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To buy or not to buy?

February 26, 2010

While trying to find out exactly what it is that people need, there are different kinds of techniques to consider. To collect the base for my research on the needs of people nowadays, a survey is a good start. Through this method you can collect a reasonable amount of information in a relatively short time[1].

For a more thorough exploration of these needs I would like to make use of interviews. For this interviews I found an interesting technique to apply. This method called ‘probing’ and consists of asking questions on image based thoughts. Probing can bring both superficial associations, as well as deeper associations, which were initially concealed, to the surface. When the consumer talks in a metaphorically way about products and services, unconscious feelings and thoughts are more easily transferred to the conscious. One way to encourage this is the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique. With this technique the study participants are asked prior to a one-on-one interview to thoroughly think about their thoughts and feelings on a given subject, and find pictures that represent those thoughts and feelings. The interview is then taken on the basis of these images[2].

While creating these images I would like the interviewed to use a method I used personally during a inspirational journey of ‘the obvious’. While deciding what it is that you need, it is worth your while to take a closer look and think about what it is that you see or use everyday, but take for granted. If you try to put this in a new perspective it can create a whole new meaning.

TS Research methods – Jeroen Visser, assignment two


[1] Foeke van der Zee, Online enquêteren, 2009

[2] Gerald Zaltman, How customers think, 2003

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