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 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.
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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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:
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts.
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.
Findings of the GfK Consumer Climate Study for Germany for December 2016
Released in its entirety on November 4, 2016 and reported to have cost around £100m to produce, The Crown is one of the most ambitious projects that Netflix has taken on to date.
A 10 part original series (essentially a biopic) about Queen Elizabeth II, recounting her life from the royal wedding in 1947, right up to the present day, the show has been celebrated by all sides of the media, frequently being described as “faultless”, “magnificent”, “engaging” and “gripping”.
So what do we know so far about The Crown’s first few weeks on the service? Firstly, amongst our sample of Netflix users, The Crown was the top streamed title on Netflix in November 2016, showing that the release has been heavily streamed amongst users. But what was driving users to the show? Sheer curiosity or perhaps something else?
30% of Netflix users said they watched The Crown because it was recommended to them by someone, or simply because it looked and sounded interesting. However, a third of users also said that they had watched the series because it featured in the ‘recently added’ section of the service, and half also claimed that external advertising had influenced their viewing choice.
It is clear that Netflix were determined for this to succeed – not only was the show expensive to produce, but campaign spend across all media for The Crown was one of the highest of 2016 ensuring that the investment would not be appreciated by just users, but also reach and appeal to a wider audience.
Finally, in November, compared with the rest of 2016, a higher proportion of respondents say they signed up to Netflix in order to watch exclusive content not available elsewhere. However, the jury is still out as to whether The Crown itself was driving this. Early indications are that it attracted existing users to view rather than acted as a drive to sign up new ones.
In its first month of release, the demographic profile of those watching The Crown has shown some interesting results. Firstly, a fifth of the show’s viewers are aged 55+. This is a slightly higher proportion of older users watching than for Netflix content overall and also in contrast to new releases such as Stranger Things, which primarily attracted a younger audience within its first few weeks of release. It does highlight the strength of Netflix’s commissioning policy, allowing them to target different types of viewers by commissioning shows with differing demographic appeal.
When asked why they started watching the title in the first place, respondents mostly indicated that it was because they had a general interest in the Queen or the Monarchy or because they wanted to find out more about this period of time in British history. But what is remarkable is how few people said they started watching the title because of the A-list cast that has been employed (Claire Foy and Matt Smith both star), or because of the quality of the production for the title, further demonstrating that this title was perhaps designed to target an audience of lighter viewers less engaged by marquee names and more by the program content.
Defining a success when talking about Netflix titles can be difficult. If we look at overall content ratings, The Crown performed well. When asked to rate the show on a scale of 1 to 10, The Crown achieved an average score of 9.0 which is higher than all Netflix titles that score an average of 8.7. Compared to other recent celebrated titles, such as Stranger Things, Making a Murderer and Narcos, The Crown achieves relatively similar levels of satisfaction.
Furthermore, when we look at whether viewers are likely to recommend this title to others (again on a scale of 1 to 10), it scores in line with Netflix Originals on average, but slightly lower when compared to recent releases. So in terms of satisfaction and recommendation, The Crown can be called a success, but perhaps more was expected from this title, given the scale of investment into the show.
Overall though, The Crown can be considered a success. Critics and viewers have both celebrated the show, and early data is indicating that the title is both driving viewing as well as appealing to a lighter viewing audience demographic for Netflix. Furthermore, exposure for the SVOD service has also increased due to positive press attention and increased marketing activity. Content producers like the BBC and ITV must have taken notice at the bigger financial bets Netflix are prepared to make to increase their audience shares, which must ultimately leave them slightly nervous about the future, and fortifying Netflix’s position as a serious threat to such traditional players in the media landscape.
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2016 was another banner year for Connected Consumers, who saw a number of new technologies emerge in a variety of categories across the marketplace. Virtually every industry is adapting to a customer base that is becoming increasingly connected, changing the way they have conversations and relationships with brands. But new connected products and services do not come without their challenges, which typically revolve around user experience and consumer awareness.
Connected consumers of today are changing the existing value system and harnessing technology to reinvent themselves, their lives and their communities. And the three key drivers of these changes are freedom, acceleration and intimacy. It is obvious that trends in technology are growing and expanding rapidly… so, how can you maximize the opportunities that Connected Consumers offer?
In the smart home category, there’s no shortage of offerings available, but the adoption of smart home products has been pedestrian thus far. Our global study indicates that the appeal is there, but the benefits need to be more clearly communicated to consumers, who lack familiarity with the smart home category. To find success, product developers must understand the varying needs in specific markets and communicate how smart home technology can seamlessly enhance the lives of consumers.
The travel and hospitality industry is getting smarter. Invisible analytics, wearables, virtual reality and other technologies are revolutionizing the way that people research, shop for and experience travel. From smart hotels to sporting events and music festivals, the connected traveler is able to unlock the world as they go, providing travel brands with new ways to engage them. But disruptive competition and an overcrowded marketplace remain common roadblocks. In the quest for customer loyalty, the companies that take a holistic view of each step of the purchase journey will be successful in understanding and anticipating market developments.
In the Future of Retail, shopping isn’t all digital. Connected Consumers still embrace the role of the store, shopping as much for an experience as for a product. But online shopping offers another dimension, where Connected Consumers can compare prices and don’t have to wait in line to make a purchase. Successful retailers will combine the positive facets from both channels, streamlining online shopping while also delivering on the promise of the in-store experience.
While retailers experiment with omnichannel shopping, fashion and lifestyle brands are experiencing a revolution of their own. Whether a pure online player, a local hero or a traditional fashion retail chain, it is vital to understand how consumers are changing in order to anticipate and prepare for the next season and beyond. New paths to purchase have opened the door for competition, expanding the fight for customer loyalty to new frontiers. Making sure your brand can be found and amplifying it with social media are ways to take control of the shopper’s purchase journey, but don’t forget the crucial role of the store.
Financial services are another category being revolutionized by Connected Consumers. From mobile payments to digital banking, Connected Consumers demand that their financial institutions are proactive and transparent. Connected devices will play a key role in the future of payments, but players in the market must establish and communicate the importance of data security to build trust before adoption truly takes off.
Broadcast and print media has gone digital too, changing the way that Connected Consumers experience content and the devices they experience it on. Media measurement is now more complicated than ever, with cross-device usage varying between markets and sociodemographics. Programmatic advertising allows brands to deliver messages that resonate by building a single customer view that puts individual consumers at the center of marketing.
From brick and mortar stores to online shopping, and from inside the home to travels abroad, connected devices are changing the way that we see and interact with the world. However, for innovation to truly thrive, Connected Consumers must be put at the heart of the connected revolution.
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