LULU Customers: Loyalty Is A Stretch

To learn more about our platform for the buyside (including methodology and coverage list), please visit: Bespoke Intel – Survey Research Platform

One of the most significant trends that jumps out at us from our survey work on LULU is the internal debate brewing within the customer base on quality vs. price. Active customers like the product, but they only feel they are getting moderate value and remain likely to try other brands at lower prices. Lululemon is on trend with wardrobes merging as casual/comfort wins the day (even in the office). An enthusiastic customer base and strong margins have always been part of the long thesis, but there have been plenty of risks to keep a close eye on too (customer willingness to pay a premium, competitors/new entrants gaining traction, loyalty to the brand, customer service/PR issues, etc).

For the purposes of this post – we wanted to leave you with one clean and easy to understand takeaway: Loyalty isn’t particularly strong and willingness to try competitors at lower prices points is definitely there.

We have the next quarterly volume of our survey work in-field currently (addressing all of the above) and will have results available next week. Please contact us if you would like to learn more about the report.

LULU Loyalty 1






Oh, and don’t look now but an increasing minority of LULU customers feel yoga pants will go out of style.

Smartphone Loyalists: AAPL Winning And Keeping “Jump Balls”

To learn more about our platform for the buyside (including methodology and coverage list), please visit: Bespoke Intel – Survey Research Platform

To learn more about our full AAPL domestic and China coverage, please contact us: 914-630-0512 or

In an increasingly saturated US smartphone market, it is becoming increasingly important to understand share shifts between Apple and competitors. Most people focus on retention rates (and for good reason), but we thought it would be even more instructive to combine existing and projected retention rates with a market share component. In other words, it is helpful to know that the iPhone has a strong retention rate, but it would be even more valuable to know what kind of share they have of the stickiest customer type and how that has changed over time.

For the purposes of this chart we consider “Apple Loyalist” to be a smartphone owner who told us their current smartphone is the iPhone, their smartphone before this one was an iPhone, and they expect for their next smartphone to be an iPhone. 

Smartphone Loyalists

The obvious takeaway from the chart above is that the percentage of smartphone owners who are “jump balls” (ie, easier to acquire because they aren’t set into the same manufacturer for three upgrade cycles), has declined over-time. During the period of time displayed above, Apple has grown their loyalist share by 37.6% compared to Samsung at 28.2%. Focusing just on the past twelve months, Apples loyalist as share of smartphone owners has grown by 7.1% compared to a -6.8% decline for Samsung. In short, Apple is winning the jump balls at a better rate than Samsung.

We have tons of more data on AAPL, including this kind of analysis in China. We just thought this was an interesting and constructive indicator for AAPL that adds more value than just considering the iPhone’s “strong retention rates.”

To learn more about our full AAPL domestic and China coverage, please contact us: 914-630-0512 or


GME: Not Game Over, Just Yet

To learn more about our platform for the buyside (including methodology and coverage list), please visit: Bespoke Intel – Survey Research Platform

To learn more about our full video games coverage (including GME, SNE, MSFT, NTDOY, etc), please contact us: 914-630-0512 or

When we started to track the top 25 video game purchases each quarter back in 2015, physical games dominated market share of purchases. In confirmation of a widely held short thesis assumption, digital games gained share from Jan (15) through Mar (16). Oddly enough, though, digital’s share has flattened since then and remains in the high 30s in our survey (a figure that is in the neighborhood, if only a touch higher, than what publishers have publicly reported). The point is this: for whatever the reason, digital has stopped gaining share.


You could make a lot of arguments for why digital’s share gains have stalled (download times, storage capacity of consoles, the desire to have digital games to carry to a friends house, the ability to trade physical games in, and so on). Fact is, gamers do love the convenience of the digital download… but they have also told us all of these other things that still pull them toward physical copies. It seems logical to think digital’s share gains will grow if/when a console with greater storage capabilities is released, but it is still uncertain how much more capacity next gen consoles will have and there still are critical differences in this equation compared to the Blockbuster demise that many liken GME to.

What our survey has shown over the past two years (a period of time in which GME has gotten beaten up and traded down to a valuation that assumes it doesn’t need to exist), is that gamers have been buying fewer games in general. In other words, our survey makes it look like the shorts were right, but for a different reason than what underpinned their thesis.

Which brings us to the Switch: GME has done well historically in the aftermath of new console releases. The (perhaps) unanticipated success of the Switch gives us access to a canary in the coalmine type indicator before the next Sony and Microsoft consoles release. If the mindshare momentum behind GME in the chart tells us anything, it is that GME isn’t going away quite yet and might have an extra life or two left up its sleeve.



Please let us know if you’d like to participate in the next volume of this survey, which we will be launching next week! The next wave of data will obviously impact our views above depending on how the results shake out.

The Big Box (Food) Fight vs. Amazon

To learn more about our platform for the buyside (including methodology and coverage list), please visit: Bespoke Intel – Survey Research Platform

Below is an excerpt from our low cost retail survey research. To learn more about our full low cost retail coverage (including WMT, TGT, COST, AMZN, etc), please contact us: 914-630-0512 or

Our surveys show that Amazon ($AMZN) is tugging at the active customers of Target ($TGT), Walmart ($WMT), and Costco ($COST).  The common denominator for these retailers’ ability to resist Amazon seems to be the grocery category.  In our surveys, both Walmart and Costco have shown a greater ability to defend themselves due to their customers stronger focus on using them for groceries (Target has, however, shown improvement on that front).

Wal-Mart customers say they like free shipping over $35 and pick-up discounts, but the reduction in usage for all things ex-grocery has been impacting ticket size in our surveys. Don’t look now, but online grocery ordering / delivery is starting to gain traction in our grocers work. Market share is still low, but each month it gets better. Given the feedback we have been collecting in our low-cost retail survey, our online grocery share trackers will be crucial.

Some pictures below. Please give us a shout if you’d like to discuss.






























FB Engagement Issues – Structural or Transient?


To learn more about our platform for the buyside (including methodology and coverage list), please visit: Bespoke Intel – Survey Research Platform

Below is an excerpt from our social media survey research. To learn more about our full social media coverage (including FB, SNAP, TWTR, Instagram, etc), please contact us: 914-630-0512 or

Toward the end of 2017, we started to highlight DAU concerns for FB (specifically, that fears of millennials disengaging from Facebook were actually starting to materialize).


FB Post 1a


Zuckerberg recently discussed making changes to newsfeed “because it is time better spent,” and more healthily spent, on Facebook if you are using it for social interaction. While that is true, and a good deal of ink has been spilled in recent weeks on the health concerns around social media use in general, we wanted to investigate if the engagement declines were primarily the result of ad load (which can be fixed) or if they are more structural (a prolonged threat that could grow). PS – we think it is a little naive to think Facebook intentionally reduced time per day on the app by 50 million hours and we would also highlight that their proposed changes fail to fully address all the concerns of the “social media is bad for you” crowd. You’ll see evidence that for those folks, it may be too late to put the toothpaste back in the tube.

Back to the structural or transient debate… For starters, we found that there was an inflection point where users stopped being increasingly likely to say ads in newsfeed are getting more relevant and started to become increasingly likely to say they were more annoyed by ads in newsfeed. It seems that perhaps Facebook had been executing really well for a while with keeping tolerance of ad load in check while increasing ad load all the while, and maybe got a little ahead of itself.


FB Post 1
FB Post 2

In Zuckerberg’s statement he references internal research they have done telling them that users think newsfeed has gotten a little crowded (the charts above confirm). It seems reasonable to think that FB gathered a lot of the type of feedback we are showing you in these surveys and are seeing that sliding engagement from millennials is accompanied by increased annoyance with ads. There are some indications in our report, though, that it goes beyond annoyance with ads (and these concerns may be more structural). We’ll drop a couple examples of this in below. Just a flavor of the full extent of the feedback in our surveys.


Picture1FB Post 4

Keep in mind: Facebook could fix these issues, it currently trades at a discount, and the advertiser view may be that Facebook is where they want to be anyway and they don’t have many other places to go instead. And like we flagged in our report, Instagram is absolutely ripping in our surveys and is performing really well. Our job though, is to flag that these issues are there currently with consumers and to hopefully give you a window of a look into why Facebook might have decided to make a significant change to newsfeed (and very publicly). There’s a ton of interesting information in the entire report and it goes into depth on TWTR and SNAP as well (with a helpful look on SNAP and how strong the headwinds are that would get in the way of acquiring older users).

Would love to chat if you found this to be interesting and would like to see more like it!

To learn more about our platform for the buyside (including methodology and coverage list), please visit: Bespoke Intel – Survey Research Platform



(P, Spotify) – Pandora Losing Share To Spotify, Pandora Premium Traction Underwhelming

(P, Spotify) – Pandora Losing Share To Spotify, Pandora Premium Traction Underwhelming


Topic: Streaming Music Survey

Excerpt From Report: Account Holder Trackers and Ad Load

Tickers: Spotify, P, AMZN, AAPL, SIRI

Survey Goals:

  • Track account holders (free and paid)
  • Follow market share shifts (overall and millennials)
  • Demographic Cohort Analysis For Pandora and Spotify
  • Track engagement changes with Spotify and Pandora and Consumer Attitudes Toward Each
  • Understand Consumer Sentiment Toward Premium Offerings (And reasoning for paying / not being willing to pay)
  • Take user temperature on ad load and perceived changes (Spotify and Pandora)
  • Measure Traction Of The Following For Spotify: Users own playlist, Spotify playlists, Spotify Radio, Friend’s playlists.

Preview of Takeaways:

  • Pandora Account Holders Slide And Spotify Keeps Winning Share From Pandora
  • Pandora Premium Traction Underwhelming
  • Pandora Users Are Becoming Increasingly Aware Of / Annoyed With Ad-Load
  • Streaming Players and Internet Connected Speakers Have Strong Holiday Season

If you’d have interest in connecting about this or any of our other coverage areas, please contact us: or 914-630-0512.