□ Research to test and understand Consumers

Consumer research tools and approaches should be strategically used and combined to gather consumer insights and understand
consumer likes/dislikes, preferences, needs, wants, opinions and perceptions
to effectively develop, improve and maintain successful products.


IRIS: International Resources for Insights and Solutions, LLC (IRIS)

works with its clients in the design and execution of consumer research projects to explore, unveil, interpret/understand, document and apply the consumer information gathered to meet a variety of objectives.  These might include product development guidance, product optimization, development of new products by strategically exploring the market place and discovering  sensory and benefits opportunities, study of consumer likes/dislikes, needs and wants, drivers of liking and emotions, drivers of quality, etc.

IRIS and its field agencies-partners, design and administer successful consumer research studies by addressing the following questions:

Who is your consumer/consumer population?
IRIS assists its clients to determine the ideal consumer population for the research

  • – Who is your target consumer?
  • – Are your screening criteria adequate and how do they affect your total recruitment costs?
  • – Is your consumer pool too small, too large?
  • – Do you have consumer segments of interest? Who are your segments/subgroups?

♦   Where can you find your target consumer? For either national or cross-cultural consumer research tests, IRIS finds the optimal locations for your research and partners with respected US or international consumer researchers and facilities to successfully administer your test.


♦  What consumer information do you need to collect?
Based on the type of consumer information and insights needed IRIS designs the optimal research approach, combining traditional and creative consumer and sensory methods to provide the needed information.
IRIS applies a wide range of consumer research techniques – traditional and innovative qualitative (e.g., focus groups, in-depth interviews, ideation, observational research, creative exploration, etc.) and quantitative methods (acceptance, preference, attribute ratings, assessments of expectations, product performance, ideal and appropriateness ratings, etc.).  Studies are conducted as CLTs, HUTs, or in-context, nationally or abroad.


♦  Which products/samples do you need evaluated in the consumer test and will the sample set provide the answers you need?
An optimal consumer research study involves the screening and assessment of the submitted products and prototypes to select the type and optimal number of products to include in the test.
IRIS assists its clients in the review and screening of products/test samples, assessment of descriptive and other data to:

  • – Select the ideal  sample set to balance completeness/richness of information and total costs
  • – Unveil any biases potentially created by some products or packages and determine the best test design to eliminate these biases
  • – Determine the need or value of descriptive data to be used prior to or in combination of consumer tests

Do you wish to assess and use historical consumer research guidance information? Historical data should be assessed and judiciously used in the design of new tests.  These data may offer a wealth of information that can be successfully applied in the design and execution of new research tests.

IRIS helps its clients to review historical/past data and use the information in the design of the consumer research tests, such as determining recruitment specs, design of questionnaires, sample selection (own and competitor samples), choosing ideal test conditions, etc.


♦  Do you wish to determine drivers of liking, quality or emotions, and which approach is best for you?

Studies exploring drivers of liking, quality or emotions are comprehensive and extremely valuable projects/approaches.  They determine the product’s sensory drivers or key product attributes that influence a consumer response of interest (such as liking or a key consumer response/attribute), emotions or perceptions of quality. These studies uncover sensory areas of opportunity. There are several approaches in completing these projects, including combining consumer techniques and information only, or linking sensory/descriptive and consumer data, or liking analytical/product variability information and consumer data.
IRIS explores which approach is best for a client based on philosophy, resources, and desired information.  Is the study to address category/market monitoring or to gather insights for strategic business opportunities? This consumer-focused research starts with the selection of appropriate samples/products.  Following is the design and execution of the studies (using consumer tools exclusively, or consumer- descriptive tools) and the skillful data analysis and interpretation

    • – How do your products/prototypes differentiate themselves from the competition in sensory properties and liking/consumer perceptions?
    • – Which are the drivers of liking or emotions and how should they be targeted?  Which specific attributes do you need to focus on?
    • –  Where is your target area and strategic positioning?IRIS assists its clients in the design and execution of these multifaceted/valuable research projects and the analysis and interpretation of the resulting data.

♦  Do you have any other consumer data/information that needs to be assessed, interpreted or used in your consumer study (e.g., marketing/market research data, etc.)

Besides historical data, are there any other data collected and provided by other groups that should be considered in the design of the consumer research project?
IRIS works with its clients in the use and interpretation of other data that can provide insights and value into the design and execution of a successful consumer research test, and the data interpretation