Mood Board Market Research

Mood Board Market Research

What is a Mood Board?

A Mood Board is a collage of images that managers use to illustrate an idea, an inspiration of style. This type of research dives deep to uncover how emotion impacts purchase decisions.  We use images, imagery and the senses to gather insight, and to be able to create new images that brands can use in their promotion.

We often ask respondents to use words freely, adjectives, elements, situations that come to respondents’ mind.  We let respondents speak spontaneously, and encourage emotional responses.

When to Use a Mood Board?

  • To harness the power of emotion in your marketing
  • To uncover deep insight
  • To create strong emotional appeal
  • To create credible marketing campaigns
  • To attract new customers
  • To boost brand awareness

Developing a Mood Board

We take the following considerations into account when developing a Mood Board.

  • Which are the main characteristics of the brand?  
  • Which are the values of this brand? 
  • What are the brand benefits,
  • What are your Likes and Dislikes?
  • What sensations are evoked?
  • What spontaneous reactions do you have?
  • What do you associate with the visuals?
Mood Board Market Research Strategy Consulting

Probing and Analysis

  • Preferences
  • Consistency
  • Perception
  • Packaging
  • Value
  • Comparisons
  • Uniqueness
  • Ranking

Mood Board Mapping

We may ask what competitors exist in the market place and we write on a dry erase board or post-it.  We try to compare brands and understand more about the relationship among these brands:

  • Emotional content
  • Quality (features, benefits)
  • Modernity/contemporary concept
  • Brand (Trust, Reputation)
  • Market visibility (advertising, PR)
  • Online presence
  • Value for money
Mood Board Sensory Market Research


After evaluating brands on single dimensions, we can then create groups of brands.  We ask respondents which brands are similar or consistent among them.  We can map that and probe on the similarities.  We can assign names and titles to each group respondents made. We can probe and ask:

  • What does the brand mean to you?
  • What is unique?

Emotional Associations

We show 5 mood boards illustrating different aspects of the brand.  We are interested in spontaneous reactions:

Statement A

Keywords: Harmony / Serenity / Bliss / Peaceful

Statement B

Keywords: Earth / Ingredients / Nature / Benefits

Statement C

Keywords:  Craftsmanship / Roots / Heritage / Art of living

Statement D

Keywords:  Togetherness / Joy / Welcoming / Sharing

Statement E

Keywords : Chic / Trendy / Home

Emotional Analysis

We show these statements in a monadic way, one by one, reading loudly the questions.  We follow up with some questions:

  • What are you feeling? 
  • What do you perceive about this concept? 
  • How consistent is it?
  • Does it add anything to the brand?
  • Does it add anything relevant for you about its products?
  • Is it changing something in your perception of pricing of the brand?

Subsequent Iterations

We then move to Board #2 and we repeat the same exercise.  We then show 5 boards at the same time and compare.  We ask which one do respondents prefer, and which are more desirable, and why.

People and Personification

We can talk about people and the human aspect of the brand.  We show images of real human beings that could embody the brand. This means that these people could represent the brand in advertising or being used to represent the brand on the web.

We ask what do you understand and which one respondents prefer.  We introduce 4 mood boards.  We show in a monadic way, one by one, reading loudly the questions. 

We analyze each of them in a monadic way in order to probe reaction and understand.  Some questions we may ask include:

  • Is this board with “people” saying something interesting and desirable for you?
  • Is this idea credible for you?
  • Does it increase your desire to discover and buy the brand?
  • Which person in the board is more attractive for you?
  • Which person is more consistent with the brand?
  • Which person can be the face of the brand and its premium perception?
  • Where would you see this endorsement? In advertising? In store?

We then show 4 boards at the same time and compare.  We ask the respondent the following:

  • Rank the different hypothesis from your most favorite to the least favorite
  • If you think about an ideal ambassador for the brand, and also a local person, who would it be?
Mood Board Usability Market Research


Just like in the last exercise, we then show some new concepts for the brand.  We will probe on “Emotions” conveyed by the brand.  Before looking at boards, we ask which kind of emotions do you associate with the brand.  We then introduce 4 mood boards dealing with emotions.

Board A

Keywords: Moment / Soothing / Silence / Breathe

Board B

Keywords: Tradition / Craftsmanship / Authenticity / Roots

Board C

Keywords: Pleasure / Vitality / Alive / Sensation

Board D

Keywords: Life / Strength / Power / Nature

Questions we ask for each board:

  • What feelings do you have? 
  • Do you like this overall mood?
  • Is it contemporary and modern?
  • Is this mood consistent and enhancing with the image of the brand?
  • Does it say something relevant for the brand?
  • Is it saying something new versus competitor brands?

We then show 4 boards at the same time and compare.  We may also rank the different hypothesis from your best favorite to the less one.


We ask respondents if they have any recommendations, optimizations or enhancements.  These suggestions can be useful to marketers on product modifications, marketing optimizations and ways to improve.

Benefits of Mood Board Market Research

  • Higher ROI on Marketing
  • More engaged customers
  • More efficient messaging
  • Higher profits