Shopping for tea
As a researcher I love the everyday challenge to get all the questions and techniques in the questionnaire just right. I want respondents to have fun and be engaged while filling in questionnaires, not only to have happy respondents but also to obtain the most trustworthy and insightful results.
Testing questionnaires myself regularly always gives me new insights in techniques or visualisations that are good examples of how research should be done. I recently came across a technique that caught my attention since it really improved both my engagement and the reliability of my answers.
The questionnaire was about tea, a product all of us occasionally or often buy in the supermarket, depending on how much we drink it. At the start of the survey I was shown a supermarket shelve with 24 different tea flavours of various brands. For all flavours the price, content and a picture of the packaging were shown. I had to decide which of the flavours I would buy (if any) and would see the total price after selecting one or more products. I was shown 12 different shelves with each time a different selection of flavours having to do the same exercise again and again.
This exercise made me really aware of what is available within the product category, what the prices are for different brands/products and what I actually pay attention to when shopping.
Most of the time you don’t come across an exercise like this, and you have to answer questions regarding a specific brand. This can be quite hard when it’s been a while since you actually bought this type of product. This especially holds up for FMCG products, which are (in my case) not bought with the utmost attention.
This exercise is a good example of ensuring that all respondents have the same ‘baseline’ level of product category knowledge before having to answer brand specific questions, making answering easier and the answers more reliable.
It’s very important to keep panel members involved and motivated. After all, we need our panel members to provide our clients with valuable insights.
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Take your time
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