Understanding consumers’ emotions and feelings towards consumer goods is key to developing successful products.
When consumers experience a product, their emotions are triggered by the senses. Their emotional response (how they feels about a product) brings in past experiences and the system of values and beliefs of the individual. Although much of it may be unconscious and poorly controlled by reason, this emotional response underpins much of the rational outcome and judgment of a product.
Although emotions are a fundamental dimension of product experience, they have been largely ignored by product developers. This is mainly due to the lack of quantitative and objective tools to assess them in a way that leads to the specific choices for product attributes.
Consumer product research methods that we use at SRL to study emotional responses are based on Kansei Engineering (a product design and assessment method that originated in Japan and translates consumers’ psychological feelings and needs into product design elements). Kansei has been applied successfully in a wide range of industries, including automotive, electronics, textiles and food products.
At SRL we have over 20 years experience of systematically assessing, describing and quantifying the emotional response to product use. We apply tools and techniques that translate fuzzy and ill-defined feelings and emotions, into objective choices for product design.
The innovative features of SRLs’ affective product design (SAPD) strategy include recognizing and measuring the special link between sensory inputs, emotional responses, and rational (verbalized) judgments (we know that it is important to understand the integrated system as a whole and all aspects of the product, including product formulation, package, price, marketing image, etc are considered) and using visual descriptors (images) with quantitative methodology to define the emotional space.
Using SAPD our clients develop products that by design will stimulate the intended reaction of ‘satisfaction’ in the user.