Consumer-products makers spend countless dollars every year on market research that doesn’t work. Focus groups generally to try to please their testers, research has found, and consumer surveys also tend to overestimate their interest in products. So several companies are cutting what consumers say out of the equation and instead going straight after what they are thinking, the Wall Street Journal reports.
New 3-D computer simulations of shopping experiences augmented with eye-tracking technology and brain-wave monitoring are taking the place of conventional market research. Using these simulated shopping environments, companies like Kimberly-Clark, Proctor & Gamble, and Unilever are extracting far more meaningful data from the human shopping experience.