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  • How can you get closer to consumers during the innovation process?
    • 01/23/17
    • Health
    • Consumer Goods
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • MarketBuilder
    • Market Builder Voice
    • Global
    • English

    How can you get closer to consumers during the innovation process?

    Find out more in our 10 min webisode how to be closer to your customers in the innovation process thanks to voice.

  • How can you deliver innovations in a shorter timeframe by reducing the risk of failed products?
    • 01/23/17
    • Health
    • Consumer Goods
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • MarketBuilder
    • Market Builder Voice
    • Global
    • English

    How can you deliver innovations in a shorter timeframe by reducing the risk of failed products?

    Find out more in our 10 min webisode how to improve your innovation process and minimize the risk of product failure.

  • How can you deliver innovations that excite, engage, and energize consumers?
    • 01/23/17
    • Health
    • Consumer Goods
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • MarketBuilder
    • Market Builder Voice
    • Global
    • English

    How can you deliver innovations that excite, engage, and energize consumers?

    Find out more in our 10 min webisode how to connect emotionally with your customer when you develop new product concept.

  • Three ways to deliver value and ensure innovation success with voice.
    • 01/23/17
    • Health
    • Consumer Goods
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • MarketBuilder
    • Market Builder Voice
    • Global
    • English

    Three ways to deliver value and ensure innovation success with voice.

    Find out in our white paper how to reveal the emotions of your customers by listening to their voice.

    • 01/20/17
    • Consumer Goods
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Global
    • English

    Voice analytics unlocks critical insights for concept and ad research

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    • 01/19/17
    • Technology
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Global
    • English

    Four reasons I won’t be going to CES next year (and four reasons I probably will!)

    I have been to CES on and off since the mid 2000’s.  My friends and colleagues typically ask me ‘how was CES?,’ expecting some techno-prophesy. There are no pithy, tweet-worthy phrases to sum up ‘how it was’.  CES is a techno-orgy; it’s like no place else.  It both attracts and repels you simultaneously.

    In reflecting on what I saw, there are a number of disappointments that make me say I really don’t need to go back.  Let me enumerate:

       

    1. Let me say it again, redundancy.  After the first 20 ‘smart light bulbs’ or ‘drones’ or ‘fitness trackers’, the brain goes numb.  Much of CES is evolution than revolution and thus finding the signal in the noise of the total product array can prove challenging.
    2. Not to be too obvious, but it bears mentioning, the focus is, in my view, entirely too much on Electronics and not enough on the Consumer. As someone more interested in the consumer experience than the electronics, I think the technology can serve itself and not the user. There are so many items displayed that I believe are solutions in need of a problem. Just because we can, does not mean we should.
    3. Similar to the previous point, technology need not solve every problem. I virtually had a panic attack when I saw a ‘dental floss’ device that I feared was Bluetooth enabled.  Thankfully, it was ‘just’ digital (dispensing and reminding), and not connected.  Even then, I’m not sure I need a digital dental floss dispenser.  Perhaps on a more culturally disturbing level, I saw several manifestations of robots for children – to be their friend, to be their helper, to rock them to sleep, etc.  The need that drives this kind of technology is indicative of perhaps larger issues.  My colleague Meredith Paige coined the term ‘Impersonal Care’ to describe this.  Much of the technological solutions displayed are of marginal value – ‘is the juice worth the squeeze?’
    4. On an entirely practical level, with all the media coverage, do I really need to be there in person? In using my Fitbit, I walked (wandered, actually) about six miles each day and felt like I had only seen the bare minimum of the show.  There’s always more to see.  There is no bottom.  So I’m thinking that since most of the media curates the important stuff, what if I just sat back and dialed in to CES Live, Engadget, CNET, press outlets, bloggers, etc?  I’d capture the most far-out and breathtaking developments from the comfort of my own home.
    5.  

    While I continue to be concerned about what technology is doing to us intellectually, socially, and culturally, there are several reasons I will most likely return year on year:

       

    1. There are real human problems being solved in new and interesting ways. Technology is being used to make us safer (e.g., in automobiles), augment our senses (smart hearing aids), reduce waste (energy usage), etc.  Unfortunately, you’ve got to go through layers and layers to get to the important/interesting stuff.
    2. Concentration of so much technology in one small space – you can explore drones, cars, robots, appliances, etc. in a small space. If one is looking for category trends or cross-category trends they can be found in ways just not possible through the media, online or in a store.
    3. It’s a great way to stimulate the brain coming off the holidays. The whole environment is invigorating (or, for some, chaotic!).  New ideas are everywhere.  There are amazing people to meet, and some great ideas to build around.
    4. And lastly, it’s just a lot of fun. You get to see, do and try things that you might not get a chance to do anywhere else.  (When else am I going to meet and talk to Nick Offerman?)
    5.  

    Next time I’m going with a plan.  I find the really interesting things are from smaller vendors, especially those in the Eureka! Hall and those startups funded by large companies (Sony had some really interesting startups present). Second, if you’re there and you want to know what’s hot, look at the crowds.  For really cool stuff, it may look as if the piranhas are feeding on the carcass of some poor erstwhile beast.  There’s usually something there.

    Next year, let’s hope for more revolution, more relevance, and more fun!

    Robert Schumacher is an Executive Vice President of User Experience at GfK. Please email robert.schumacher@gfk.com with your comments.

    • 01/18/17
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    Get to know me: The emotional appeal of technology showcased at CES 2017

     

     

     

    Amazon’s Alexa was one of the stars, if not THE star of the 2017 CES show.  What is the broader theme that piques our interest?  Is it because Alexa acts as a central hub that “connected things” run on?  Yes, partly.  I believe another key reason that Alexa was the star of CES is the personification of machines and the emotional appeal that comes with it.  This is a broader and very important theme that emerged at this year’s CES.  Across many of the exhibit halls, we saw devices promising to be your friend.

    Emotional appeal and the personification of machines

    Robots with a human stance were built to greet and help you at an airport.

     

    Toyota’s new concept car promoted the vision of artificial intelligence that could learn your needs, grow with you, and yes, love!!  This was billed as more than a machine.  It will be your partner.

     

    Making technology relatable

    There’s something about LG’s application of Alexa that gets to know all of your needs when you get home that makes this technology relatable.  It can warm up your house to a perfect temperature, turn on the lights, put on your favorite music, heat up the oven, and so on.  Can it bring your slippers when you sit down on the couch? I’m sure that can be arranged.

     

    We’ve gone from “take me to your leader,” to “let me fold your laundry.”  Laundry folding robots using image analysis can take care of this tedious household chore for you now.

     

    The AvatarMind iPal(™) Robots For Children, Eldercare, and Hospitality/Retail are billed as caretakers for your kids or your elderly parents.

     

    Even the way marketers and reviewers talk about devices can put a “human face” on it.  Now there are drones that are concerned about how they dress – “too awesome to fly casual.”

     

    Of course, to succeed, all of these technologies must address a need, but don’t underestimate the power of bringing the emotional benefits together with the rational benefits these new technologies deliver.  I look forward to seeing how this develops in years to come at CES and beyond!

    To share your thoughts, please email rob.barrish@gfk.com.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    • 01/12/17
    • Financial Services
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    The future of FinTech goes far beyond mobile wallets

    I must admit that I find the term “mobile wallet” a little silly. After all, wallets have always been mobile, right? At the same time, I am not at all averse to the idea of making transactions with my phone. I’m getting the hang of accessing coupons in stores, and I felt pretty cool the first time I got into the movies by having the ticket-taker scan my phone. I’m sure I will continue to move in this direction, although I consider myself mainstream rather than an early adopter in the area of financial technology (aka FinTech).

    Digital payment

    Pundits have been talking about the pros and cons of mobile wallets for several years now. Overall, these payment systems still face obstacles and adoption has been slow. Only 22 percent of American mobile phone users regularly pay for products by scanning, tapping, or passing their devices in stores, according to recent research conducted by GfK Consumer Life 2016.

    At the same time, other types of digital payment are entering the playing field, such as the UPI system introduced in India last year, which moves funds directly from the consumer’s financial account to the merchant’s without a middleman. India will be an important market to watch in terms of the shakeout among digital payment systems following demonetization. Indeed, developing markets such as India and Nigeria will be testing grounds for FinTech in general, as indicated by the growing use of biometric identification ranging from fingerprints to facial recognition and palm veins.

    Seamless shopping

    The AmazonGo concept, currently in test mode in Seattle (where else?) goes beyond the financial transaction itself to tackle other deterrents of in-store shopping. The idea is this: You scan your phone as you enter the store and go along your merry way grabbing the items you want. Then you walk out of the store, and your Amazon account is automatically charged for your purchase.

    Some may like the idea of avoiding checkout lines or the need to swipe/insert/tap/scan their payment device of choice and wait for approval. But what tickles my fancy is the prospect of cutting a couple of steps out of the usual tedious process of putting things in a cart, taking them out of the cart, putting them back in the cart, putting them in the car and taking them out of the car.

    If this idea catches on, I will be on board with it much faster than I am with self-checkout, which I personally find no improvement over regular checkout aisles. In the case of AmazonGo, the potential is not merely a streamlined financial transaction, but a streamlined shopping experience.

    Conclusion

    Ultimately, consumers will adopt FinTech to the extent that it makes their lives easier. Being different for novelty’s sake will only draw in the earliest adopters; the rest of us need to be sold on more practical benefits.

  • GfK joins AAPOR Transparency Initiative, USA
    • 01/10/17
    • Public Services
    • Consumer Panels
    • Omnibus
    • Government & Academic (North America)
    • KnowledgePanel® (North America)
    • Goverment & Academic (North America)
    • Public Communications and Social Science
    • Global
    • English

    GfK joins AAPOR Transparency Initiative, USA

    Two GfK research divisions in North America – Government & Academic and Public Communications & Social Science – have been accepted for membership in the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Transparency Initiative.

    • 01/06/17
    • Consumer Goods
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    3 usability tips every appliance manufacturer should consider

    The household appliance industry has been particularly impacted by rapid-evolving technology and Connected Consumer innovations. Our user experience (UX) researchers and designers are fortunate to see and test many cool-looking prototypes that integrate these innovations before they hit the market. While we draw some of our insights from UX best practices and years of experience in UX design of appliances, having a set of benchmarks in our arsenal makes recommendations that much more powerful.

    Measuring UX in household appliance research

    We have integrated a UX measurement tool in household appliance research over several years resulting in a robust benchmark database. A scientifically-validated tool, the UX Score offers holistic insight by combining pragmatic usability aspects (learnability, operability) with hedonic qualities such as usefulness (identification, stimulation) and look and feel; this results in a score that can be compared to competitor products, different versions of the product, or, in the case of household appliances, benchmarked for the category. Our database includes years of global research covering diverse product categories from cooktops to freezers.

    Diving deeper into the individual dimensions of the UX Score

    While the overall benchmark UX Score for household appliances indicates a good user experience through its relatively high value (about 5 on a scale from 1=low  to 6=high), researchers are likely familiar with the following situation: A consumer is excited about a new idea and design, but once they attempt to use it, the disappointment surfaces. So we must dive deeper into the individual dimensions of the UX Score.

    Here we see the mean benchmark values by dimension for the UX Score of household appliances.

    Mean benchmark values of each dimension including overall benchmark (orange line) for household appliances

     

    In the “inspiration” and “look and feel” dimensions, we see high benchmark values compared to the overall benchmark line. This is fostered by continuous innovations through new functionalities that show a stimulating effect on the product experience as well as the high-quality impression.

    The more pragmatic “operability” dimension represents the lowest value by comparison. The location of features and information do not conform to consumer expectations. The “learnability” dimension value is also reduced – a catchy and intuitive usage of household appliances is limited.

    How to improve the user experience for household appliances

    Based on this benchmark data and UX best practices, we have established three tips for household appliance manufacturers to improve the user experience of their products:

    • Define functions and interaction design before constructing the physical interface.
      Thereby you can perfectly place functions exactly where users expect them to be. This works much better than placing the function anywhere and then trying to explain it with an icon.
    • Involve hardware designers as early as possible in the concept development process.
      Designers and hardware experts should work together as early as possible in the concept development and testing process. This will ensure the pragmatic, as well as, hedonic aspects will gain attention.
    • Opportunity of thin-film transistor (TFT) displays should not be overstrained – avoid abundance of functions.
      TFTs offer a great opportunity to explain functions. Although consumers are very familiar with the interactions via touch, too many gimmicks lead to confusion and disorientation. If no TFT is available it becomes even more essential to focus only on the most relevant functionalities. Self-explanatory icons should be found for other functions, which are then tested as early as possible (see point 1).

    As household appliance innovations continue to evolve, the strengths (hedonic qualities) seem to be well-considered. To address the category weaknesses like operability and learnability, appliance manufacturers should apply a holistic user experience design process to keep classic usability aspects top of mind.

    Lena Tetzlaff is a User Experience Consultant at GfK. Please email lena.tetzlaff@gfk.com to share your thoughts.

  • Reasoned statement of GfK SE – Management Board and Supervisory Board jointly recommend to accept tender offer by KKR
    • 12/30/16
    • Press
    • HQ financials
    • Investors
    • Global
    • English

    Reasoned statement of GfK SE – Management Board and Supervisory Board jointly recommend to accept tender offer by KKR

    Today, the Management Board and Supervisory Board of GfK SE (“GfK”) published their reasoned statement, pursuant to Section 27 of the German Securities Acquisition and Takeover Act (Wertpapiererwerbs- und Übernahmegesetz – WpÜG), in respect of the offer document presented by Acceleratio Capital N.V., a holding company controlled by funds advised by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (together with affiliates, “KKR”), on December 21, 2016.

  • Consumer climate index to enjoy a strong start to the new year
    • 12/23/16
    • Press
    • Financial Services
    • Public Services
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    Consumer climate index to enjoy a strong start to the new year

    Findings of the GfK Consumer Climate Study for Germany for December 2016

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