A lot of times, qualitative research is utilized to try to understand which concepts are most compelling to consumers. Digging deeper, it’s often critical to understand the specific design elements that are most captivating and important to target consumers. Whether you are testing ad creative, product design, packaging or visual display, it is sometimes limiting, when probing directly for what people like and dislike. By forcing a respondent to more carefully consider specific creative elements, a researcher risks moving the consumer further from their comfort zones and beyond how they might react to visual stimuli in a traditional environment.
A recent SLRG study for a sporting goods manufacturer included the challenge of assessing the impact of refreshing various packaging and design elements of a familiar product. Rather than asking respondents directly, whether they liked or disliked what they were assessing, we sought and developed a projective technique, that could help us better understand how the consumer prioritizes in their mind what they see and what strikes them as unique and differentiating about the product.
In this recent example, we created a scenario, where the focus group moderator was relying upon the respondent to help him make a purchase decision about a product that the moderator was not able to see in store. Various packaging/design concepts were presented, and the respondents were told that they shouldn’t be concerned with any of the technical specifications, to focus them on the packaging and specific design elements. Respondents were also informed that the moderator had a flip phone instead of a smart phone, so there would be no way to send pictures of the products. The task was then put upon the respondents to describe to the moderator, what does this product look like, what strikes them, what catches their attention, and would the purchaser feel comfortable with this product. It forced them in their own words to express what stood out, without leading them down the path to look specifically to certain graphical or design elements that may or may not have been resonating with them. This forced a natural prioritization in their minds as well as a more natural description of what caught their eye and what they thought about it.
These types of projective techniques can be very impactful to get an unbiased and an non-leading understanding of what strikes the consumer when they are in a retail situation. We can do that for you, contact us today.