Dedication to the answer
There’s the easy way to do research, and then there’s the right way.
With NPD and pack communication work, the easy way is to print off a lot of alternative concept boards, show them to respondents and get their reactions. A decent moderator will get reactions out of a group and a decent researcher will build up findings into a plausible story.
That’s the easy way, something I’ve done a lot myself over the years.
My client’s instinct was to go for ‘right’ over ‘easy’. They wanted research to help them develop a brand hierarchy that would help shoppers understand what they were buying.
I got myself a visualiser and he set about drawing up the current products (my client’s and competitor options). These went onto A5 cards that respondents could sort through. Then (with my Streetmate Sandra Hand) we added in some new hierarchy options for my client. Every A5 card had a little product descriptor and price point on it.
It took ages to do!
The idea was simple. Get together a group. Ask them to sort through their cards. Imagine they had to buy one of the offers in the cards. Select the card that was closest to the one they wanted. Show the group their choice. Discuss. Moderator probes on thought processes. Repeat for other food categories.
We got to see what respondents were looking for when they made a choice: price, quality cues, number in a pack. We learnt which on-pack messages helped to make sense of a product and which confused. As a result we were able to recommend a brand hierarchy that helped make the range clearer, we were able to identify what added value vs competition.
The hard bit was doing the visualisation.
But very pleasingly, the easy bit was the analysis. It was really, really clear what helped and what hindered choosing. The insight came out easily!
We didn’t get plausible answers, we saw behaviour in action. So it was worth it.
I love love learning and so I invest time and resources into exploring social psychology, neuro science, creativity and new techniques in research. Read all about it and help yourself to the ideas that will deliver your business the insight it needs
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