Understand our process
We place great value on evaluating products in their appropriate environment. To us, that means predominantly in peoples’ homes where they are actually used. We don’t believe in testing booths, laboratory settings, external sensory elimination and the like. We are interested in evaluating products in real life environments. We believe this creates a relaxed, realistic consumer experience which delivers superior, more accurate results. It also brings cost savings that are passed onto our clients.
To achieve this, we use one or a combination of methods, depending on the project objectives and product type.
Where a panel of consumers, typically 40 at a time, are invited to participate during a convenient 2 hour window in a lead consumer’s home and hosted by an expert member of our team. This is ideal for sensory study of food, beverages , packaging and product concepts.
Where product is delivered to our consumer panels at their respective homes, and tested over a period of time. This is typically used for items such as cleaning products and cosmetics, or even foods when we are investigating usage patterns.
Where products are sampled at the moment of choice, or where we assess purchase behavior and decision-making at the point of purchase.
While our research is quantitative in nature, through our sister company Vibrand Research, we can add qualitative focus groups to our Central Home Testing panels to probe specific areas. We are able to offer these at a competitive rate as we use the same in-home venue and a subset of the existing panel.
Recruitment is key to the quality of our outputs and is performed by leading professionals in their field with whom we have long-standing relationships. Specific demographic, lifestyle and product usage criteria are applied to the recruitment of our consumer panels based on the unique requirements of each client or project, and various options exist:
Can be established and used over a period of time to test various products in similar categories (e.g. dairy users, beer drinkers). A significant benefit here is reduced costs as only a percentage of the respondents is refreshed over time, lowering recruitment costs, as well as reducing timings as we can convene these panels at relatively short notice. Many of our regular clients opt for standing panels and commit to a number of projects over a 6 or 12 month period .
Can be convened for specific once-off projects.
Can be conducted on your premises using your own staff, assuming you have a sufficiently large staff complement and suitable facilities. These are generally used for quick and simple tests with limited recruitment specifications.
Panel sizes can vary from 75 to over 200, and data is gathered via questionnaires carefully designed by our expert team. The complexity of the questionnaire depends on the nature of the project, but we prefer to keep things as simple as possible. In the case of Home Usage Testing, we use online questionnaires which have an easy-to-use consumer interface, but boast sophisticated back end technology that allows for detailed analysis.
For Central Home Testing, we sample a maximum of three groupings in each panel, with a maximum of four products in each grouping. Typically though, we would prefer not to test more than 9 products in one session. Home Usage studies generally cover far fewer products as panelists are usually required to use the products repeatedly over a specific time period.
Our clients typically provide incentives to consumers in the form of product – not only is this valuable to brand ‘buy-in’, allowing panel members to feel that they are part of a valued brand assessment team, it is also a more cost effective way of incentivising respondents. We stress though that we can incetivise consumers ourselves if necessary.
Get in contact with us to book a testing panel or to find out more about what we do.