Orla Cronin Research

Social science research and strategic consultancy

0161 408 2047

Research design and method development

Case studies

Research-led innovation

Our client’s problem was that low involvement products are ‘boring’, and barely noticed by consumers.  However, there seems to be limits in the extent to which consumers will accept a sensorily innovative product – and there are technical limits in the amount of sensory novelty which can be built into a product.  OCR conducted a systematic exploration of the sensory elements of the product in question, and identified an entire sensory modality which was neglected in this particular product.  This opened up a new set of technical directions in which to innovate.

Sensory panelling with novel stimuli

Our client had a very unusual, dynamic stimulus which required sensory panelling.  We helped them adapt standard sensory panelling to work with their stimuli, and advised on panellist training and sourcing of statistical expertise. The project enabled them to make much stronger claims based on quantitative evidence than they had ever managed in the past.  As panelling in this domain is, as far as we can tell, unique, we’re currently collaborating on a paper for publication.

Sensory profiling of complex products

A client wished to examine the effect of various elements of a complex product, which was used over a period of time, on consumers’ sensory perception of that product. We collaborated on an experimental design which used the latest understanding of sensory perception, perception of time, the interaction between time and memory, and the psychology of surprise to optimise the product. The learnings from this project are still being used by the brand several years later.