Numbers aren’t the whole story, but neither is quali! Sue Stanley Unilever Research & Development October 2005
First of all, who am I? Statistician Consumer researcher (Qual + Quant) Leader of consumer science group Psychology, sociology, consumer research Cognitive Neuroscience, sensory science Applied orientation : “Is it useful?”
Unilever context Foods and Home & Personal Care business
Brand innovation New product development Consumer insight : to guide future direction and aid decision-making Internal research + External partners What do we do?
Qualitative and quantitative research each gives a partial picture : complementarity Sometimes, one alone is sufficient as a basis for action Often, a combination is required Quali data (text/visual) provide very powerful means of communication Our view on research methods
This will not be an academic presentation There will be few references There will not be a lot of data (commercial sensitivity) But the aim is to ‘open a window’ Warning!
Quali and quant each requires specific skills Researchers with both sets of skills are rare There is a mindset/perspective issue A personal comment on mindsets/skills It can’t be representative with such small numbers … . It’s not reproducible … .the analysis is subjective Complexities of human experience … ..importance of meaning……many truths … ..correlation isn’t causation - Is a new breed of person required?
Some common ‘mixed methods’ approaches in Unilever 1. Open questions in a Quant study 2. Quali to generate language/hypotheses, Quant to test 3. Quant to map out the terrain, Quali to fill in the detail and interpret 4. Simultaneous Quant + Quali An example of each
Evaluating a prototype product Randomised, controlled trial vs existing product Questionnaire Quant : Overall Liking + Purchase Intention Open : Likes & Dislikes Quant : Product Attributes Analysis of open questions Post-code or electronic processing (NLP) Counts by category Simultaneous data collection Quant people Quali becomes ‘quasi-quant’ like it!! 1. Open questions in a Quant study Almost trivial?
2 examples of benefits of Open questions ‘ Safety net’ for the unexpected Laundry tablets : in some washing machines they ‘lodged’ in the door Pick up subtleties not reflected in quant response New packaging for a well-loved product ‘ It’s just not the same’ ‘It’s not what it used to be’ Is it useful?
2. Quali to generate language/hypotheses, Quant to test Global Consumer Values Global products & brands give economies of scale As well as demographic segments, are there attitudinal segments with similar requirements across countries? Cultural values offer a possibility, but existing specifications may be too remote from consumer products (eg G.Hofstede, S.H.Schwartz) Are there product-relevant values, ie “You buy what you are”?
(A) International quali study Quali interviews by local researchers, to common format, in each of 17 countries Researchers brought together in global workshop Consolidated Values list, in English + local languages Some global values, some local values Values language generated by respondents Thailand UK Italy Mexico Argentina Brazil China Japan Indonesia Germany India USA Poland South Africa Spain Turkey
(B) International quant study Levels of agreement with Values statements Behavioural data on purchasing Behavioural clusters identified Linked to Values VALUES - Group A driven mainly by the need for recognition by others
Firm base for new product development Eg 2 consumer segments for meal preparation Rich background material for developing multi-country advertising Is it useful ? ‘ Love to cook, but don’t have the time…’ ‘Heat & eat’
3. Quant to map out, quali to fill in + interpret Afro hair products What are Afro-hair consumer needs from products? Basis to launch Sunsilk targeted at specific problems
Quant followed by quali in South Africa Quant Questionnaire survey of 1200 women Questions on : Attitudes Hair style Current product use Hair problems & concerns Demographics Consumer segments identified by cluster analysis Quali Longitudinal observation and open interviews at home over 5 weeks, N=18 per segment
Quant : 6 segments identified 3-D Representation of Cluster Relationships 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 Problem A 2 Problem B 3 Relatively Happy 4 Problem C 5 Problem D 6 Problem E
Quali : Product behaviours, issues, language The Hair what is it like how is it changing self assessment stylist assessment diaries hair samples Beliefs / Attitudes what does she think about her hair, the products & processes 3 interviews at key stages diary Behaviour what is she doing to it what are others doing to it video observation of key events diaries
Chemical relaxing is an integral part of the hair care routine for a large proportion of black women Once women start relaxing they become locked into the relaxing cycle and touch up the regrowth regularly - every 3-6 weeks ‘ Relaxing’ treatments From…. .…To
Hair and scalp damage But relaxers are aggressive chemical treatments that can cause damage to the hair and scalp, and pain during application Need for less aggressive products Hair relaxing “ My hair falls off at the forehead and at the back. So when you relax hair you feel like it is a waste of money - because in no time you will have to cut it off”
Gave basis for the launch of Sunsilk range of improved care products for Afro hair Guided both product development (what the products were required to do) and advertising (speaking to the consumer audience) Was it useful?
4. Simultaneous Quant and Quali Attitudes to Nanotechnology Study commissioned by Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering Nanotechnology Working Group Carried out by BMRB market research agency in UK in 2003/4 Report available on www.nanotec.org.uk/Market%20Research.pdf Quali : 2 x 3-hr workshops, N=50 Quant : 3 questions on Omnibus survey, N=1005
Rationale for the approach Quali Low knowledge expected, therefore presented information/concepts and explored reactions “ Expert scientists” answered respondents’ questions In-depth exploration of issues : positives, concerns and reassurances that might be required Quant To measure self-reported awareness and beliefs, including whether people thought it would be a positive/negative development
Is it useful (1)? Quali Knowledge/attitudes towards new technologies in general, and factors that appeared to influence the formation of positive/negative opinions Reactions to ways in which nanotechnology might be useful in the future + perceived implications : ethical, financial, social/political, environmental, health and safety Verbatim comments used to illustrate findings “Are we trying to control nature, are we trying to manipulate nature?….I don’t think we should, we don’t have the right to play God…I don’t know, I can’t articulate it, I just think it makes me feel things are getting out of control, there might be a nasty end product” (Male, 55+, ABC1, London)
Quant Is it useful (2)? Showed low awareness, particularly amongst women
Qualitative and quantitative research each gives a partial picture : complementarity Sometimes, one alone is sufficient as a basis for action Often, a combination is required Quali data (verbal/visual) provide very powerful means of communication Summary
Thank you Unilever : Jane Ryland Gill Beesley Stephen Donaldson