This month in ‘Data That Matters’, we’re taking some time to unpack the perspectives of GenZ women as this generation grows to over 20% of the US Population.

What we found was some stark differences in the gender perspectives across GenZ.

44% of GenZ Women say availability of abortion is a very big problem in America, compared to only 29% of GenZ Men – Survey Center on American Life, 2022
64% of GenZ Women say affordability of healthcare is a very big problem in America, compared to only 54% of GenZ Men – Survey Center on American Life, 2022
65% of GenZ women say gun violence is a very big problem in America, compared to only 46% of GenZ Men – Survey Center on American Life, 2022
Yet, 66% of GenZ Women believe that what happens to women in the US will have a bearing on their own lives, compared to only 36% of Boomer Women – Survey Center on American Life, 2022
AND, 72% of GenZ Women believe there are too few women serving in “high political offices,” whereas less than half of GenZ Men said the same – Pew, 2023 

There are stark differences in these perspectives and beliefs. If women continue feeling a lack of representation from the decision makers who determine their livelihood, we’ve lost hope in our future. It’s time to listen. It’s time to show up. It’s time to give these women a seat at the table.

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We’re talking financial literacy – because so few are! And these facts matter!

Only 51% of women worldwide achieved the minimum or higher target score for financial literacy – Global Financial Literacy Excellence Centre, 2021
Yet, 66% of heterosexual households report having a woman breadwinner in the US – Swiss Re Institute, 2021
AND, to add onto that, just 20% of female breadwinners say they were ‘very well prepared’ to make wise financial decisions compared to 45% of their male peers – New York Times, 2013

At PinPoint, we believe not only in the power of data, but that we need to do something with it. We’re here for the conversation, the transparent salary talks, and initiatives that put women at the center of financial discussions. Join us by signing up for our Research Voices Database.

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Revealing Your Sixth Sense

One of our favorite kinds of interview activities is a ‘This or That’ series of questions. Packaging Options: This or That (i.e. Bottled or Boxed Water), Product Value Descriptors: This or That (Convenience or Customization). Our ‘This or That’ replies often include ‘Reveals’, or hidden content that we pull back the digital whiteboard curtain on. Reveals spark responses. Charlei Hebron, PinPoint’s Research Voices Manager, applies a five-second rule to ‘This or That’ reveals: no overthinking allowed. (We’re looking at you, the 73% of 25 to 35 year-olds and 52% of 45 to 55 year-olds who are prone to overthink.) Ashley Mendelsohn, PinPoint’s Strategist says, “More than a surprise & delight moment, ‘reveals’ often solve the common issue of research participants overthinking responses. Time and time again, dramatic reveals prompt gut reactions that are more genuine (and enjoyable!).”

How people pick what’s top-of-mind supports how we approach strategic insights. Their responses pinpoint the essence of what drives their decision-making. That essence may not be something they can easily name. But, somewhere in the nuance of ‘This or That’, people’s five senses come to life. Their choices uncover their WHOLE lifestyles, where psychographics triumph over demographics.  

In our work, we admire companies and founders who position (and sometimes reposition) the essence of their brands’ identities. When brands differentiate their essence, they give people a reason to believe. People know what’s in it for them. We need more brands to do THIS. THAT’s what people actually want.   

How might we identify essence, what some call the soul of a brand? What might have been called the ‘‘It Factors” and “Secret Sauces” now show up as “vibes” and “aesthetic cores”. So whether it is about cozy vibes and cluttercore, or back to the It Factor and Secret Sauces, essence can become elusive, like access to a public secret. We believe IYKYK can feel more inviting, open, and human. Less cottage core and more core values. Like something you can truly sense. 

As PinPoint enters 2024 – our sixth year in business! – we’re leaning into essence as a sense, a sixth sense. There’s the hard-wired five senses. (You know the ones, the drivers behind sensory marketing in the nostalgia economy.) And then there’s that deep-wired sixth sense of what makes you stand out in a uniquely positive way.   

A sense of authenticity
A sense of time
A sense of direction 
A sense of perspective-taking (or PinPoint value) curiosity 
A sense of savvy 
A sense of justice 
A sense of culture 
A sense of magic   

What’s your sixth sense? How will it show up in 2024? In essence, will this support your branding strategy? Or, in a sense, will that widen your lens across the year ahead? Let’s reveal the possibilities over an e-coffee.

This year, PinPoint decided to change things up. Instead of sending PinPoint swag out into the world, where it might likely end up in a drawer or landfill, we knew we could do better. We started PinPoint to make a positive impact in the world and it’s because of our friends, our family and the change makers who choose to work with us that we are able to do that day in and day out.

So this year, we chose to donate $2,500 towards women-owned small businesses that matter to the communities who make PinPoint… well PinPoint! On Wednesday, December 20th, we asked our community to tag a women-owned small business that mattered to them on our Instagram. This year, we are so proud to divide our pool amongst thirteen incredible women founders to kick off their 2024.

Some of the organizations are also near and dear to PinPoint, but there were many others we are learning about for the first time and beyond grateful for! Below is the list of all the women-owned businesses PinPoint contributed to for our 2023 holiday gift. We hope you take a minute to parse through each organization – we hope you, too, are amazed by the contributions these women are making in the world.

abar.x – master brow artist and educator
Beatrix & Co – funky, feel-good candles for vibrant people
Be A Heart – bringing the beauty of your faith into your everyday life
Black House Farm – values using sustainable and inclusive practices to provide high quality products and promote personal and community health
Creations of Rae –  luxury hair care services for the everyday woman
Commonspace Collective – bringing commonspaces to life with the coolest local pop up and workshop experiences
Head Hi – a space for exploration and interaction that hosts talks, book launches, art shows, and music performances in Brooklyn, NY
Lena Rose Beauty – Chicago’s first green beauty spa & shop
Packed With Purpose – corporate and personal gifts with a social impact
Shift Dance – an international dance platform connecting the world through movement
smptr – going beyond “Press” to position your brand for more
The PR Alliance – building legacies and inspiring positive change one story at a time
The Silva Whisk – bringing your sweetest dreams to life through the medium of cake or other baked goods
The Write Malloy – helping great women write great nonfiction

Thank you to all the people in our network for joining in on this year’s gift. We appreciate you & cannot wait to see what this year brings, together. Cheers to a successful 2023 and an even more impactful 2024!

You Just Wait and See

When do you start the holiday season? Do you mingle Jack-O-Lanterns with Christmas trees and menorahs? Or, maybe your household sunsets the holiday lights into storage at the dawn of Valentine’s Day. The National Retail Federation (NRF) identifies November 1 through December 31 as the official holiday season. But when every day in November felt like Black Friday, alllllll the holidays too easily blend into one. Brands even coined the month Black November. Maybe there’s comfort in knowing businesses acknowledge our blurred reality. 

That comfort could be seen as an act of kindness. Amid retailers getting in the ‘black’, we noticed how one November day added ‘light’ to the month. November 13th marked World Kindness Day. What started as a day to spotlight communities that bridge differences with kindness has quietly impacted schools, workplaces, and homes since 1998.  

World Kindness Day stands for more than one-off kindness. It extends beyond Krispy Kreme’s donut giveaway. (Although, we wish we were amongst the thousands of customers that each received a dozen glazed donuts. We do love us some donuts!) Krispy Kreme was on to something though. The brand’s motivation “to inspire and enable kindness to others” shows how easy it is to make kindness the norm. While F1 raced its Vegas course, several commemorative days ran their course: Veterans Day, Remembrance Day, Diwali. Whether it’s Election Day or Giving Tuesday, kindness should light up every day. Kindness is not niceness. It definitely is not weakness. Kindness counters the dark and adds light to the world we share. Without it, PinPoint couldn’t celebrate and honor ‘curiously empathic’ as a core value.

Kindness in Your World  

Celebrating kindness also means we get to challenge the thinking behind countless “be kind to yourself” headlines. How might we be authentically kind to ourselves?  

We love learning about how people choose to spend their time. We’ve observed how our Shared Voices community shows authentic kindness to themselves through an unexpected –  sometimes polarizing! – way to spend time. Hobbies. Gaining consensus on an inclusive definition for “hobby” is itself a practice in kindness. According to Statista, cooking/baking, reading, and pets are the top three most popular hobbies in the US. But for some of us, putting a name to our hobbies is no small task. It takes authentic kindness to accept our hobby-jumping habits, that there is enjoyment to be found in trial, error, and trial again. 

Hobby jumpers and hobby enthusiasts share one core goal. Everyone needs high-quality leisure time. Think about high-quality leisure as a research-backed evolution of what we otherwise know as recreation. High-quality leisure more closely represents our lifestyles. It permits our pursuits. The cringe of being asked “What are your hobbies?” kindly exits the high-quality leisure conversation.  

You know high-quality leisure when you experience it. Look for the kind of moments that:

  1. Challenge your skills 
  2. Get you moving 
  3. Connect you to community 
  4. Encourage you to reflect 

When we can be kind to ourselves about the high-quality leisure time we need, we become more motivated to just go for it. Take the dance class at the studio you pass on your way to grab coffee. Sign-up for the woodworking session you keep hinting at. Experiment with new recipes that live in Pinterest but never make it to your grocery list. There is kindness in vuja de, that sensation of seeing something familiar with new light.

Ahead of National Hobby Month (in January!), we wonder: How do you hobby? Do you hobby? With early sunsets, incoming party invites, and tempting online shopping, can you hobby at this time of year? High quality leisure time is even kinder with an e-coffee, so let’s grab one together!

This month, we dug into all of the data around hobbies and found that creativity not only helps people find deeper meaning in their life, it also has vast positive impacts on emotional, psychological, and physical wellbeing. Let this be your sign to pause The Crown and bake a sticky toffee pudding.

77% of Netflix users would rather give up their subscription than give up their creative hobby – Blueprint, 2019
48% who tried a new hobby during the pandemic – such as coding or photography – have earned money turning it into a side hustle – Lending Tree, 2021
Yet, 68% of Americans say they are eager to use their creativity more often – Blueprint, 2019
And 79% of parents would prefer their child “make just enough to get by in a creative job they love” than “make lots of money in a job they aren’t passionate about.” – Blueprint, 2019

Looking for more data that matters? Check out our Instagram.

This month has been Mental Health Awareness month – which means we’ve been paying special attention to data that matters in this space. If you know us, you know that we always start with the numbers so that we can learn where to dive deeper and unpack the ‘why’.

This month, we dug into data around mental health and relationships. What we found was both promising and heartbreaking. But unless we acknowledge the facts, we can’t work to make positive change.

97% of Hinge users want to date someone who actively cares for their mental health – GDI, 2021
80% of people with mental health problems say it affects their relationships including loss of libido, feeling unattractive, and self consciousness – Nemours, 2023
Yet 9 out of 10 people dealing with mental health problems say stigma and discrimination have a negative impact on their lives – Mentalhealth.org, 2021

Please speak up about these issues. Do not stigmatize how serious mental health issues are and the impacts they have on our lives. Now is the time.

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The Pain Points of a Crisis Collision

A Wider Lens
Our PinPoint team is all in on perspective-taking. As designers and researchers, we see first hand the impact of keeping our lens wide. Really wide. We strive to listen to and understand the everyday oh-nos and ah-has that make-up our unique worlds. This month, we heard families describe how brands can support their efforts to keep their kids safe. We noticed conversations about generational differences and started to wonder just how big those differences actually are.   

Perspective-taking takes practice. Time and time again, nuanced outlooks which deserve more airtime catch our attention. Perspective-taking is rarely (never!) easy. But, we’ve learned the value of making time to deliberately reframe our lenses. Wide lenses – the ones that point to diverse contexts and under-represented backstories – reveal more meaningful, satisfying, and exciting insights. Those insights keep us motivated to constantly look for opportunities for positive change. 

A Wider Lens on Mental Health
October especially encouraged – scratch that, challenged – our perspective-taking about mental health. October 10th marked World Mental Health Day. The World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) promoted ‘mental health is a universal right’ as the day’s theme. The United Nations coordinated a month’s worth of events to motivate workplaces to prioritize mental health issues.

From every lens we look through, mental health matters year round. Our shared struggle to normalize just how transparent we can be about mental health is ongoing. Rightfully so too. There are so many perspectives to consider about what ‘counts’ as mental health. For some people, mental health shows up in their surroundings. They want to feel connected to their external environments. Others connect mental health to wellbeing or wellness. The relationship between mental and physical health motivates their lifestyle decisions. Others still see mental health as a hyped obsession. They advocate for a total attitude overhaul about what real health looks & feels like, not to mention who gets to benefit from mental health resources. 

Crisis into Collision
One common thread lurks behind these varied perspectives: the new realities brought on by a crisis pile-up are colliding. Climate crisis. Economic crisis. Geopolitical crisis. The quantity and intensity of stressors just keeps building. When everything is at a heavy impasse, a collision of crises feels explosive.  

As a female-led team, we are increasingly asking about how this crisis collison will play out. Women make up nearly 47% of the US workforce. Forecasts predict women will control 75% of discretionary spend by 2028. Data like this validates how influential women are, but how much does that influence cost? Women are more susceptible to a collision of mental health stressors. Role overload leads them to offload career aspirations. The impact of the collision leaves them no other choices. Collisons all add up, and they cost a lot.  

Collision into Culture
Ultimately, PinPoint is positively optimistic. We are leaning in to asking how mental health can evolve into what our September newsletter called “mental wealth”. How might we personalize mental health, having open conversations with our teams about what mental wealth means and looks like? How might we get ahead of looming collisions, showing up with our teams and customers ahead of the impact and during the aftermath? How might we use perspective-taking to reframe the crisis curve into a culture curve? One that anticipates flexibility, self-advocacy, and peace of mind?  

What’s your perspective on how to notice a crisis collison? How do you and your team communicate about mental health? What does a realistic reframe to wealth look like? Let’s get ahead of the crisis curve together and chat over an e-coffee.

For those who have been following, PinPoint has been taking the month of September to reflect on equal pay – September 18th being International Equal Pay Day.

These facts say it all.

$0.82 – the amount women earn for every dollar men make in America – US Government Accountability Office, 2022
20 years where that number hasn’t budged, despite more women graduating from college than men – Pew, 2023
Yet, only 14% of Russell 100 companies disclosed and adjusted women-to-men pay ratio in 2022 – Bloomberg, 2022

It’s time to do something about it – share your voice, empower one another, and fight for what you deserve.

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Why We Need More Shared Voices

The Old Recruitment

Our PinPoint Team shares an unstoppable curiosity about why people make decisions. Involved decisions about household spending and less involved decisions about pumpkin spice fascinate us. By asking why, we see how long-standing ways of doing things impact all of us. We remain positively optimistic about the uniquely positive impacts we hear across our projects. We also remain sensibly grounded. We’ve seen how steely, entrenched processes produce unintended outcomes. Those outcomes get passed on to audiences left wondering whether their voices can be heard. 

One of the entrenched processes we’ve set out to evolve is research recruitment. In your role, you’ve likely interacted with The Old Recruitment by default. Think back to the last research webinar or trend report that grabbed your attention. What excited you: the bottom-up breakdown of sample size or the top-level statistics? How did you incorporate both ‘main character’ data and footnoted demographics in your decisions?  

We too believe in the value of quantitative insights. But the voices behind those demographic footnotes drive our commitment to equity-centered innovation. We prioritize the whole person – not the demographics – as the first touchpoint to knowing an audience. Doing so means we learn more than who is underserved. We learn whether we are even solving what that audience sees as the problem. We want fewer fine print footnotes about demographics and more bold footsteps into people’s worlds. 

Our Evolved Invitation

Meet Research Voices, PinPoint’s approach to seeing people as individuals and amplifying their voices on their terms. The original meaning of “recruit” resonates with us: to strengthen, reinforce, repair by fresh supplies. In our recruitment reframe, swap out supplies for voices. Research Voices is a tangible solution that activates equity-centered innovation. We need companies to listen for underrepresented voices in their decision-making processes. Through equity-centered innovation, we listen with who else needs to be heard. Traditional recruitment is ill-suited with what equity-centered innovation values. Through Research Voices, we are “all ears”. Research Voices gets us to hear equitable perspectives and learn from voices that otherwise go unheard. 

Think about Research Voices less as a static database and more as a dynamic dataset. Since PinPoint began, we’ve organized the voices we hear during our research into a tool that captures nuanced lifestyles. This allows us to invite people to purposeful research conversations, informed by how they see their authentic identities.   

How Does Research Voices Work?

The reach of Research Voices comes in part from our digital intentionality. As consumers increasingly approach media use with mental wealth in mind, we also navigate the hyper-fractured internet with deliberate care. To invite people to engage with our Research Voices database, we blend: 

1. Customized social and SEO scrubs: We scan for lifestyle patterns aligned with project goals, always aware of the nuance outside the Instagram box. We’ve recently heard parents explain how valuable recommendations from Facebook groups can be when it comes to selecting enrichment programs for their children.  

2. Personalized email communication: We humanize our outreach to appeal to each person’s whole identity. A PinPoint team member crafts, sends, and responds to all messages. When we invite restaurant owner-operators, for example, we can’t expect an immediate response. Restaurant owners don’t have concentrated desk time. They operate front and back of the house!    

3. Inviting screeners: Checking the box on demographics is second to enticing prompts that encourage people to think in new ways. We invite people to freestyle responses or engage in “this or that” statements. We build their responses into future conversations. 

Why Does Research Voices Work?

That blend differentiates Research Voices from recruitment as usual. People trust us with their authentic voices because we first share our authentic PinPoint voice with them. Society’s widespread trust gap touches every swipe, post, and like. Research Voices addresses that gap and goes beyond one-off transactions. Through raffles, meaningful incentives, and recognizing lots of big small wins, Research Voices builds collective effervescence. There is overt appreciation to be celebrated when we connect around a shared purpose. As niche becomes norm, we see the Research Voices community as a unique touchpoint.  

Establishing rapport during research isn’t novel. But, how might we create connections with unheard voices before research officially begins? And, how might we maintain that connection after a project finishes? It’s questions like those that drive us to evolve and expand Research Voices. Nothing is too precious for iteration.

If you feel some FOBO (fear of being obsolete) about traditional recruitment, let’s chat! We’d love to hear your voice.