Members of our team recently sat down and spoke with two diverse groups of consumers about trends that are having the most influence in their health and financial lives. We often conduct these types of focus groups to further our clients’ understanding about consumer behavior in order to advance their product development and communications goals. This time, however, we weren’t trying to help a client design a product or come up with any particular messaging to sell that product. Rather, we thought it important to pause and have a round-table discussion with consumers in order to understand how they are feeling about, and relating to, our complex world.
The context through which individuals relate to society undergirds how they relate to the messages and content that organizations use to stimulate and motivate them. We consider it critical to think about the trends that have people feeling the way they do, so that in our work we can better interpret motivational drivers of behavior. We do this to keep clients at the forefront, combatting consumer apathy and standing out against the white noise and constant barrage of messages, stimuli, and ploys for their attention.
This exercise is foundational for the next series in our MOTIVATIONS ASSESSMENT PROGRAM™ (MAP) research. MAP is based upon the means-end theory of decision-making, which postulates that consumers make choices across four inter-related levels: two that are more rational and two that are more emotional. Our research design seeks to uncover all four levels of consumers’ assessment—from the physical attributes recognized in a product or service, the anticipated tangible benefits created by those attributes, the emotional consequences of experiencing those tangible benefits and the personal values supported by combination of rational and emotional benefits.
We’ll keep you posted on findings from our recent research.