Research provides insights into emotional factors
A new market research service has been launched to help manufacturers build emotional bridges to consumers when branding, formulating, packaging and marketing their products.
The service, developed over five years by MMR Research Worldwide, one of the UK’s largest privately-owned market research companies, claims to provide a 360-degree view of the crucial emotional factors that influence consumers when they make buying choices.
The service, known as Brandphonics, is particularly appropriate for food, drinks and other consumer packaged goods (CPG) but is a powerful new resource for most branded products and services.
David Howlett, a director of the Brandphonics team, says: ‘For manufacturers, Brandphonics brings a new understanding of their products and how consumers relate to the products emotionally. We believe Brandphonics will help solve many of the problems manufacturers have had when launching products that appear to be backed by extremely positive market research, but where the subsequent product launch fails because not enough consumers buy what’s being offered.’
At its heart, the Brandphonics approach involves the application of research methodologies that assess the product from three separate perspectives, namely:
Emotionality. This means the inherent and engineered emotional triggers within the brand, the product and packaging. Brandphonics assesses these at the market research stage by using a variety of intuitive and non-cognitive techniques. David Howlett says: ‘It makes abundant sense to try to replicate in the research environment the often impulsive and instinctive buying decisions that consumers make in a supermarket or other retail outlet.’
Functionality. This covers the measurable benefit the product delivers to the consumer, as well as the way the physical characteristics of the product communicate this benefit.
David Howlett says: ‘The manufacturer will naturally always try to optimise the benefit to the consumer, but it is just as important that the product communicates the right functional message to consumers.
He adds: ‘In particular, manufacturers need to understand the enormous commercial benefits they can win by using a sensory “signature” – such as something relating to how the product looks, tastes, smells, sounds or feels – that helps to convince the consumer that the key functional benefit will be delivered. Great examples are the distinctive and evocative smell of Savlon; the Snap, Crackle and Pop of Rice Krispies; or the taste of Red Bull, which was deliberately formulated to appeal to people’s desire for a strong and decisive taste for a powerful energy drink.’
The more traditional perspective of ‘liking’. This still remains an important factor in Brandphonics and means the enjoyment that the consumer gains from using the product.
David Howlett says: ‘Inevitably, there is going to be some crossover and overlap between these three criteria. But even though this will happen, it’s useful to base the analysis of a product’s impact on a consumer around these three crucial criteria. With Brandphonics, we offer a structured and quantitative way of assessing intuitive responses to questions connected with liking, emotionality and functionality. The aim is to generate a total, holistic and quantified view of how a consumer perceives a branded product.’
MMR Research Worldwide’s clients include many household names within the food, drink and personal care sectors, and other well-known consumer packaged goods. Brandphonics is a research-based marketing agency within MMR Research Worldwide.