Many posts on local blogs point out CNY’s outlander status: we’re never the cool kid in school, we’re the poor relations with the down market baggage. Hell, we weren’t even hip enough to latch onto the housing bubble and see our home prices rise through the roof (mitigated, I guess, by the fact that we weren’t forced to take out complicated exotic mortgages that, since the downturn, blow up in borrower’s faces.) Not only did our economy miss out on this recent bull market, we also missed the go-go 80’s and the dot com boom of the 90’s.
However, if you want to test a product to see if the rest of America will buy it, Upstate NY is your ideal test market. According to a recent survey by the marketing company Axciom, five upstate cities are among the 150 best test markets. Even more impressively, Albany was #1, Rochester was #2 and Syracuse was #5 in the survey (Binghamton and Utica were further down the list.)
According to wikipedia, the best test markets have:
a population that is demographically similar to the proposed target market; and relative isolation from densely populated media markets so that advertising to the test audience can be efficient and economical.
So, because Syracuse looks like America and isn’t snowed under by NYC media, we’re the conventional wisdom? Well, when it comes to buying crap, I guess so. Syracuse, after all, must take the blame for Zima.
Syracuse, a town with craft breweries, brew pubs and a history of beer tradition, was one of the national test markets in America that approved foisting the entire “malternative” beverage genre off on unsuspecting Americans. The beer for people who don’t like beer was tested here for a year before going national and becoming a national laughingstock. A clear brew that tasted like “Fresca poured over tinfoil”, was only recently killed off by Coors. It languished in America for 15 years thanks to Syracuse.