Sensory research requires the screener to be:
- Selective on the previous experience of the volunteers. They have to be able to be sensitive to the product.
- Right in the target to reach with understood and known bias
- Run a discrimination test: the consumer was not qualified as a product user, the consumer was not qualified based on sensory skills (analytical testing), the consumer was not representative of the target population
- Defining the target consumer or test participant is necessary to ensure the integrity of the test. Unfortunately, business decisions are often based on results obtained from an erroneous test population.
Understanding the bias and context:
- In some cases, products or services are innately linked with specific logos and other specificities. For instance, chocolates, Oreo cookies, running shoes, and that limits the effectiveness of sensory research
- Standardize (harmonize) the answers. Senses and emotions are expressed very differently for various people. For this reason, when screening, we ask a series of questions to understand the sensitivity of the person and her or his sophistication of: sensory assessment, vocabulary and ability to express feelings, environment and mood.
- Design an hedonic scale
Understanding the environment through Social Identity, IoT (Internet of things) and AI (Artificial Intelligence)
- Browsing the social identity and profiles of candidates is helping in the assessment of their ability to express their feelings and sensation
- Connecting the research with devices that give information on the environment they live in is a useful tool to contextualize (how dry or humid the air is in their environment, how sweet the food they eat is, what they listen in terms of music etc)
- AI can help automatically screen and understand who the person is and in which environment he or she evolves.
- For visual assessment and in specific contexts, VR has been used and can be used (packaging research especially or interior design)