Protobrand's National Study "Mood of the Nation™" Shines Light for Retailers and Brands this Holiday Season.

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Consumers feeling a desperate need to create and protect the "perfect" holiday.

The Grinch won’t be stealing Christmas this year, but if you listen closely enough, you might notice a slight faltering in the voices of carolers.

Protobrand, a research and branding firm headquartered in Boston, MA, released results today of its ongoing metaphor study of the national mood. December's “Metaphor of the Month™” is “The Snow Globe," representing consumers' strong desire to build and protect an idealized holiday season for themselves.

“Mood of the Nation” is a pulse check of a nationally representative sample surveyed through Protobrand’s online metaphor elicitation tool Meta4 Insight™. In conjunction with the standard consumer sentiment indices from the Conference Board and the University of Michigan, “Mood of the Nation provides a complete picture of how people feel, providing the ‘why’ behind the numbers. With Meta4, participants use imagery in an online environment to express themselves, allowing us to extract the underlying emotional and cognitive frameworks they use to make sense of the world around them.

This month’s metaphor “The Snow Globe” captures our need to create an emotional space for the holidays that is set apart and protected from the struggles of daily life. "Everything that consumers want the holidays to be exists inside the snow globe: happy memories, peaceful moments, perfect gifts, reunions with loved ones, great food, and warm, lively parties," says Phil Granof CEO of Protobrand. "The worrisome realities of daily life–personal financial struggles, the fiscal cliff, wars, even the desperate hope of winning the Powerball lottery–threaten our vision of the ideal holiday season and must remain outside the plastic dome." Like a snow globe, our holiday hopes can withstand a little shaking, but too much force from the outside can shatter our illusions of holiday perfection.

"While the Consumer Sentiment Index is at its highest point since 2007, we have detected a measurable discord in consumer mood driven by an underlying fragility of emotion," points out Dr. Anders Bengtsson, President of Protobrand."We identified four metaphor-based archetypes that represent the majority of consumers this holiday season: The Figure Skaters, The Sleigh Drivers, The Snowmen, and The Carolers – each defined by a different approach to protecting their personal 'snow globes.' The implication for retailers and brands is that they need to make this holiday season very personal and safe, so they are seen as already 'inside the snow globe,' and not cracking the dome to get in."

About Protobrand
Headquartered in Boston, MA, Protobrand is an independent research and branding agency driven by consumer insight. By uncovering the rich, unseen motivations behind human behavior, Protobrand develops strategic and creative solutions that result in emotionally resonant brand relationships. Clients include global and nationally recognized brands such as Lee, Ocean Spray, Taco Bell, Nivea, Bank of America, Reebok, Toyota, and Wrigley.

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