Recently I was in New York; to be more specific, I was standing in Times Square in New York, in a sea of people as the live Clinton versus Trump election results came rolling in on sky-scraper size screens in day glow colour.
I was there working for Blue Yonder Research; we had a very big and exciting claims substantiation project for one of our major clients, the fact that it coincided with the US Presidential election was purely coincidental.
Blue Yonder are experts at claims substantiation research, the purpose of which is to enable a company to make a statement about how good their product is, to impress consumers and ultimately drive sales.
You will have seen such claims on TV and other advertising; you might have seen an advert that says something like: ‘90% of consumers say they would recommend this toothpaste’ (or washing up liquid, or whatever is).
Claims research is different to consumer research and usually comes after it. Consumer research tests concepts and prototypes with consumers and seeks to tweak and optimise. Claims research is the next stage on and seeks to support the promotion of a finished article, it is a great way of generating consumer interest in an already well tested and researched product. Any claim a company makes, must be supported by robust evidence in order that it can withstand a legal challenge. As, let’s face it, that is what the competition is going to want to do when you make a killer claim about your new product.
So, back in Times Square the atmosphere was nail biting. You could taste the suspense in the air; in fact, you could have probably eaten it (if you wanted to that is). I mean, how exciting was that? To be there on that momentous night; a historic date that we now know could mark a significant change in the direction of American policy.
So, in that moment, stood in Times Square, I got to thinking about whether Donald Trump and I had anything in common. I started off easy, like…What will Donald Trump have had for breakfast tomorrow? Well anything his heart desires, I suspect, and what will I have for breakfast? I will have an orange juice and a banana – I know that already because that’s the choice you’re left with in our hotel if you don’t eat doughnuts with icing and sprinkles on for breakfast! Then I asked myself, how will Donald get to work tomorrow? Chauffer driven…definitely, but in a Bentley or a limousine perhaps? Who knows, and me? Well I’ll walk, so nothing in common yet – next question, what will Donald do at work tomorrow?
I knew exactly to the minute what I was doing at work the next day. Claims research requires military precision planning and this project had been weeks in the planning. First there’s the set-up documents to create: an impartial questionnaire, a test protocol, sign in sheets, to name just a few. The consumers must then be recruited – products for consumer testing need to be distributed; every consumer in the test must have exactly the same experience so a strategy is required to manage the hundreds of consumers through the facility and the interview; questions must be posed precisely; interviews must be recorded; and records made and kept of all the test activity.
After all that, having captured the data, we must check it, analyse it, and create a report. Following that, we create a claims portfolio which is a comprehensive record of all test activity to withstand any challenge.
I know I’m making this sound easy, but this is what we do. It’s not easy, it’s just that Blue Yonder Research are good at it, and that’s from experience.
So, what will Donald do at work tomorrow? Who knows. That was the uncertainty we were dealing with in Times Square that night, and that’s the main difference between me and Donald Trump, I knew exactly what was I doing at work the next day, it had been weeks in the planning, it had been rehearsed and every eventuality had been planned for.
Donald, however, had no idea; we were all waiting to find out…
To see what claims research could do for your company come and talk to Blue Yonder Research.
By Hannah Hope – Senior Research Executive