Advancing Product Innovation Through Moments-Based Behavioral Sensory Research

by Carrie Janot
Vice President, Marketing

Advancing Product Innovation Through Moments-Based Behavioral Sensory Research

InsightsNow at Pangborn

The 15th annual Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium is coming up in Nantes, France, on 20-24 August 2023 — and we will be there. The theme of the show is “Meeting new challenges in a changing world,” and we can’t wait to share solutions to help brands, marketers and product development teams succeed. We will be sharing three in-depth poster presentations on a variety of topics, including “Designing Multi-Sensory Experiences through Aspirational Research.”


Moments-Based Insights Approach

In the dynamic world of consumer goods, product innovation is the lifeblood that fuels growth and success for companies. As consumers’ needs, preferences and aspirations continuously evolve, staying ahead of the curve requires thoughtful and creative advancements in research approaches. In one of our posters at Pangborne, we will explore moments-based behavioral research in terms of understanding consumer aspirations, and what that impact is on sensory experiences. This moments-based approach has proven applications that raise the bar in product innovation in a way to meet “new challenges in a changing world.”


Why Looking at Consumer “Moments” Works

Traditional methods in consumer research often focus on discovering product whitespace, which refers to areas where no existing products fulfill an unmet need. However, this approach has its limitations. The process of whitespace discovery requires participants to articulate their unmet needs for use cases that may not even exist, which can result in speculation or inaccuracies. InsightsNow’s moments-based behavioral approach addresses this by honing in on what is felt in specific moments of product use, resulting in direct, authentic consumer feedback. 


Measuring the Resolution of Consumer “Tensions”

A key aspect of this moments-based approach that we will showcase in our Pangborn poster, “Designing Multi-Sensory Experiences through Aspirational Research,” is redefining product benefits as tension resolutions through multisensory experiences. When consumers experience a tension resolve, it creates a powerful desire to repeat the experience and avoid the tensions that come from older, less satisfying experiences. This fundamental understanding of human behavior and emotional responses lays the foundation for driving product innovation that resonates deeply with consumers. Another facet of this research solution that we will examine at Pangborn is the application of the implicit CATA (Check All That Apply) technique used to measure unfulfilled aspirations, pains and forced-choice trade-offs that define consumer “tensions” felt in specific moments of product use. 

The Importance of Aspirational Research 

This all wraps up to what we call “aspirational research”—a key component or outcome of the moments-based behavioral approach. This piece of the research story shows immense promise in uncovering new opportunities for product design across a wide spectrum of both food and non-food packaged goods. By identifying unfulfilled consumer aspirations—in tandem with the tensions—experienced by consumers, companies can innovate products that not only meet functional needs but also deeply resonate with their target audience on an emotional level.

Want to learn more about this moments-based behavioral approach for sensory and consumer research? We’d love to talk “moments,” “tensions,” CATA and consumer aspirations with you! Reach out to us to schedule a chat (or swing by and catch up at Pangborn!)