Sensory experimental economics

5 April 2020 Christine URBANO Comments Off

Learn how experimental economics helps to get product or concept feedback and to predict consumer behavior.

  • Sensory experimental economics, a highly valued technique

Created in the early 60s, experimental economics took off in the 80s and is still being developed today. It involves predicting consumer behavior based on theoretical assumptions and statistically analyzing results.

Initially performed in laboratories, it is now of genuine interest. Why? Because it mainly comprises physical tests, conducted with a panel of consumers or selected experts.

  • What does experimental economics consist of in our business?

Applied in the realm of the senses, experimental economics involves conducting tests on “hedonic” consumers. This enables feedback to be obtained for products or concepts we wish to place on the market. Based on product comparisons and statistical cross-checking, these tests also help to validate or improve the products used for mass consumption or specialized markets. The statistical analysis of results comes close to the opinions issued by potential customers.

Tests conducted with a target panel of individuals more specifically serve to measure the sensory characteristics of several products in the same category, based on multiple criteria and through different levels of feedback. All the senses can be invoked to establish each product’s own specific features, or its sensory identity.

The cross-checking of feedback further enables significant preferences to be added for each product. It also defines which properties to keep or change depending on trends.

  • A detailed product analysis using a multifaceted approach

So, this methodology guarantees a detailed analysis of the product we wish to develop, as it deploys a multifaceted approach based on a specific, rich and varied consumer experience, in terms of sight, smell, taste, touch or even hearing.

Difficult to assess in the long-term, consumer behavior is also an equally important factor in understanding how individuals receive a product.

  • Why use sensory analysis?

A product’s specific features can also change depending on the tastes of an era and vary from one country to another. In this sense, sensory analysis can meet different goals:

– establish a product assessment

– define a sensory profile

– establish a product rating or comparison

– re-assess the product based on changing tastes

– adapt the product to international variations

– adapt strategies to demand

A veritable measuring instrument, sensory product analysis provides objective and quantifiable elements. Elements that assist strategic decisions to improve or market a product.

Consumer studies effectively enable enhanced targeting of customer needs and expectations, and assessment of consumer preferences via a specific, qualitative study.

In short, sensory experience of a product also enables understanding and analyzing sensory perceptions through behavior and product feedback with a panel of individuals or experts, and to predict, in detail, foreseeable purchasing behavior. An adapted, objective methodology, which enables the needs of all marketing, research and development, or quality experts to be met.

And if you want to learn more, a link to a very interesting french article called: Murmurer à l’oreille… de l’industriel ?L’économie expérimentale comme outil d’aide à la décision en entreprise (Whispering in the ear… of industry? Experimental economics as a decision-making tool in business) written by Laure Saulais, Laurent Muller and Valérie Lesgards in Revue économique 2017/5 (Vol. 68), pages 925 to 939.

L'économie expérimentale dans le sensoriel, une stratégie prédictive lucrative
Revue économique – Développements récents de l’économie économique et expérimentale

If you wish to discover an innovative methodology that we practice at SensoStat, click here: Link to the article Le Tri Libre (The Free Sorting)