What is the Mindset?
25, 2005 - by
Robert E. Stevens, GENESIS II
Second Beginning) E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
In September 2004, I wrote about the
effects of personalities and occupations on how a glass half filled is
seen. The intent of that paper was to demonstrate how the same
thing can be seen differently by different people. I would like
to extend that thought to how the mental and physical environments can
also play an important part in how things are viewed. Also that a
person can, under different conditions, see and respond differently to
the same thing. This should have a profound effect on how you
design your research. In the simplest of terms, for example, a
person can be a shopper, tester or user. Under each of these
three conditions, the respondent will see the same thing differently.
In the ancient times of the Views (January 1995 &
June 1995), I wrote about two studies that compared the results
obtained under different circumstances. In the first test, we
compared the results obtained from two panels. In the first
panel, the participants were asked to test a liquid dishwashing
detergent. In the second panel, the participants were told that
we had some leftover dishwashing detergent and they could have some to
use if they wanted it. After two weeks both panels were called
and interviewed about the dishwashing detergent. The results from
the two panels were dramatically different. In the first panel,
we had testers whereas in the second panel, we had users -- resulting
in two completely different mindsets during usage.
In the second study, we were about to introduce an up-grade to a
current brand. The up-grade was an 80/w0 winner, in a paired
comparison blind test, over the current market product. The
packaging of the up-grade resulted in a packaging negative. When
the new version, containing the packaging negative was tested against
the current version, the previous loser, the current version, was a
slight winner. After considerable discussion, the new version
complete with the packaging negative was introduced into the market via
a controlled store test. Follow-up interviews among the
purchasers of the new new version showed that the packaging negative
was not seen or at least not important enough in their evaluation to be
mentioned. Testers thought the packaging negative was critical,
while the users (purchasers) did not consider it important.
Testers vs. Shoppers
In the early 1980s, in order to speed up our research and
at the same time make it more realistic, a simulated store was set up
in one of our technical centers. This allowed us to conduct
in-aisle research under a more tightly controlled environment.
concern was expressed about the validity of the data collected under
simulated conditions. A study was conducted and it showed small
but important differences. Before rejecting this new research
tool based on one study, a second person was selected to conduct a
series of studies comparing data collected in the simulated store with
data collected from real stores. His results showed significant
differences in all ten studies and important differences in three of
the ten. Important meaning that the difference was not just
intensity but directional. Were the differences in results due to
the physical differences (simulated vs. real stores) or could it have
been mental (tester vs. shopper)? We don't know.
Regardless, they yield different results.
Sponsor: Sorensen Associates Inc
Portland, OR: 800.542.0123
Minneapolis, MN: 888.616.0123
in-store research company™ -- Dedicated to the
relentless pursuit of WHY?