The Future of
Qualitative Testing

BY: ANTONIO BUCHANAN  |  APRIL 1, 2020 – 6 MIN READ

Design

Let’s do an experiment. Below is a short list of questions, something you might find in a survey if a company that makes sneakers were doing qualitative brand research. Take a second to answer these with the first thing that pops into your mind:

  1. How many times per week do you wear athletic shoes?
  2. Do you ever wear athletic shoes when you’re not exercising?
  3. What’s the most important thing you look for when buying new athletic shoes—fit and support, price, style, or something else?
  4. Do you wear the same pair of athletic shoes for all activities or prefer to have specific ones for running, sports, gym time, leisure, etc.?

Easy enough to answer, right? If you send these questions out in a brand email and offer customers 15% off when they complete the survey, that seems like a decent way to gather feedback. But how useful are those answers, really, when it comes to creative marketing and new product research? They are not going to tell you much about your customers other than the fact that they like discounts.

Let’s try again:

  1. If your favorite sneakers could talk, what do you think they’d say during your exercise routine? Would they be supportive, tired, critical, excited?
  2. Pretend you’re designing a pair of athletic shoes for your inner child. What colors would you use? Laces or tabs? Would they light up? What’s your favorite thing about them?
  3. Imagine you just booked your dream vacation! Where are you going? Would you take your athletic shoes? (Now be honest—are you wearing them for exercise on your trip or just to walk through the airport?)

That was more fun, right? And from your answers, our team could glean a lot more interesting information than just how many times a week someone wears sneakers. They might learn what types of exercise customers do most, what colors or designs they wish they could see in new products, how receptive they might be to more creative designs, how they want to feel when wearing their athletic shoes, and the importance they place on exercise. All these things will vary from individual to individual, but the information gathered says so much more about the customer as a person instead of as a statistic.

At Antonio & Paris, we thrive on coming up with creative, human approaches to gathering insight. People are fascinating to us, and we want to learn about the ones that make up our clients’ target audience so their brands can, in turn, have a deeper understanding of what customers are really thinking. Brands can then use that knowledge to improve, innovate, and excite their customers with experiences that will truly be tailor-made for the people in that target demographic.

Creativity in research is a specialty for us. One of our favorite ways to delve inside the minds of customers isn’t with questionnaires, but with conversations. When people hear “qualitative research,” most minds think of focus groups. However, while in-person collaboration can be somewhat valuable, physical handicaps and personal obligations can make a 2pm focus group a challenging commitment. That is one reason we developed our digital diaries, Project: FollowMe. We ask our recruits to record video entries of themselves answering our curated questions and prompts and reply to us immediately. The genius behind this design allows us to ask respondents follow-up questions or send them on errands to a sporting goods store or a gym, and then provide feedback on their experience. By receiving their responses as they go through their journey, we can adapt our approach to each participant, thus gaining high-value consumer insight.

The qualitative data compiled from our PFM projects is invaluable to a company trying to learn more about the people who are buying its product or service. Brand leaders will have an intimate, inside look at what makes their customers tick. From there, they can create even better strategies that will bring their business to the next level of customer satisfaction and success. Drop us a line to learn more about our Project: FollowMe or our other services.

Antonio blog profile image

WRITTEN BY
Antonio Buchanan

Short Bio — In 1999 after leading the charge on accounts, such as American Express, IBM, & Microsoft, at traditional global agencies in large agency networks, Antonio Patric Buchanan set out on his own to create a new agency model with his agency, bang!zoom. Within a couple of years, the agency was purchased by the Canadian holding company, MDC. In 2004 he launched Pure Moxie, which was rebranded in 2017 to what is now Antonio & Paris.

Antonio blog profile image

WRITTEN BY
Antonio Buchanan

Short Bio — In 1999 after leading the charge on accounts, such as American Express, IBM, & Microsoft, at traditional global agencies in large agency networks, Antonio Patric Buchanan set out on his own to create a new agency model with his agency, bang!zoom. Within a couple of years, the agency was purchased by the Canadian holding company, MDC. In 2004 he launched Pure Moxie, which was rebranded in 2017 to what is now Antonio & Paris.

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