New Year’s Resolutions and Consumer Aspirations

The notion of a new year brings a sense of a fresh start, a chance to start anew.

This is the time of year when 45% of US adults will think about their lives and imagine what they want most to happen in the next year as they make New Year’s Resolutions. These resolutions are really about our aspirations.

  • What do we wish were different about our lives?
  • What do we want to achieve?
  • What do we wish we did less of?
  • What do we want to do more of?

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Common Emotional Motivators Behind Consumer Behavior

It is common knowledge that emotions are powerful drivers in the purchase decision process.  Forging an emotional connection with customers can lead to big payoffs for companies. Consider this example: a major bank launched a credit card that emotionally connected well with Millennials, increasing use among this segment by 70% with 40% new accounts being opened. “The New Science Behind Customer Emotions,” published in Harvard Business Review, details research across hundreds of brands that uncovered ten common emotional motivators behind consumer behavior. Companies that understand their customers’ emotional connection to their brand and their emotional motivators generally will better attract and keep customers. While there are hundreds of potential emotional motivators, here are ten common emotional motivators:

Understanding the Specific Emotional Motivators in Your Product or Service Category

In order to make an emotional connection with potential users of your product or service, it is important to understand the distinct emotions in the context of when your product or service is used.

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Should you use a professional moderator for your online research project?

Reasons for Using a Professional Moderator for Your Online Research Project

Using a professionally trained moderator increases your chances of uncovering business-building insights during your research project because the moderator will:

  • Establish actionable objectives
  • Create an effective research design
  • Bring an unbiased perspective
  • Probe and effectively guide the discussion
  • Focus solely on the research
  • Summarize the key insights

Establish actionable objectives

A trained moderator will begin by first understanding the business need or opportunity that has prompted the research.  Next, they will want to know the objectives of the research.  A good moderator may ask, “What does success look like at the end of this project?”  This question at the start of a project will help your team clarify what really needs to be learned.  Establishing clear, actionable objectives will identify the key topics and help to frame the design of the research.

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Creating Products that Resonate: Feel Your Customers’ Emotions

  • What emotions do your consumers experience in the context in which your product or service is used?
  • Do their emotions change before, during and after an experience with your product or service?

 In order to build lasting relationships with your target audience, you first have to understand them. Learning how your consumer feels in the context of using your product or service goes a long way in making a meaningful connection with them.  You must then demonstrate you understand their needs through product / service design and your marketing communications to ensure their loyalty.  Ideally, you would want your customer to say after using your product that this brand/company understands me. Continue reading “Creating Products that Resonate: Feel Your Customers’ Emotions”

Get to Know Your Consumers in their Environment

In-Context Interviews (ICI’s) take place in the context of where a product or service is used or purchased. A key objective in choosing this methodology is to observe and understand the habits, practices and motivations of your target audience as they are using or choosing your product or service. They are sometimes called in-home interviews when they take place in a consumer’s home or in-store interviews when they take place in a shopping location. They can be as brief as a ten minute conversation at a store-shelf or as long as a three hour discussion in someone’s home. Learn More (Case Study)

Helpful Hints for Successful In-Context Interviews

  • Be curious –  don’t be afraid to dig around and ask the obvious question. A question to which you think you know the answer may uncover a valuable insight. Usually the individual you are interviewing wants to help you and is willing to explain their motivations, behaviors and rationale.
  • Video and audio tape the interviews –  this practice provides a record of the interview and allows you to go back and review. Be sure to ask permission before you start the cameras rolling. Having access to editing equipment can allow you to add video clips to your summaries and presentations.
  • Male / Female Teams – this is a good idea for in-home interviews. Two males entering a woman’s home could make her feel uncomfortable. Also, men and women approach situations differently; the diversity in the team can be helpful for uncovering insights.
  • Check directions and have a phone number –  facilities usually do a good job at providing accurate directions. However, in a few situations, we had trouble finding someone’s home and needed to call.
  • Be a good guest. Lastly, remember you are a guest in someone else’s home. Be kind, considerate and gracious.

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Evaluating New Product Ideas

I am often asked to design qualitative research to provide my clients with insights about their customers’ reactions to their new prototypes or products. I enjoy designing and conducting this type of research because I am able to leverage my experience as a former product developer for a Fortune 100 company. I believe what sets me apart from other qualitative research consultants and moderators is that I have actually designed products that have gone to market. This issue of The Insight will highlight some of the ways I have used qualitative research to help my clients design winning products. 

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Understanding the Ideal Experience

Understanding the Ideal Experience

An understanding of your target audience’s ideal experience can set the direction for future marketing and product development efforts.

Throughout my career, whether developing products at P&G or helping clients gather insights about their target audiences, understanding what the consumer believes would be the ideal experience has been crucial for business success.

Begin by identifying and understanding the context in which your product or service is used. Continue reading “Understanding the Ideal Experience”

Listening Better for Insights

Listening is a subject that we take seriously at Nobles Research. Insights come by way of listening. Without listening, it is impossible to obtain understanding. I once wrote, if a focus group took place and no one listened, did it really happen? Well, it might as well have not taken place. Yet as I work with clients, sometimes I see empty back rooms and unused FocusVision sessions.

One of the ways to get more out of the research is to listen better, to be present in the moment. It is a challenge to get team members to attend research, and even if they are there in body, it does not mean that they are present in mind. It amazes me how often people are occupied by answering emails, participating on conference calls, and schmoozing their boss while the research is taking place. However, there are ways you can encourage more listening participation among your team.

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So What Are We Doing Here?

The Cart Before the Horse

Just recently I had a potential client contact me about a research project. We briefly discussed my capabilities and what he wanted to learn. A few days later I received an email suggesting some activities to do in the group, and he wondered if they would be good to use.  This inquiry caused me to pause for a moment because I could not answer his question, as his research objectives were not clear. I could not assess whether or not the activities would be beneficial as clear goals for the research had not been established.

So, I sent him an email requesting his objectives for the research. I also thought since these were not clearly articulated, it would be good for his team to discuss them, so everyone was on the same page. Finally, I knew this would be critical for the ultimate success of the project.


Research Objectives Guide Research Design

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