During the last years it has become popular to virtually test products and packages in online interviews. However, in many cases an audio-visual impression is not sufficient for assessing the product entirely from a consumer’s point of view. This is just one reason, why respondents should test real products at their homes, before completing your questionnaire. Here are three more:
1. Consumers tend to personalize products.
Very often, consumers tend to adapt products to their own preferences and desires. They refine convenience food with additional ingredients or spices, for example. Or they strive for the best combination of washing powder and softener to do the laundry to their liking. If you want to understand how your products are really used, you have to let the consumers use them in the real world as they ordinarily would.
2. The first impression may differ from the long-term perception.
The first impression of many products is different to the long-term perception. Even though consumers like the scent of a perfume at the first try, they may feel a certain fatigue when wearing it day-to-day. Another example is a hand lotion that will show its skin softening effect only after a couple of days using it. If you only asses the first impression of a product, you may miss out on what really drives the consumer experience.
3. Context matters.
Our perception and behaviour is always affected by our current context. For example, if chocolates are used as a treat after a tough day at work, the product and package may be perceived completely different than when being used as a gift to a beloved person. Therefore, an authentic perception of your product will only be possible in the context of the everyday lives of your consumers.
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