Reading between the lines

Date of publication: March 16, 2003


Many market research agencies, fragrance houses and client companies conduct product tests to assess the suitability of fragrances for particular uses. In most cases, the prime objective is to ascertain which of a range of fragrances is the best for a particular brand or product. This paper is about using a set of well tried statistical methods to gain a much deeper understanding of the market the product is tested in, the disparate views on products and ultimately how to adapt a fragrance for particular purposes. The paper is based on the results of hundreds of in-use tests in scores of countries around the world. The aim of this work is to improve the quality of feedback from product tests among consumers by focussing effort to try and better understand: the perceptions of respondents who have tested the stimuli samples; and the contexts in which the tests have been carried out such as brand, other product use and respondent profile.

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