March 10, 2011

In Focus:   Why Use Qualitative Research

Qualitative research provides an in-depth understanding of a target market’s perspective. 

It is exploratory research, designed to provide an understanding of perceptions, feelings, attitudes and motivations. 

Qualitative research can often provide fresh insights, generate creative ideas and/or help with a product’s messaging. 

Different businesses…shared problems: 

  • Positioning of a product or service
  • Evaluating advertising
  • Identifying strengths and weaknesses
  • Package design
  • Comprehending purchase decision dynamics
  • Exploring communication messages

Trade Talk: Printer Manufacturer

A leading printer manufacturer developed a new breakthrough technology revolutionizing the color gamut, allowing more flexibility in colors and media for its target markets, graphic designers, print shops and ad agencies.  Direct mail pieces promoted the new printer, but sales were lackluster and the company didn’t know why.

Sion Research Associates conducted thirty interviews with potential customers who had requested additional information and print samples from the manufacturer. 

The manufacturer is identified with good quality, moderately-priced printers.  The new printer is substantially higher priced and the initial price tag, (not including the software and ink costs) generated “sticker shock.”  The price was viewed as a “disconnect” with the company’s image of affordable printers.    Moreover, consumers under-estimated the cost of consumables, such as ink cartridges and media, expecting them to be comparable to the company’s current price list.   

The manufacturer needs to recalibrate the brand, making it consistent with consumers’ relationship to the brand and determine which group is the most profitable. 

 Throughout the Ages: 

 “Baby Boomers are the healthiest, best educated generation to transition through middle age to retirement.”

 “Born between 1946 – 1964, they are the most self-centered, self-seeking, self-interested, self-absorbed, self-indulgent, self-aggrandizing generation in American history.”

Millennials (also known as generation Y, ages 15 – 32) are the children Boomers and the next biggest generation after Baby boomers.   While they are brand loyal in some categories, they are starting to explore store brands because of price. 

This group and the GenXers (33-44) favor mass supercenters and merchandisers over more traditional grocery or drug stores.   


Small Thoughts At Large:  

  • India has more honor students than America has kids 
  • The top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 did not exist in 2004 
  • Did you know that it is easier to peel a banana from the bottom?