It invariably ends up with us responding with a question that lives somewhere alongside 'how long is a piece of string?' This is necessary as you've got to understand what the client wants to investigate, whether that's their latest ad, or a packaging concept, or a train journey or in-store experience .. and that's before getting to the 'Is it mobile? Or in-lab? Or what kind of kit do we need?' questions.
But recently we carried out a study that has helped us to establish a model that covers the 3 main reasons that research is carried out by a brand, and bundles them into one 3 stage process of research
- Concept testing
- Emotional response baselining
- PR piece
PHASE 1 : THE CONCEPT TESTING
Whether it's a mood board, storyboard, package concept or focus group interview, the premise of concept testing is to determine which of a selection of ideas is the best to proceed with. It's about letting the consumer consciously and unconsciously provide insight to their thoughts and decisions.
A large proportion of the time asking questions, whilst useful, can result in you generating campaigns based on the strongest voices in the room, or missing the underlying emotions that are being peaked by certain conversation points, words, phrases or images.
When you marry emotional response and biometrics with standard research techniques you can make decisions founded in emotional drivers rather than rational thought processes.
PHASE 2 : EMOTIONAL RESPONSE BASELINING
Once you have whittled down your concept selection to the image or images, campaign idea or ideas, and persona type or types, that you know are the key to emotional engagement, you need to understand what the baseline or target emotional response should be.
This can be carried out by creating showreels or mood boards that align with those key emotional messages or personas.
PHASE 3 : PR PIECE
If you want to go one step further, with the insights and research, to deliver a PR impact that makes you stand out from your competitors, then a tailored solution based on the research is our specialism at Sensum. We can provide consultancy on design, visualisations, video, site-specific engagement, hyper-personal experiences, or media-focused experiences so that you can allow journalists or members of the public to engage and understand the research, 'feeling it' for themselves.
THE CAMPAIGN THAT TOOK US HERE
And what was the study that took us to here? It was a piece of work that we carried out with the Jaywing agency and Skipton Insurance, to establish the "Retirement DNA" of people approaching retirement, identifying what their dreams and aspirations were, and creating 5 DNA personas that people would span. All respondents were a makeup of all of the personas to some degree, but there was always one that was strongest in profile, which demonstrated the largest embodiment of your retirement DNA.
Jenny Bond trying Sensum out
Jenny Bond, former Royal Correspondent, took part in the media event along with journalists, individuals approaching retirement and Skipton staff, all of whom used Sensum to understand what their emotional responses were to the retirement DNA.
It wasn't really surprising how many journalists fell into the "work" persona when answering questions about what they'd like to do, but without fail when reviewing the emotional content for each persona they would fall into "Adventurer" or "Comfort Seeker", indicating the unconscious wish to escape the shackles of work, and explore or spend more time with the family.
Thanks to everyone who took part in the studies and the event, and thanks to Jaywing and Skipton for experimenting with new methods of understanding your customers.