QRCA Qually Award Submissions

QRCA Qually Award Submissions

Submissions for 2019 Qually Awards are now closed.

2019 Key Dates:

July 15, 208 – Q&A Due 
July 31, 2018– Q&A Published 
August 1, 2018 – Open for submissions 
October 15, 2018 – All submissions due 
November 1, 2018– Finalists announced 
January 2019 – Final Presentations at QRCA Annual Conference

2019 Project Background

Recently there’s been a rising trend in health and wellness – from studios and gyms to apparel and even supplements and of course fad diets, it’s COOL to be fit these days. People are finding #inspo everywhere they turn as they “chart their way” to their best selves (...see what we did there?!) ;) One place in particular, The Qually Studio, needs your help. Through data analysis, they’ve uncovered a potential opportunity for growth among a core segment of their customer base. Basically, the people who visit the gym the MOST are purchasing from their retail store the LEAST. The quantitative segmentation study results showed that the Gym Rats visit the Qually Studio 7x more often than the ImaGYMers, yet the ImaGYMers spend twice as much money at the register over the course of 12 months. What gives? Or more literally, WHY do the ImaGYMers give The Qually Studio all the cash; how can the Qually Studio earn more share of the Gym Rats’ wallet?

NOTE: While The Qually Studio is a nationwide, franchised gym, they are far from being the big dogs. Corporate is footing the bill through franchise fees since the segmentation was applicable for all locations. Basically, ensure your methodology can be supported by a healthy budget, but not outrageous. You will NOT include a cost proposal with your submission


  1. Learn the differences between the Gym Rats and the ImaGYMers that influence how they spend their dollars at The Qually Studio
  2. Optimize the retail experience by uncovering the pain points (including uncovering key products to start carrying and stop stocking)
  3. Develop retention strategies for long-term retail store financial success

Question Considerations

  • What are the Gym Rats’ perceptions of both The Qually Studio and the products they carry?
  • What products are purchased to support the Gym Rats’ gym workouts?
  • What is the motivation for purchasing from The Qually Studio versus somewhere else for both the Gym Rats and the ImaGYMers?

The Audiences

Assume you’ll be recruiting from a client-supplied list for your project.

  • GYM RATS: Visit the gym practically every day (on average 20-30 times each month), have auto-renewable annual memberships and enjoy the physical aspect of working out along with the social atmosphere. They make up 35% of the total gym population.
  • ImaGYMers: Visit the gym only 3-4 times per month with unknown additional physical activity stats. They pay drop in rates rather than memberships and are typically more affluent. Most appreciate the community atmosphere (when they visit it’s often for classes versus independent workouts). It’s estimated they make up about 25% of the total gym population and are more likely to be women

Submission Considerations

  • Your proposal should include a cover page WITH an appropriate title aligned with your approach and methodology. Total page count = 8 pages (1 cover + 7 support) and should be submitted as a PDF.
  • Allow yourself 3 months for fielding research from kick-off to final presentation, but no need to supply a formal timeline in your proposal.
  • Do not include costs in your proposal.
  • The three Finalists will be chosen using an objective voting system and ALL proposals are reviewed anonymously. Do not include any PII for yourself or your company in the actual proposal (i.e. no “about us” or background section).
  • Finalists will have their submissions posted for public view on the QRCA website and will be given the opportunity to present their proposal at the 2019 QRCA Annual Conference in Savannah, GA. By submitting to the RFP, you agree to allow us to post your submission if you are identified as one of the finalists. (A conference discount is extended to the three finalists to encourage attendance.)
  • Official submission period will be from August 1 - October 15, 2018 @ midnight Pacific Time.

The Rules

  • All participants must be in good standing of the QRCA (i.e. active members only)
  • Submissions can be individual or as a team of two. However, members can only submit ONCE. You cannot submit proposals as both an individual AND as a team.
  • Proposals should focus on QUALITATIVE RESEARCH SOLUTIONS only.
  • Members of The Qually Award committee and judging team are disqualified from participating.
  • These rules may be amended at any time and a public notice will be made if changes are needed.

Proposal Evaluations

An objective team of Quallies review the anonymous proposals and the finalists are chosen using a scoring system to rate the following considerations:

  • Relevance
  • Methodology
  • Logic
  • Creativity
  • Style & Presentation

The top three finalists receive:

  • ½ off 2019 QRCA Annual Conference registration fees
  • Recognition on QRCA’s website
  • 15-minute speaking engagement to present proposal

2019 Qually Award Winner receives:

  • $1,000 cash prize
  • Trophy
  • QRCA recognition on website and in publications
  • Bragging rights

Review Committee

  • Jay Zaltman – 2017-2018 QRCA President
  • Kathy Doyle – 2018 board liaison 
  • Tory Gentes – 2017 Qually Award Winner and 2018 Qually Award Co-Chair
  • Kristin Schultz – 2017-2019 YPG Committee Co-Chair
  • Lauren McCrae – 2018 Qually Award Winner
  • Nicole Alelong – 2018 Qually Award Winner
  • Pam Goldfarb Liss – 2019 board liaison 
  • Mark Sumpter – 2018 Annual Conference Co-Chair, 2014-2015 QRCA President
  • Kayte Hamilton – 2017 Qually Award Co-Chair, 2018 Qually Award Chair

Meet the 2019 Qually Award Finalists

The top three finalists were chosen after an objective review of all submissions. The committee grades each proposal on a 1-10 score on the following metrics: RELEVANCEMETHODOLOGYLOGICCREATIVITY, AND STYLE & PRESENTATION. All proposals are stripped from PII during our reading time to ensure no personal bias is included in the scores. 

2019 top three proposal authors: 

Meagan Morgan


Meagan Morgan
Meagan designed a five-step plan with the goal of answering the following question: “what must the Qually Studio do to increase its relevance among heavy gym goers, without alienating current heavy spenders?” The plan kicks off with step one, “Inspire.” Inspire seeks to uncover what motivates fitness buffs by utilizing customer-created “visual #inspo maps” (a virtual mood/vision board). Next comes “Observe,” a process of intercepting current Qually Studio guests for a 10-minute interview to understand their current retail experience. The next step, “Create,” involves a seasoned researcher shadowing a gym goer during and after a workout. All findings will be shared in “Load & Lift,” a half-day facilitated session.

gloria watson

meredith morino

The Qually Studio


Gloria Watson and Meredith Morino
Gloria and Meredith laid out a four-phase method to illuminate and activate segments in order to help build the gym retail store of the future. The process begins with “#snapshot,” a mobile diary to track exercise and physical movement that allows participants to document real time behaviors and feelings with text, pictures and video. Next, in a phase called “Deep Dive,” all participants log into a three-day online board to track their activities, attitudes and habits. A select group of participants will partake in “Looksee,” a handful of in-store shop-alongs that provide real-time feedback. Finally, participants will gather for “Super Sessions,” designed to generate ideas for the Qually Studio of the future.

Marlene Mattei

"Working out" the Gym Rat


Marlena Mattei
Marlena proposes a three-step process to better understand the Gym Rats segment in order to capture a larger share of their wallet. Step one: “Ethnoboards,” is a three day digital dialogue where participants answer self-reflective, projective and video questions in the comfort of their own homes, or on the go. The top participants from “Ethnoboards” are selected to continue to step two, “Shop-Alongs.” They are given $25 gift certificates and are observed as they browse and shop the Qually Studio. Once the transaction is complete, the participant and a researcher walk around the store to evaluate the store experience. The process concludes with “Co-creation Sessions.” In this final step, new recruits and current participants attend interactive sessions to ideate design solutions.

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