Saturday, April 17, 2010


Whenever I take an online survey I am always puzzled by the types of questions that they ask.

I participated in an online survey yesterday about cars. I am seriously considering buying a car, and probably will in the next 6 months. My Honda Civic hatchback is 12 years old and has almost 170K miles on it. It is making some noises that my mechanic can’t figure out.

The survey asked me about those things, and asked if I was considering specific cars (I am), and what they were. 1) Honda Fit, 2) Volkwagen Jetta Sportswagen TDI, then in no particular order Toyota Yaris, Prius, Honda Insight. In truth the Fit is currently way at the top of the list. It is a high mpg hatchback, that has been reviewed as “fun to driive” in every review I’ve looked at, plus has an amazingly large cargo area in the back, with back seats that fold flat. Perfect for the long hauls I do for my hobby.

The survey then asked me to name luxury car brands and models off the top of my head. I know brands but not models. It then named luxury brands and models and asked lots of questions about them.

The survey wanted to know if I thought individual brands or models were technologically advanced (I assume so), if owning a car from them says anything about the cars owner (yeah, probably, what, I’m not sure), and lots of questions about what I felt about the brands (don’t feel much about luxury car brands). The questions never asked if the cars drove well, or were comfortable, or even looked good.

After I finished the survey I thought about it for a bit. I bought MegaMillions lottery tickets on Thursday. I do on occasion. The prize is over 100 million right now. I like to daydream about what I might do if I won. I realized that an expensive car is never part of my daydreams, nor expensive clothes or an expensive watch.

I would probably move to the Seattle area, or maybe Vancouver area in BC. I like the Pacific Northwest. I like the weather (cool) and the mountains, and the sound/ocean. I would like to be closer to my parents. With lots of money I could buy a nice house with a view and a little land and a second house or second living quarters for my parents. I would have to be careful about local laws. I am not moving anywhere that has a pet limit (legislation that decreases available homes for dogs and cats... stupid), nor tells you whether you can have a fence or a short list of what you are allowed to grow or what color your house is.

I would give some money to my brother, my parents, my friends, to help them with assorted financial issues. I would give money to some charities. I would give money to my University. I would hire a housekeeper and an accountant. I would eat more lobster, more sushi, go out to good restaurants more often. I would travel more. I would entertain more. Much of this is wasteful consumerism, like most people would do.

But for some reason I have no interest in a fancy car. I might get that TDI instead of the Fit, but then again, maybe not. I guess that to me it is about what is actually Much Better, and worth the price.

Meanwhile, I wonder why surveys always ask you how you “feel” about things and particularly how you “feel” about brands, rather than if you think they work well, make a good product, etc.

After I finished this, uploaded it and checked the site. I looked to the left and saw the Metarasa chart. Well duh, I am all about thinking, very low on the feeling-extrovert. Why would I "feel" about a brand? But, I STILL buy things, so Marketers howabout giving me something solid to think about?