All projects that we undertake have one thing in common: they involve figuring out how a set of individuals thinks about a product or service. Many times, this entails a thorough understanding of how a company’s customers decide whether or not to buy their product. Or it may be researching consumers across an entire industry in order to learn about how a new product offering fits into the competitive marketplace. We have even worked with a company’s salespeople in order to build a model of their knowledge and experience that could be used for selecting and training new hires.
The key theme that runs through all our work is a focus on cognition: the associations, sensemaking, mental models, and decision making that underlie observable behavior. There are myriad ways to collect and analyze data on cognition. We have worked with many of these methods – and studied most of the rest – so that we can confidently say we use the most effective means to understand consumer cognition. In many cases, this is Cognitive Task Analysis (CTA), and we offer a primer on CTA here.
But Cognitive Research is not limited to CTA. In certain cases, other methods may be more appropriate. Ethnography, structured observation, or other types of interview techniques might be required. Please check our blog occasionally for more information on some of these other techniques - or even better, contact us with your specific question!