How do you use your refrigerator?
Noldus Consultant: Leanne Loijens, PhD
Case study write up: Abbe Macbeth, PhD
Think back to this morning, as you prepared breakfast. Did you go into your refrigerator? If so, how many times? Did you open any drawers? What did you pull off the shelves? Which shelves did you use?
These are difficult questions to answer accurately. Going into our refrigerators is such an automatic task that our long-term memory doesn’t store this information. Instead we auto-pilot these actions, which is fine for us, but not so great for appliance designers who need the answers to these questions in order to create the ideal refrigerator for the consumer. So, if you can’t ask consumers these questions through typical means such as surveys, how can you accurately gather this type of data?
The Noldus method
The answer lies in Noldus’ Unobtrusive Observation methods. On behalf of our client, our consultants designed an in-home usage study in which consumer interactions with their own refrigerators were filmed 24/7 over a two week period. Cameras were placed in the kitchen, and even inside of the refrigerator, to later view and record exactly how consumers interacted with the appliance. Examples of assessed behaviors included.
In home interactions were captured in multiple countries (India, Mexico, and the United States) to assess how refrigerator usage differs across nations. What potential cultural differences in usage exist in these growing markets, and how does that impact refrigerator design? By capturing in home usage 24/7, Noldus consultants were able to inform our client on all facets of how the refrigerator is actually used as consumers go about their daily routines. Through consumer behavior assessment, Noldus consultants turned the behavioral data into meaningful insights for our client in order to drive product development, concept testing, and campaign strategy.