America's economic gulag

Olson Zaltman Associates recently conducted qualitative research into how people are thinking about the U.S. economy at deep psychological levels.  Although the economy has shown positive signs in the last few months, the overall picture remains troubling.  Nearly 13 million Americans are still out of work and consumer confidence, as measured by Gallup, is actually lower than it was exactly one year ago.

As we discovered in our research, Americans feel they are in -- or in danger of being in -- an economic gulag.

We conducted ZMET interviews with 28 diverse Americans from October 2011 through January 2012, to understand the emotional impact of the current economic climate.  The stories we heard saddened us , but also gave us hope.  We believe these stories will give you deeper insight into how your consumers are coping with these challenging times, how their perspective on their country has changed, and how they see their hopes for the future.  We have also created recommendations for how marketers can leverage these deep consumer insights.

The report is available at: