“Savings” and “Cash on Hand” Key Factors Driving Consumer Confidence in 2012 - Not the Economy

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A qualitative exploration of the factors driving consumer confidence in 2012 by insight generator Communispace revealed that personal factors such as savings, cash on hand, and income were far bigger influences on consumers’ purchase decisions than home values, the stock market, or unemployment numbers.

A qualitative exploration of the factors driving consumer confidence in 2012 by insight generator Communispace revealed that personal factors such as savings, cash on hand, and income were far bigger influences on consumers’ purchase decisions than home values, the stock market, or unemployment numbers.

In a series of conversations conducted in January 2012, members of Communispace's private online communities frequently reported having depleted their resources (spending savings and accumulating debt), and often stated that as things begin to recover, they are now focusing on rebuilding their own safety nets. Respondents overwhelmingly focused on personal factors such as their cash flow, family savings and job security when describing what made them feel like “confident consumers,” as opposed to external factors like the economy.

The study also found that community members fell into three broad categories:

Cautious Optimists
“The things that determine my level of confidence are being able to pay my bills on time, feeling like I have enough money to buy things I want, and having money left over until my next payday. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with my financial situation right now because we have gotten behind on some things since we bought our house. But I am confident that in 2012 we will get caught up, get bills paid off, and be able to start saving money.” Sarah K.

Pessimists
“I don't think I'll ever feel "confident" again about how things are here in the US. After seeing what has happened in this recession and in the years before it, I don't think I'll ever feel sure the ground underneath my feet is rock-solid again,” Joan K.

Uncertain Consumers
“My financial situation is not that bright right now. I do however feel that it will not get any worse, but it’s difficult to believe it will get better.” Kuldip J.

Nearly no one described themselves as completely optimistic.

While most consumers reported feeling hopeful about the state of things to come, 2012 was characterized largely as a year to save, and not to spend. Said one respondent:

“My financial situation is improving. After being out of work for two years I am employed. I'm mostly repairing my "infrastructure" at this point,” Jeff C.

View and download Communispace Index 1: http://blog.communispace.com/align/consumer-confidence-in-2012/

About the Communispace Index
The Communispace Index is a series of infographics that explores the mindset of consumers around current events and trends.. Based on original research conducted in the IdeaSpaces, (Communispace’s proprietary online communities) the Communispace Index provides a window into the consumer perspective. To receive the Communispace Index for free, please sign up at http://learn.communispace.com/communispace-index

About Communispace
The world’s most admired brands turn to Communispace, the leader in generating game-changing insights via private online customer communities. Founded in 1999, the company has created more than 500 customer communities for industry leaders such as Kraft, Hewlett-Packard, Charles Schwab, Coca-Cola, Hallmark, Unilever, Air France KLM, and GlaxoSmithKline.

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Charlotte Daher
cdaher@communispace.com
6173164202
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