Introducing TrueLiking©: for better product development.

Posted by Becki Arnold on the 8th September, 2020
"We eat with our eyes, ears, nose, memory, imagination and our gut." - Heston Blumenthal

Think about the last time you used, ate or drank a product in your home. You may not even remember doing so, whether it was what you ate or drank for breakfast, brushing your teeth afterwards, or that cup of tea you’re cradling right now.

We’ve known for years that most of our reactions to products are emotional, not rational, and unless asked we don’t even think about them. So if this is the case, we’ve been missing a key part of the decision making process by not incorporating an understanding of our emotional response to products in product testing.

95% of our purchase decisions are made subconsciously and this is why we believe research shouldn’t just base decisions on whether people claim they like and would buy something, it should go further by uncovering that emotional response, the TrueLiking© so that we can understand if people would really buy it.

A famous chef once said “we eat with our eyes, ears, nose, memory, imagination and our gut” (Heston Blumenthal in case you’re wondering). Naturally, Heston is talking about food here, but you could equally apply this to non-food products as visual cues, aroma, sounds, memories and imagination affect our response to all products, mostly without us realising it.

We may think rationally that we’re developing a simple product but we’re not. We’re activating memories and experiences that already exist in consumer’s brains, meaning that great products are more than just good taste or functionality. The more senses that are activated by something (in a good way!) the more memorable, and the more memorable, the more likely it is to be bought again.

Luckily, thanks to the power of neuroscience and cognitive psychology we have a way to measure emotions, and by incorporating that into our product testing using TrueLiking©, we can understand whether people would truly buy your product, not just whether they claim they would. Phew!

The fact that most of our decision making is emotional and subconscious, presents researchers with another problem – we can’t easily articulate why we like or dislike something. As Daniel Kahneman says, “there’s a lot of randomness in the decisions that people make” and we often have to post rationalize, giving explanations that make sense to us rationally but aren’t always ‘real’.

It’s vital we understand what’s driving TrueLiking© amongst consumers, so we can help guide product development, and this is where product and sensory expertise really comes into play. By using objective descriptions of products and linking them with people’s emotional response we can understand what’s driving TrueLiking© without burdening the consumer with the effort of having to make up reasons.

By being smarter and incorporating what we know about humans’ from psychology and neuroscience we can develop products that are truly better and that people love, not just like. If you’d like to discuss how TrueLiking© can help develop your existing product line or finesse the NPD cycle, get in touch today.

Meet the Author: Becki Arnold
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