Loyola University Chicago

Quinlan School of Business

Exclusive COVID-19 research by C+R Research shared with Quinlan students

Exclusive COVID-19 research by C+R Research shared with Quinlan students

Quinlan alum and C+R Research vice president Hillary Stifler helped connect Quinlan graduate students to exclusive consumer research on pandemic behaviors.

As the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. in early 2020, market research firm C+R Research developed a consumer community to take the pulse of consumers.

Thanks to Hillary Stifler (MBA ’12), a C+R Research vice president and Quinlan graduate, students in Professor Linda Tuncay Zayer’s graduate marketing class have exclusive access to this research over the summer. 

“Getting exposure to this research was invaluable for students to not only strengthen their empathy skills but to learn how to glean insights from data,” says Zayer. “We are lucky to have such great alums like Hillary!”

Consumer community

To build the community, C+R Research invited 100 consumers to answer an ongoing series of questions on how they are managing this crisis.

“We really get a chance to know these people and their lives,” Stifler says. “We get to go a little deeper with consumers and see in real time how the pandemic and the reopening of states are shifting attitudes and emotions so we can relay this to our clients.”

C + R Research clients, research participants, and Zayer’s graduate marketing class all have exclusive access to the findings.

Consumer behavior during COVID-19

C+R offers the following insights about consumer behavior during the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Many consumers are being conservative about their spending.
  • Consumers are investing in home improvement or new skills. One prominent new skill is how to bake.
  • Consumers are adjusting to the markets that do remain open, such as using takeout instead of eating in restaurants.
  • Consumers are investing in materials that make them feel good or have control over the pandemic, such as self-care routines or spreading positivity.
  • Consumers are nervous to return back to normal.

According to Stifler, this last point will be critical for businesses that are reopening. “Businesses have to understand the anxiety that underlies everything,” she says. “Businesses have to reopen in a way that makes people feel safe.” 

Stifler also noted that reopening will be a balance.

“There are people who are ready to get out and who don’t fear the virus, but others are more hesitant. Businesses will have to balance that,” Stifler says. “There’s going to be a transition period, and things won’t immediately bounce back.” 

Prepared for the moment by Quinlan

Stifler credits Quinlan for helping prepare her for her role in this moment.

“I learned at Quinlan how to create strategy and think big picture,” she says. “It helped me pull together C+R Research’s COVID-19 task force and the firm’s strategy to support our clients now and in the longer term.”

She still has fond memories of the school.

“Quinlan was a great choice for where I lived and worked. I had so many great classes and teachers. I got to go on a retreat to Woodstock, Illinois, and was able to go to Cuba with Professor Michael Maher.”

Learn more

  • BBA in Marketing
  • MS in Marketing