Number of Interviews: 2000

Interview Length: 20 minutes

Quantitative Research Target

Gender: 50% Male, 50% Female

Ethnicity: Approximates national population distribution

Ages: 13 to 75

Additional Demographic Screening:

Stage Three: Quant Survey, which is proceeded by Stage One (Observation - behavioral tracking) and Stage Two (Exploration - qualitative digital diary)
n=500 each for Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Boomers

Geography: US Only; Approximates national population distribution


Reporting: Formal Report

Presentation: Both web-based and in-person

Additional Deliverables:

Interim memo-style reports for Stages 1 and 2

Online observation portal for Stage 2

Single integrated in-depth report of all three stages, including a strategic executive summary

Data tables from Stage 3

Quantitative data available on KnowledgeHound


Presentation: In-person or via video conference

Reasonable travel costs for optional in-person presentation to be billed separately at cost.

Timing: 20 weeks from funding to delivery of final report


Company: Research Narrative

Previous Projects: 1


Supplier's Qualifications:

Research Narrative will execute this work. A full-service market research, insights-advisory, and data-journalism agency, Research Narrative specializes in media and communications research. The company's digital-video clients include leading video brands like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Studios, and Rovi/Tivo.

Luth Research is a tech-enabled insights agency. This project will leverage Luth’s proprietary ZQ Now technology that accesses a permission-based online panel to passively track the digital behaviors of targeted audience segments across a wide range of devices and platforms.

Supplier's Team:

Kerry Edelstein, President and Founder of Research Narrative, will lead this. project. Kerry is an expert in creating data-driven stories that drive business and content strategy. Kerry has collaborated with renowned media brands such as Netflix, Disney, YouTube, Amazon, Discovery, NPR, SheKnows Media, Vulcan Productions, and Viacom Media Networks to develop programming, launch cross-platform media strategies, and build leading brand portfolios.


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