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    It's All About the Text (Analysis): A market research love story with "meaning"

    Posted by Vaughn Mordecai on Feb 17, 2015 4:13:00 PM


    I recently spoke to the combined market research association chapters Vegas Conference 2015.  This is one of the best conferences of the year, not because they let me speak, but because the content is always great, the location is entertaining, and the other attendees are very friendly.  

    The subject of the presentation was using text analysis, phenomenology, and in-depth interviewing to understand the subject of Arthritis for market research purposes.   

    If you're interested in the presentation, check it out below.  

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    Topics: Text Analysis, Emotion

    Going Market Research Old-School

    Posted by Vaughn Mordecai on Jan 29, 2015 10:46:28 AM

    I've mentioned before that I have a fascination with music.  I'll listen to just about anything (as long as it's not obscene, racist, or sexist).  At times in my life, my musical preferences have swung from New Wave (80's) to Grunge and Metal (90's) to Blues and Classic Rock (00's) and now Pop, Hair Bands, and Country.  During this entire time I've always listened to Alternative music as well.  

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    Topics: Market Research, Online Community, Online Qualitative, Market Research Industry

    Market Research Phenomena

    Posted by Vaughn Mordecai on Jan 15, 2015 3:07:17 PM

    Edmund Husserl is a German philosopher that established a line of thinking called Phenomenology.  He once staked the claim that "We would be in a nasty position indeed if empirical science were the only kind of science possible."  Does this thought process contradict what we do everyday as marketing researchers.  I don't believe it does.  Here's why.

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    Topics: Market Research, Branding, phenomenology

    My Generation - Segmenting Characteristics of Generation X, Y, & Z

    Posted by Kevan Oswald on Jan 8, 2015 10:35:50 AM

    The oldest Gen Xers will turn 50 this year. At least most consider that to be the case.  Baby Boomers are widely agreed upon as having been born between 1946 and 1964, making 1965 the starting year for Generation X.  After that, start and stop dates for each generation start to get a little fuzzy.

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    Topics: Market Research, Segmentation

    Stand for Something (Good)

    Posted by Vaughn Mordecai on Dec 22, 2014 12:44:04 PM

    I had a really enlightening moment the other day so I thought I'd write about it.  As we do each year, Discovery Research sent out a digital card to our friends, fans, supporters, clients, etc.  Here's a copy of it:

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    Topics: Branding, Business Strategy

    Using Market Research to Define the Meaning in Emotion

    Posted by Vaughn Mordecai on Dec 10, 2014 2:47:38 PM


    Studying emotion is a pretty tough subject.  Most market researchers really want to understand how customers experience their brand emotionally.  The problem is, on a basic level it's not entirely clear how to define emotion.  Sure, you can look up emotion on dictionary.com and there's a definition.  It will tell you that emotion is "an affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness."

    Huh?  At least it talks about how emotion is experienced (how we apply meaning to emotion).

    Google defines emotion as "a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others."

    This one is easier to understand, however this definition eliminates experience and clearly states that emotion is "a natural instinctive state."  In essence, it stakes the claim that emotion is "nature" rather than "nurture."  

    The inability to clearly define emotion complicates things.  Does everyone have emotion?  Does everyone experience emotion in the same way?  Is the meaning of emotion good or bad when someone states, "he's being emotional"?  As with most things, I believe that the meaning and experience of emotion varies on the individual.  So how do you sort it out and find meaning from emotion?

    Here's how we do it at Discovery Research.

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    Topics: Market Research, Meaning, Emotion

    What's the "Meaning" in Your Market Research

    Posted by Vaughn Mordecai on Dec 4, 2014 2:32:40 PM

    Whether you know it or not, meanings are difficult to get your head wrapped around.  To begin with, the word meaning can refer to at least two different things.  An object can mean something to you, as in it can have value. Additionally, the word that depicts the object also has a meaning, as in it is defined by some social construct and has come to have a linguistic representation.  

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    Topics: Market Research, Sociology, Meaning

    Emotions Run Strong in Ferguson (Infographic)

    Posted by Vaughn Mordecai on Nov 26, 2014 10:13:00 AM


    Regardless of your opinion of the outcome on the grand jury decision not to indict Officer Wilson in Ferguson, MO after the shooting of teenager Michael Brown, it's pretty apparent that the issue is fraut with emotional energy from both sides.  

    From a sociological perspective, this incident is a case study in race relations in the United States with Brown supporters staking the claim that the entire outcome was based on race, while Wilson supporters claim that it was not a race issue at all.  As researchers, we were interested in the emotion that surrounds the ongoing event. Does the anger outweigh the relief?  Here's an infographic that uses our emotional measurements to understand the social content surrounding Ferguson, MO.

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    Topics: Social Media Research, Social Media, Social Trends

    It's All About that Brand (Experience)

    Posted by Vaughn Mordecai on Nov 18, 2014 3:05:00 PM

    The other day my married son asked me what my wife and I would like for Christmas (they're overachievers getting started early).  I did a double take because I hadn't really thought about the question.  As I began to contemplate the gifts I've received through the years that were the most memorable, it was clear that they all included those that lead to some life experience.  A bike when I was young that gave me freedom, play tickets that took me out of my life experience, a painting that I look at often, were at the top of the list.  So I answered him that the thing we'd like most was something we could DO with him and his wife rather than an item that would be stored somewhere in our house...some experience.

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    Topics: Customer Satisfaction, Patient Satisfaction, Business Practice

    Thought Control and the Branding Power of “that Kit-Kat Bar”

    Posted by Kevan Oswald on Oct 15, 2014 1:36:00 PM

    When did they stop singing the jingle in Kit-Kat commercials? I don’t watch a ton of TV, so I’m not the best judge of this, but I think its been a few years since the Kit-Kat jingle was actually sung in a commercial.  It’s all sound effects now, but when a Kit-Kat commercial comes on, I still sing the words in my mind along with the sound effects.  I can’t help it.  It’s as if I don’t even have a choice in the matter. “Gimme me a break, gimme a break, break me off a piece of that Kit-Kat bar.”  Having me repeat those words in my mind is of course far more effective than simply hearing those words.  That’s powerful advertising.

    So much of what we think, believe, and even decide occurs without our own awareness.  In his book “Unconscious Branding,” author Douglas Van Praet provides several insights into the way our mind works when it comes to forming opinions about brands. The following is my effort to summarize some of his key points.  As a marketing researcher, much of the book resonated with what I have already come to know, but he also provided several new insights that I know I will find applicable to much of the branding research I do with regard to focus groups, survey development, and consultation.

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    Topics: Branding