Many products go through a series of consumer tests before they hit the market. This is to measure how consumers will respond to them, allow for optimization and sift the wheat from the chaff. In the past this has led to some improvement of market reception but the number of product failures still remains really high. We have seen that traditional approaches to concept testing simply aren’t the best fit for purpose today. Businesses need an innovative approach that embraces people’s emotion and subconscious response and connection to a brand or product rather than only a rational and articulated response. We have seen that bringing in this emotional connection allows for a better prediction of success.
Voice analytics: Holistic measurement for better insights
Voice analytics in market research is opening up many avenues to better understand the consumer. It is now possible to measure Emotional Impact by simply asking respondents what they think of the new idea or experience. By listening to what (words) people say and how (tone, pitch, rhythm) they say it, both the implicit thinking (System 1) and explicit thinking (System 2) can be captured. This provides an authentic way to understand the emotional and rational impact of new products and experiences. Using voice analytics can shorten questionnaires and increase the amount of data gathered from consumers whilst increasing the engagement – a good thing for the industry!
An application of this is to use the volume of unstructured data to capture these Voiced Thought Streams in response to key topics – like purchase journeys or in-store experience. We can now use this non-rational component of the response to understand the emotional reflection of the experience and to ask new and evolving questions. We are able to dig deeper into the in-the-moment journeys of consumers and understand how their day-to-day lives are working towards or hindering the short-term sales and long term Brand Equity.
Voice analytics in ad testing
Recently we tested popular ads in the UK market and the findings were quite profound. We combined the rational thought-out response and sentiment, along with the non-rational passion. This combination allowed us to understand a full 360 degree view of how the ads are being received by the market and the impact – emotional and rational – on the consumer.
As expected, the flashy and quirky ads did well in engaging the audience. However, when we dug deeper, the brand mentions and associations for these ads were quite low and although people were engaged in the creative ads, the “boring” ads scored better on brand mentions and associations.
The solution is not one or the other, but rather both – clearly the goal is engagement and brand association. Market research now has compelling and scale-able tools to measure both of these consumer parts to better measure ads and concepts to predict success.
Bradley Taylor is the Country Manager of Consumer Experiences at GfK. Please email Bradley.Taylor@GfK.com to share your thoughts.