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CERC Helps the Padres Look Sharp

Petco Park: Home of the San Diego Padres
One of the best things about CERC’s research is that it can used to help a wide variety of clients solve a lot of different problems. Sometimes it’s politics, sometimes it’s public affairs, sometimes its charitable organizations and sometimes it’s fashion. Say what? Well, we’ve proudly been working with the San Diego Padres since 2008, and when they asked us for research to help them choose new uniforms, we were delighted assist with our innovative dial-testing.

Determining the threads for the home squad is no easy job. Everybody and their sister has a strong opinion about what they want their beloved team wearing. In this case, the Padres went directly to the fans with CERC's help. Using a sophisticated process that included our dial-testing system, we were able to measure fan response to different uniform choices absent the biases that can otherwise creep into traditional focus groups. And because the sessions featured real guys wearing real uniforms, participants reacted as fans, not fashionistas. 

The reactions? Let's just say there were surprises all along the way. After all, we’re talking about a very engaged and very diverse Padres fan base. But CERC was up to the research challenge. We’re always game to come up with the right research solution that yields high value insights for big dollar decisions.

Thanks to Kevin Acee for a great article about the Padres uniform research in the SD Union-Tribune. Click below to check it out!
Read the SD Union-Tribune Article

CERC Has a New Executive Office: Short Move, Big Views

 1620 5th Avenue, Suite 825, San Diego 92101

A new headquarters always brings with it a new chapter, and for those keeping count this will be CERC's fourth HQ in 31 years. We're excited about this move to downtown San Diego. With westerly views of the airport and northerly views of Balboa Park, we've got plenty of new space with offices, an open area, a reception area, a kitchen and a large conference room. We will maintain our focus group and dial-testing capabilities and parking is in a structure alongside the building.

Katz & Associates Lunches & Learns with John Nienstedt

CERC really enjoyed delivering one of our "Lunch and Learn" presentations to Katz & Associates on the nature of public opinion research late last month. It was attended by Derek Danziger, Sara Katz, Lewis Michaelson and a group of Katz executives. It's always nice to lay out what's involved in getting quality public opinion research, and explore synergies with leading public affairs firms. Derek said it was eye-opening and always great to have CERC speak with his team.

If you'd like to talk with John about a Lunch & Learn presentation for your organization, just drop John a note at:
Competitive Edge Research & Communication

Know what to do

 Political Campaigns » Public Affairs » Government & Public Agencies »
Consumer Research 

Survey Research » Data Collection » Analytics » Focus Groups

Phone | (619) 702-2372
Email |
Web |

Blog Article: Fundamental Importance of the 6 Links of the Research Chain

There's a lot that goes into scientifically sound public opinion research, and certain research stages must follow others. This blog post introduces the six- stage process that we believe should be implemented by ANY researcher who wants your business. Too often, we see clients who are unaware that they can get so much more out of their research project. Get acquainted with how each link of the research chain supports the others and how you can leverage the full power of survey research.
Read the Blog Post

Ask the Guru

Q. What distinguishes "good research" from "bad research"?
To answer this question I must ask you to ponder the sound of one hand clapping. With just one hand, we cannot distinguish between what is sound and not sound, but with two hands the impact of one upon the other makes us aware of both. So too it is with good and bad research. Without knowing the impact of both good and bad research, how can you possibly know if that which you have in your hand is good or bad?

Fundamentally, good research helps a client succeed, while bad research doesn’t. Lots of big and little things can separate the two: setting clear research objectives versus going off “half-cocked;” a solid questionnaire design versus questions that are not well thought out; trained interviewers collecting the data versus robo-calls; multiple regression analysis versus crosstabs; a rigorous report versus a bunch of numbers; an in-person detailed presentation where the pollster can be challenged versus a phone call. The differentiators are many, but the discernment may be lacking. 

If you would like to speak with CERC about the nature of good research and how yours could be improved, please drop us a line at: and we'd be happy to evaluate how we can ensure that your research includes proper sampling, uses scientifically sound sampling technique and is free of bias.
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San Diego Business Forecast: Optimism Amongst County Businesses Drops to Five-Month Low

The San Diego Business Forecast
The Business Outlook Index (BOI) dipped six points to 15.9 in June's Business Forecast sponsored by CalPrivate Bank. All index metrics had held steady or improved during the previous five-months, but expectations about the number of hours offered to workers have ebbed. Optimism about hiring, revenue, and business conditions continue to hold firm, however.

See the full June report at the: The San Diego Business Forecast

Book Review: 90% Mental

Yogi Berra once said that "baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical." Former MLB pitcher and now mental skills coach Bob Tewksbury digs into the 90% and convincingly illustrates how mental preparation, strength and execution leads to success in baseball.  Because baseball is life, a lot of what “Tewks” relates can help us all in our lives off the diamond.

Tewksbury is one of the greatest unknown pitchers from the annals of major league baseball. In 1992 he walked only 20 batters in 233 innings, the best ratio in major league baseball in half a century. He embarrassed slugger Mark McGwire twice with his "Eephus pitch" (one of the junkiest pitches thrown in baseball). Most importantly, Tewksbury took the mound in one of the most significant games in Padres history, shutting out the Dodgers over seven innings in the final game of the 1996 season. The good guys would eventually win the Western Division Pennant thanks to Chris Gwynn’s (Tony’s brother) 11th inning double and a save by the immortal Trevor Hoffman. It takes quite a bit of mental fortitude to stare down batters with three tiers of fans surrounding you, and Tewksbury tells us how he did it.

Whether you are a player, a coach, a business consultant, an organizational leader, an introvert, extrovert, coffee drinker or latte sipper, 90% Mental supplies a range of insights into how you can use imagery techniques, self-awareness and strategic thinking to play and win whatever game you’re playing.


The Brewers Win the San Diego County Adult Baseball League Championship

The Brewers, CERC President John Nienstedt's 45+ baseball team, claimed the San Diego Adult Baseball League championship on Sunday. After winning the fall season championship, the team finished the regular spring season in 3rd place, good enough to earn a spot in the play-offs. Then, in Ramona’s 100+ degree heat, a Brewers team firing on all cylinders dismantled the 2nd place Oompa-Loompas 19-0 to move on to the championship game versus Berrys 38, a powerhouse that had lost only one game all season. The Brewers took the ultimate prize with a pressure-packed 3-2 victory before a crowd of dozens gathered at Southwestern College.

Congrats to John (#9), Bill Kalchik who authored a brilliant complete game victory from the mound, MVP Juan Galvan, Manager Bruce Stone, and all the Brewers.

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