Human beings are remarkably complex creatures. Unlike most other members of the animal kingdom, Homo sapiens do not often make snap decisions without applying in-depth thought processes beforehand. Personal history, upbringing, culture, age, race and social class can all have a marked effect on people’s perception of literally anything. Earlier this year, MMR Research Worldwide conducted a study into food packaging that revealed just how individual and changeable people’s perceptions of different methods of presentation can be…
While those in the advertising and marketing fields have known for years the effect that well-designed logos and packaging can have on consumer perceptions, MMR Research’s study has shown that the actual format of the packaging itself can have a significant impact on the way products are perceived by consumers.
MMR’s study examined how the same product, in this instance orange juice, could be perceived differently by an audience sample when served in different kinds of plain, unbranded packaging. The results they found were quite remarkable. While most people would expect people to associate different forms of packaging with certain brands or perhaps even price brackets, the consumers, who were under the impression that they had tasted a range of different products, assigned different taste characteristics to the same product based on the packaging in which it was served. This suggests that packaging and visual representation can have something akin to a ‘placebo effect’ on consumers, drastically colouring their interpretation of a product, company or service.
Think about the implications that this study could have for your data capture needs. If something as simple as orange juice can exhibit different taste characteristics when served in cartons, plastic or glass bottles, then it figures that the way in which you gather your data will have a marked effect on the responses that your sample will provide. This is something that we’ve thought about long and hard at DCC, which is why we provide a wide range of different data capture services to give our clients the best possible opportunity to find a solution for their individual data capture needs.
MMR’s study has brought to light the fact that audiences are extremely subtle and unpredictable, showing that it is almost impossible to conduct a study that is completely unbiased and naturalistic. However, to get the most out of your data, we would recommend that you spend time analysing your audience and determining what method they would be most comfortable with. Would they find new technologies or online data capture methods to be too complicated, or would they find them more naturalistic? Would they be more comfortable writing down their responses by hand, or would they prefer something a bit more interactive? When you’ve answered questions such as these, you can begin to determine which methodology will be the most effective for your area of study. For more information on how different methods of data capture can affect your results, contact us to arrange a free, no-obligation workshop.