Stories? Horror stories? That is one thing that DuPont .a manufacturer of panty hose material, overlooked when doing research to find OUI what customers like. DuPonl conducted the same research that all other companies conduct, including focus groups and surveys. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. The problem with focus groups was the respondents’ unwillingness to respond. Some felt ashamed or just weren’t interested in the subject. In other cases, customers had feelings and opinions they just weren’t comfortable discussing directly. Then story completion was used
The analysis indicated that those women fell more attractive and sexy to men when they wear pantyhose. The problem wasn’t necessarily that women don’t like to wear pantyhose, but more that they have a feeling associated with wearing pantyhose, and when pantyhose get a run. tear. or other defect, women lose the associated feeling they have (such as attractive. sexy, sensual). It was that pantyhose needed to be more durable and long-lasting, so when women wear them all day. they can survive the “wear and tear” that may occur
Thus. DuPont was able to see what consumers’ true feelings were about its products. When these findings were confirmed in a telephone survey, DuPont modified its pantyhose material to fit the consumers’ needs. Furthermore, stocking manufacturers have begun to use these findings, tailoring ads to appeal less to women’s executive personas and more toward their sexy, cocktail-dress side.
As o.f 2009. DuPont remains the world’s largest maker of pantyhose material, and its marketing research efforts have proven successful, thanks to its intensive use of qualitative research.
Construction techniques are closely related to completion techniques. Construction techniques require the respondent to construct a response in the form of a story, dialogue, or description. In a construction technique, the researcher provides less initial structure to the respondent than in a completion technique. The two main construction techniques are (I) picture response and (2) cartoons
PICTURE RESPONSE The roots of picture response techniques can be traced to the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), which consists of a series of pictures of ordinary as well as unusual events. In some of these pictures, the persons or objects are clearly depicted, while in others they are relatively vague. The respondent is asked to tell stories about these pictures. The respondent’s interpretation of the pictures gives indications of that individual’s personality. For example, an individual may be characterized as impulsive, creative, unimaginative, and so on. The name “Thematic Apperception Test” is used because themes are elicited based on the subject’s perceptual interpretation (apperception) of pictures
In marketing research uses of picture response techniques, respondents are shown a picture and asked to tell a story describing it. The responses are used to evaluate attitudes toward the topic and describe the respondents. In a variation of this technique, such as Zaltman’s Metaphor Elicitation Technique, the respondents are asked to bring 12 to 15 pictures of their choice to the interview and then asked to describe the salient content of each picture. The picture descriptions reveal the underlying values. attitudes, and beliefs of the respondents. In another variation called photo sort, respondents are provided with a photo deck portraying dif£Frent types of people. Respondents sort the photos to connect the people in the photos with the brands that they would use. A photo sort for Visa revealed that the credit card had a middle-of-the road, female image. Therefore, Visa renewed its relationship with the National Football League through 2010 to attract more males. Another variation of this technique requires the respondents to draw ‘pictures or drawings to express their feelings about the brand or object being investigated. Another illustration of the picture response technique is provided by the example on some consumers’ preference for high-fat in calories.
Gimme a Double Shake and a Lard on White
The light and healthy craze seems to be dying down for one segment of the population. In response to direct questioning, consumers are hesitant to say they want food that is bad for them. However, this finding emerged in a picture response test in which the respondents were asked to describe a picture depicting people consuming high-fat food rich in calories. A significant number of the respondents defended the behavior of the people in the picture, explaining that the increased stress in everyday life has caused people to turn from tasteless rice cakes to comfort foods loaded with the ingredients that make life worth living.
Many marketers have capitalized upon this finding by introducing products that contain large amounts of fat and calories. Pepperidge Farm recently introduced its own bid for the comfort food market: no-calories-barred soft-baked cookies with about 40 percent of the calories coming from fat. The new line is already the third biggest seller for the company.
Fast-fuod restaurants like McDonald’s also rolled out several new products that were extremely high in fat and calories for the New Tastes Menu. McDonald’s new products included the fried Chicken Parmesan sandwich smothered with cheese and tomato sauce, and a portable breakfast sandwich that had a sausage patty surrounded by two pancakes.))
CARTOON TESTS In cartoon tests, cartoon characters are shown in a specific situation related to the problem. The respondents are asked to indicate what one cartoon character might say in response to the comments of another character. The responses indicate the respondents’ feelings, beliefs, and attitudes toward the situation. Cartoon tests are simpler to administer and analyze than picture response techniques. An example is shown in Figure
In expressive techniques, respondents are presented with a verbal or visual situation and asked to relate the feelings and attitudes of other people to the situation. The respondents express not their own feelings or attitudes, but those of others. The two main expressive techniques are role playing and third-person technique.
ROLE PLAYING In role playing, respondents are asked to play the role or assume the behavior of someone else. The researcher assumes that the respondents will project their own feelings into the role. These can then be uncovered by analyzing the responses, as shown in the department store patronage project
What Is Privacy
When focus groups revealed that privacy was a major concern of apartment residents. an apartment builder became concerned with how people view privacy. The research company. Cossette Communication Group used the role-playing technique to gain the required information. Respondents were asked to play the role of an architect and design their own apartment homes using the boards provided. After the homes were designed. a series of research questions were asked. These questions addressed how the participants perceived privacy. For example. the respondents were asked how much space was needed between rooms to make them feel that their privacy would not be invaded. and how much sound should be audible through walls. The marketing research company felt that it would be more effective to have subjects become involved in a role-playing activity followed by questions on why they did what they did. rather than simply asking subjects what they would do in a certain situation. “We had people show us what privacy meant to them. rather than assuming they could explain it to us in words.” The results helped the building company in designing and building apartments so that occupants would be more comfortable and feel more private. Walls between bedrooms were made to absorb more sound so that voices would not carry as easily. Additionally. bedrooms were set further apart instead of directly adjacent to each other. Apartments were built so that bedrooms were on opposite sides of the building. This way. roommates would not feel that their privacy was being compromised. The construction company benefited greatly from Cossette’s creative methods of research, as demonstrated by the increased customer satisfaction that resulted from individuals feeling more confident about maintaining their privacy
THIRD-PERSON TECHNIQUE In third-person technique, the respondent is presented with a verbal or visual situation and asked to relate the beliefs and attitudes of a third person rather than directly expressing personal beliefs and attitudes. This third person may be a friend, neighbor, colleague, or a “typical” person. Again, the researcher assumes that the respondent will reveal personal beliefs and attitudes while describing the reactions of a third party. Asking the individual to respond in the third person reduces.the social pressure to give an acceptable answer, as the following example shows