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									Image of Greater Bakersfield
 Research Conducted by Cogent Research,
        Cambridge, Massachusetts

    Executive Summary
                                                                                                                     18
   Overall              Perceptions of Bakersfield are consistent across both consumers
   Overall
Perception of           and businesses. The largest proportion of consumers and
Perception of
 Bakersfield            businesses in fact have no impression of Bakersfield. In
 Bakersfield
                        addition, those with unfavorable views outweigh those with
                        favorable views.


                         CONSUMERS
                         CONSUMERS                                                BUSINESS
                                                                                  BUSINESS



       Very favorable                                         Very favorable
            3%                       Very                          6%                         Very
                                  unfavorable                                              unfavorable
                    Somewhat                                               Somewhat
                                     14%                                                      14%
                     favorable                                              favorable
                       17%                                                    14%


                                       Somewhat                                                  Somewhat
                                      unfavorable                                               unfavorable
                                         28%                                                       28%
                     Neither                                                  Neither
                   unfavorable                                              unfavorable
                  nor favorable                                            nor favorable
                      39%                                                      38%




                                                                     Subgroup analysis: Business persons who
                                                                     have been to Bakersfield within the past year
                                                                     have a more favorable impression than those
                                                                     who have not been there in the past year.




                   QC2, QB1. What is your overall perception of Bakersfield, California? Please
                         use a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is “very unfavorable” and 5 is “very
                         favorable.”
                                                                                                                                       19
   Overall         Among both groups, perceptions of Fresno are similar to
   Overall
Perception of      perceptions of Bakersfield. Perceptions of Los Angeles are
Perception of
 Other Cities      slightly more favorable.
 Other Cities
                                            CONSUMERS
                                            CONSUMERS                                                 BUSINESS
                                                                                                      BUSINESS


                                                                               Very favorable                     Very un-
                                                            Very                    8%                           favorable
                       Very favorable                                                                               9%
                                                         unfavorable
                            7%
                                                            12%
                                        Somewhat                                          Somewhat
                                         favorable                                                                       Somewhat
                                                                                           favorable                     unfavorable
      Fresno
      Fresno
                                           19%                    Somewhat
                                                                 unfavorable
                                                                                             21%                            19%
                                                                    20%


                                                 Neither                                                    Neither
                                               unfavorable                                                unfavorable
                                              nor favorable                                              nor favorable
                                                  35%                                                        38%




                                                                                                                    Very
                                        Very favorable                                          Very favorable   unfavorable
                                                             Very                                    14%
                                            13%                                                                     16%
                                                          unfavorable
                                                             22%


    Los Angeles
    Los Angeles                   Somewhat
                                                                                         Somewhat
                                                                                          favorable                      Somewhat
                                   favorable                                                23%                          unfavorable
                                     27%                       Somewhat                                                     24%
                                                               unfavorable                               Neither
                                                                  21%                                  unfavorable
                                                                                                      nor favorable
                                                  Neither
                                                                                                          24%
                                                unfavorable
                                               nor favorable
                                                   17%




                QC3, QB2. What is your overall perception of Fresno, California?
                QC4, QC3. What is your overall perception of Los Angeles, California?
                                                                             7
                 STRATEGIC SUMMARY

Familiarity with Bakersfield positively affects perceptions
Confirming our qualitative findings, consumers who have spent time in
Bakersfield, who have family and friends who live in Bakersfield, or who
have had the opportunity to get to know the people that live there have a
more favorable impression of the community. In addition, business
people who have a favorable impression of Bakersfield most often
attribute it to visiting the city.

A significant proportion of both consumers and business persons report
very limited knowledge of Bakersfield. In many cases, their lack of
knowledge and experience results in their having little or no impression
of the city. Over a third of both groups say that their overall impression
of Bakersfield is neither unfavorable nor favorable.
                                                                              8
                 STRATEGIC SUMMARY
As we saw in the qualitative interviews, people’s perception of Bakersfield
changed when they learned more about what the city has to offer. For
example, a common perception among consumers is that there is
“nothing to do” in Bakersfield. However, when they are read messages
about the various activities available, many say they would be more
likely to visit the city. In addition, most business persons are unaware of
the quality and availability of Bakersfield’s labor force. After hearing
messages about the labor force, they say they would be more likely to
relocate their company to Bakersfield.

These misconceptions and lack knowledge present a great opportunity for
Bakersfield to positively change its target markets’ perceptions through
education and strategic communication.
                                                                              9
                 STRATEGIC SUMMARY

Perceived Strengths of Bakersfield
Cost of living and housing
The perception that cost of living and housing is a strength of Bakersfield
is held among people looking to relocate, people who may be retiring in
the near future, and business persons. In particular, the message about
the cost of housing makes business people more likely to consider
relocating to Bakersfield.

Friendliness of people
The friendliness of the people who live in Bakersfield is perceived as
better than in other communities. This is an important feature for people
looking to relocate to another community.

Ability to offer a “change of pace”
This is a factor that tourists look for when choosing a community to visit
and one which they believe Bakersfield can provide better than other
communities.
                                                                                 10
                  STRATEGIC SUMMARY
Restaurants
Bakersfield’s restaurants are perceived as being better than those of
other communities. The quality of an area’s restaurants is important to
tourists.

Cost of land and labor
Businesses are most likely to relocate in order to reduce costs and
because growth of the company has created a need for a larger facility.
In particular, the cost of labor weighs relatively heavily in their relocation
decision. Bakersfield’s cost of land and labor is perceived as better than
that of other communities.

Accessibility to highways
Accessibility to highways, which is important in business relocation
decisions, is perceived as better in Bakersfield than in other communities.
                                                                             11
                 STRATEGIC SUMMARY

Perceived Weaknesses of Bakersfield
Weather
Bakersfield’s hot, dry weather was found to have a negative impact on
both consumers’ and business persons’ impressions of the city. Weather
is perceived as being very important by all groups. In several instances,
Bakersfield’s weather has prevented tourists from visiting and relocaters
from moving there.

Cultural and recreational activities
Bakerfield’s night life, and cultural and recreational activities are
perceived as being worse than in other communities. Such activities are
very important to tourists, and influential in their decisions about where
to visit. Importantly, when read messages about the activities Bakersfield
has to offer, the majority of participants say that the information makes
them more likely to visit. The fact that survey paticipants respond
favorably to information about culture and recreation in Bakersfield is
consistent with qualitative findings.
                                                                            12
                 STRATEGIC SUMMARY
Career and higher educations opportunities
Consumers who are likely to relocate within the next two years are driven
to do so for career and educational opportunities. Those who are unlikely
to relocate to Bakersfield cite the job market as one of the reasons. Not
surprisingly, messages about the higher education institutions in
Bakersfield make potential relocaters more likely to want to move to
there.

Medical care
The availability of and quality of medical care are deemed the most
important factors to people looking for somewhere to retire. In general,
Bakerfield’s medical care is perceived as worse than that of other
communities.
                                                                            13
                 STRATEGIC SUMMARY

The quality of labor force
Labor, particularly its availability, is among the most important factors
that businesses consider when deciding where to relocate. Work ethic of
the labor force is important to businesses. However, the work ethic of
Bakersfield’s labor force is not perceived as relatively strong. Not
surprisingly, the message about the strength of Bakersfield’s labor force
makes businesses more likely to want to relocate there.

Location
Businesses feel they need to be closer to other areas, or closer to their
established markets and customer bases, and seem unsure about the
business opportunities in Bakersfield.
                                                                            14
                STRATEGIC SUMMARY
Recommendations
There are several areas in which Bakersfield is living up to consumers’
and businesses’ expectations and needs. We recommend that
Bakersfield continue to concentrate on excelling in these areas and
communicating its excellence in these areas to the appropriate groups.

There are also a number of areas that are important to consumers and
businesses which are perceived as being worse in Bakersfield than in
other communities. In several cases, both consumers and businesses
are simply unaware of what Bakersfield has to offer. These
misconceptions can be corrected by educating people about Bakersfield’s
true strengths.

This study explored the needs and perceptions of several different groups
of people including tourists, people looking to relocate, people who may
being retiring in the near future, and business persons. We recommend
addressing the disparate needs of each of these groups with the
messages that will be most relevant to them. The specific
recommendations for each of these groups follow.
                                                                              15
                 STRATEGIC SUMMARY

Tourists
• Educate consumers about the recreational and cultural activities
  Bakersfield has to offer. Let them know that there are, in fact, many
  “things to do” in Bakersfield and that there are many reasons to visit.
• Highlight Bakersfield’s superior restaurants and the “change of pace”
  from regular life it can offer to tourists.

Relocaters
• Educate consumers about the abundant job opportunities and higher
  education opportunities in Bakersfield.
• Educate consumers about the quality of Bakersfield’s public education.
• Promote Bakersfield’s low crime rate, low cost of living, and low cost of
  housing.
• Promote the friendliness of the people who live in the Bakersfield
  community.
• Concentrate less on promoting Bakersfield’s central location.
                                                                            16
                 STRATEGIC SUMMARY

Retirees
• Educate older consumers about the quality and availability of medical
  care in Bakersfield.
• Promote the affordable cost of living.

Businesses
• Educate business persons about the stability, availability, skills, and
  work ethic of Bakersfield’s labor force.
• Educate businesses about Bakersfield’s accessibility to major markets.
• Promote the affordability of labor, living, and housing in Bakersfield.
• Promote the abundance of affordable land available in and around
  Bakersfield.
• Promote Bakersfield’s accessibility to major highways.
                                                                                            24
Awareness of           The majority of consumers and business persons are aware that
Awareness of
Bakersfield’s          Bakersfield is located in Kern County.
Bakersfield’s
  Location
  Location



                         CONSUMERS
                         CONSUMERS                                            BUSINESS
                                                                              BUSINESS


                                            Don't know
                                               3%




                         No                                                   No
                        43%                                                  32%


                                                                                      Yes
                                                                                     68%
                                      Yes
                                     55%




   Subgroup analysis: Younger consumers
   (18-34) are less aware than older consumers.




                    QC43, QB25. Are you aware that Bakersfield is located in Kern County?
                                                                                                 25
Impression of      There is a slightly larger proportion of people who have a more
Impression of
  Location         favorable impression of “Kern County” than those who prefer
   Location
 Descriptions      “Greater Bakersfield.” However, the largest proportion of
 Descriptions
                   people do not have a preference between the two labels.



                     CONSUMERS
                     CONSUMERS                                             BUSINESS
                                                                           BUSINESS



                               Greater
                              Bakersfield
                                14%
                                                                                    Greater
                                                                                   Bakersfield
                                                                     Neither is      25%
                                                                    better than
                 Neither is                                          the other
                better than
                                    Kern County                        43%
                 the other
                   55%                 31%

                                                                                  Kern County
                                                                                     32%




                QC44, QB26. Which description of the area do you have a more favorable
                      impression of?

								
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