Tuesday, April 21, 2009

“Oh, I Hate Those Bastards!”

I suppose the first time I realized how insightful and powerful Cartoon Sequence Research really is, was when I was investigating car-purchasing behavior. There I was at a Chrysler dealership on a Sunday morning to do some market research for the dealership.

I decided to do some preliminary research on our twenty-or-so “cartoon-pictographs” to see how they would work. I was there on Sunday morning, when the dealership was closed, because I wanted to interview individuals who desired to look at cars without being approached by a salesperson.

I was giving away boxes of candy to encourage people to look at the pictographs. Along came a well-dressed octogenarian lady. She was carrying a bible and I assumed that she had just come from church. She told me that I didn’t have to give her a box of candy to participate, but being the magnanimous researcher that I am, I insisted. Clutching the candy with here bible, she told me about here attitudes toward car shopping.

When we got to the pictograph showing a car salesman opening her car door, she blurted out, “Oh, I hate those bastards.” Now the whole purpose of this non-directive approach is “not to lead the witness.” Therefore, I simply said “Madam, do you want to go that?’

Needless to say, she provided considerable insight. But I also learned something more important. Cartoon Sequence Research oftentimes elicits strong emotional responses and this is extremely valuable because I believe that most often consumers make decisions on the basis of emotion first and rationality latter. In fact, I believe you learn more about purchasing behavior if you assume that people are emotional creatures who rationalize rather than rational creatures who become emotional.

So to that oft-asked question, “What do I have to do, draw you a picture?” the answer is “Yes you do.”

If you have questions, e-mail me at AllegianceResearch@gmail.com

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