Once upon a time, a typical in-home usage test in Asia consisted of a paper diary, carefully formatted to encourage survey participants to log their reactions.
In emerging markets, this meant follow-up visits by field supervisors to check the quality of the diary completion. Diaries were then carried back to the research office for translation, by hand to avoid risky postal services.
Once safely back with the research team there was time consuming translation and messy handwriting to contend with, coding of open ends and an awful lot of paper to wade through.
Astonishingly, this method is still common across the Asian FMCG world. Low penetration of home computers and the affordability of face-to-face field supervision in Asia have extended the shelf life of this archaic, laborious data collection method.
Step into mobile market research
The phenomenal increase in smartphone ownership in emerging Asia means the days of pen and paper in-home usage test diaries are numbered. Many researchers are breathing an understandable sigh of relief!
Over the past 18 months InsightAsia has trialled and tested its iHUT solution across Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, using a proprietary 3Sixty app for evaluating new product formulations in the home.
iHUT is a mobile diary for logging reactions to test products across a designated usage period. Clients and research teams can observe reactions as they are logged on the data wall and interact with participants via personal messaging or group chats.
Product scores can be instantly extracted for a quick sense of how samples are performing, and unanticipated questions fielded for a truly response-centric investigation. From a research perspective it is sheer joy not to be drowning in paper, but more importantly it is providing timely, rich insight for R&D teams, potentially fast tracking their innovation pipeline.
The iHUT solution is particularly useful when a formulation has an incremental effect on skin, clothes or household chores. It is an easy and intuitive way to capture information daily, at the time of use or the specific moment when consumers realise a product has had an effect.
Get real data in real time
There is almost no delay between experience and reporting, whereas valuable spontaneous data can be lost by the time respondents log on or fill in a paper diary. Photos or video of product usage in situ provides valuable insight into the usage context and a cultural frame of reference.
We have used this with skin care products to understand which of two examples had a more visible effect over a pre-specified period. We were able to pinpoint exactly when both of them produced effects, understand which had the more visible effects, and whether they remained consistent.
The utility of this solution is obvious. Capturing usage experiences, efficacy data, in any category where usage gets easier over time to understand the learning curve, in real time, at the moment of use.
Post-project interviews reveal that respondents enjoy using the app and are actually disappointed when the trial period is over! i-Hut is proven to be a smart and efficient way to understand how products perform in real life, in real time.
Want to learn more about how iHut and our 3Sixty mobile app can provide fast, valuable consumer feedback to your product development team?
InsightAsia Singapore: +65 6338 4780