Posted by Rosa Wilkinson on March 4, 2010
Disney recently reported that the top 5 everyday pleasures were:
1. Finding money
2. Freshly washed bedding
3. Not having to queue
4. Someone smiling at you
5. Helping someone
Obviously we couldn’t take this at face value and decided to conduct our own research in the office – we’re obviously a very happy bunch because this generated a very long list!
So read on to find out what makes Value Engineers tick (and perhaps some will bring a smile to your face too!). Some of these are more ‘free’ than others though…
- Someone offering you a cup of coffee when you are busy
- Random acts of kindness
- Sound of leather on willow on the village green
- Seeing a dog leaning out of a car window, loving the wind in its hair
- The beach
- The first signs of spring – the first snowdrop
- Wafts of other people’s BBQs
- The smell of freshly cut grass
- The perfect picnic spot
- Kicking a pile of leaves
- New born baby
- Eating cheese
- Walking around for fresh air even with a Ferrari in the garage
- The relief that comes after visiting the loo!
- The wind in your hair dinghy sailing on the Thames at Hampton on a beautiful sunny day
- The view from Waterloo bridge at sunset
- The sound of a wine cork popping / beer cap hiss
- Pottering around the garden
- The paper, cappuccino, Andrew Marr’s paper review and porridge with banana in bed on a Sunday
- Cooking anything nostalgic – pancakes, scones, Christmas cake, sponge cake
- The sensation of Life!
- The cold side of the pillow
- The Today programme on Radio 4
- The smell of rain on warm concrete
- The taste of a cold beer to quench a thirst, (‘free’ if someone else is buying. A perfect ‘Ice cold in Alex’ moment)
- The sound of waves exiting a pebble beach
- The sight of the first migrant spring arrivals
- The four seasons of the year: The colours of autumn, the joy of people in summer, the first signs of spring and the first snow of winter
- Fresh and pure air
- A nice dawn at the beach
- To enjoy a good dance
- The smile of child
- To meet and old friend and realise that nothing has changed between each other
- Your first kiss
- To fall in love
- To laugh
- To love someone and being loved
- The first smell of the day of coffee brewing
- Stepping on a perfectly crunchy leaf
- Unexpectedly bumping into an old friend
- Coming into a warm house from the cold outside
- A hug
- Your head touching the pillow after a really long day
- Taking off a pair of killer heels
- Being the first person down a freshly pisted or snowy run
- Reading a book by a log fire
- The first waft of a glass of heavy, red wine
- A freshly brewed cup of tea
Posted by Jennie Simmons on May 26, 2009
I was reading an interesting book on decision making (“How we Decide” by Jonah Lehrer) recently and was struck by a fascinating experiment that he recounts.
The experiment was conducted by Timothy Wilson and has real implications for how we conduct research. Essentially, he took consumer report ratings of strawberry jam and used them to rank a set of different jams. Then he gave the jams to a group of undergrads and asked them “which jam is best?” Asked in this direct way, their answers were pretty close to the established ranking.
However, when he asked them to explain why they liked one jam better than another as they made their choice, then the correlation completely disappeared! This is because as the students tried to explain their choice they had to rationalise it, and this process distorted their decision making. They began to concentrate on features of the product that helped them explain their choice (e.g. texture) that they might not ordinarily care about or even notice.
In consumer research, we often ask people to explain why they do things and we know that there is a huge amount of post rationalisation in the way they answer. What is key from this though, is that they might actually change their mind as they form their answer, rather than merely try to retrofit a rationale.
When we write our discussion guides and arrange our research we should make sure that we leave enough time between asking for a preference and asking for a reason for that preference. It’s important to make sure that we get a good clean read of their true opinions. By providing time for both types of questions, maybe we can have jam today after all!
Posted by Richard Oldham on February 25, 2009
With the phenomenal growth of the market research industry, researchers and recruiters have been worrying for several years about the growth of the ‘professional respondent’ and the apparently increasing difficulty in finding fresh consumers who are willing to take part in research studies.
The current economic crisis may just have a positive effect on this issue – as more people lose their jobs, or simply become more financially insecure, the attraction of participating in market research may bring many new respondents into the pool, people who previously may have declared themselves too busy or simply unwilling to take part. Indeed, attendance at our recent groups has been significantly better than usual, and it is rare now to have ‘no-shows’.
However, whilst this can undoubtedly be highly beneficial for recruiters, researcher (and ultimately research results for clients), it will bring its own set of challenges. For example: how do you engage respondents who have previously been disengaged from the process? How do you overcome their cynicism if they have agreed to take part out of financial necessity rather than out of any kind of desire to assist the process?
I think there are several things that we should do at this stage to ensure that we get the best out of this ‘fresh blood’:
1. Encourage our recruiters now more than ever to search out ‘virgin’ respondents
2. Ensure that screeners are applied rigorously to weed out the disinterested and the freeloaders
3. Become ever more creative in ensuring that our research methodologies truly engage the imagination of respondents
4. Ensure that research approaches, where possible, allow respondents to feel that they are part of an important process with real benefits for people like them, not an exercise in hoop-jumping
5. Treat respondents as equals in the process – avoid ‘lab-rat’ testing methods and bring them into the marketing process as much as possible
Who knows, they might just surprise you and we might all get some fresh insights to drive the next phase of business growth.