We often use projective exercises in qualitative research to get a respondent to think ‘outside of themselves.’ For example SLRG moderators might ask respondents to put themselves in someone else’s shoes to describe photos of others and determine what they might feel or do, and why. In other circumstances the respondent can be asked to associate brands or products with other brands from different categories all towards better gleaning perceptions across a broader customer base.
But in two recent sporting goods studies conducted with elite athletes, it was the researcher that needed to take on a different persona.
Those who design, market and research top of the line sporting goods often know too much about product specifications, features and benefits to be able to recognize how those elements are articulated to and understood by those with less experience. By role playing as someone with less vertical product knowledge, SLRG moderators were able to engage carefully recruited and sophisticated product users in ways that organically examined how these athletes might interact with recreational participants. Listening for specific descriptions, and language usage, enlightened the research teams and clients, exposing a window of communication often far removed from the hallways of product development. The resulting insights informed marketing messaging and shed better light on those features and benefits that best filter down the participation funnel. Let us know how we can help you do the same.