Sensory Market Research
Humans have five senses—sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste—all essential to adapt to their surroundings and survive. So, businesses use this to their advantage in understanding consumers’ behavior. This is where Sensory Market Research comes into the picture.
With stiff competition in each respective industry, each entrepreneur must stand out from the crowd to capture the attention of their target audience. With the use of Sensory Market Research, entrepreneurs can better formulate products appealing to the senses of their target market and prepare strategies that will entice people’s attention.
What is Sensory Market Research?
Sensory Market Research is a special type of research that does not focus on a particular industry or product. Instead, it caters to every market and segment, gathering data about the services and products based on various trials and tests.
Although Sensory Market Research is more popularly used in food and beverage products as it helps in the formulation of safe consumable products.
Therefore, it is a valuable research tool for conducting market research, whilst with the efforts of doing quality-control measures.
Different Tests for Sensory Market Research
When conducting tests for research, scientists and researchers assess the product using some or all human senses. There are different tests available, but picking one to be utilized depends on the objected goal.
To illustrate, here are some examples of sensory research and development tests:
- Ingredient Screening: Businesses utilize Sensory Market Research to screen ingredients appropriate for their food and beverages. First, it helps in developing the product’s formulation, factoring in its consistency and shelf life. Second, it considers the taste, texture, and appearance that will appeal to public consumption. Lastly, it will go through a controlled test under the direct supervision of the researcher. Almost all senses, except for hearing, are stimulated by this research tool.
- Product Testing: The most common tool for Sensory Market Research and potentially the fastest one to deliver the result. Participants, or the control group, involved in this test can provide immediate feedback and comments. For the car industry, they use dummies to test how well a car crash impacts the passenger. While for the mobile market, a test group tries the tactile feels, sound quality, visual appeal, and overall functionality of the phone before mass production. Product Testing can also be as simple as a food stall in the grocery offering free samples. All of these tests provide immediate feedback from consumers and researchers alike to determine the viability or defects of the products.
- Target Marketing: Sensory Market Research also benefits business marketing. Even though it is used mainly for products, this tool works wonders in figuring out the right marketing approach for businesses’ target audiences. A classic example is that visual advertisements need to attract the sight and hearing senses of consumers.
Benefits of Sensory Market Research
Sensory Market Research serves as a tool that businesses can leverage to their advantage, avoiding any costly or even legal mistakes. The difference of using one as a tool can be tremendous as it can influence the profit and viability potential of the business. Listed are some of the evident advantages of leveraging Sensory Market Research as a business tool:
- Food and Beverage Safety: It ensures that the manufactured products are fit for human consumption. The research will also show whether the ingredients go well together when added.
- Quality Control: The tests conducted will determine the quality of the product—whether it meets the criteria or not. It is essential as it can help businesses avoid potentially receiving or encountering any government policy violation or legal suit.
- Avoid Mass Production of Defected Items: Using Sensory Market Research helps determine whether the product is ready for mass production. Chances are, even though it passes the preliminary screening, some of the products are defective due to incomplete testing.
Key Job Titles in The Sensory Market Research
To successfully accomplish Sensory Market Research, it is significant to have a reliable team of skilled and certified professionals. Most of the research requires highly technical processes, which means the intervention of experts.
In this list, some of the important titles behind Sensory Market Research:
- Sensory Scientist
- Sensory and Consumer Science Manager
- Food Scientists and Food Technicians
- Quality Assurance and Quality Control Manager/Assistant
- Research and Development (R&D) Sensory Specialist
- Consumer Insights Quantitative Researcher
- Research Investigator
- Performance Research Scientist
- Innovation Scientist
- Consumer Science Operations Analyst
Industries That Use Sensory Market Research
Sensory Market Research has been proven to cater to every industry. Each business can use it to formulate its product development better and improve its strategies. However, some industries need it more than others. These businesses are:
- Food and Beverage Sector
- Drugs and Medical Device Industry
- Milk and Baby-Food Formulas
- Automobile, Aviation, and Ship Industries
- Textile Industry
Challenges for the Sensory Market Research
Sensory Market Research serves as a vital foundation in establishing and maintaining businesses. However, it does not mean that it does not pose any challenges at all. There are constant changes in the market, and immediate responses from businesses are essential to keep up with the market. To further understand, here are some of the challenges:
- The continuous rise of competition: A new business with a better product will inevitably be entering the industry. To keep up with the shift, existing businesses need to conduct Sensory Market Research to improve or re-evaluate their existing product line.
- Policies and regulations: Food and drug industries are heavily scrutinized if they release a poor product as it can directly affect the public’s well-being. So, businesses in these industries take every precaution to ensure they are complying with the regulations. The challenge comes in when the policies and rules for each state and city differ.
- Time-consuming and possibly expensive process: Sensory Market Research might take time to produce. Companies and businesses can do a small-sample test to receive faster results, but it can be an issue if they plan to mass produce. Issues and defects may not show up when conducted on a smaller scale. Since it can take time to conduct and finish, this research can be costly. However, companies may opt in hiring professionals under a specialized department for continuous quality management checks.
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