Methods for Mapping Consumer Hedonics

Dr. Benoit Rousseau
Senior Vice President
The Institute for Perception

Numerous mapping techniques are available when investigating reasons behind consumer likes and dislikes. While these methodologies will generally use the same basic information - hedonic/liking information from the consumer and product descriptive data from an expert panel or lab instruments - their respective underlying models are different and will often result in different, if not incompatible, conclusions.

In this presentation, we will review the common goals of these methodologies which include uncovering a product category’s liking drivers, population sensory segmentation, and defining optimal product characteristics. Three broadly used mapping techniques will be compared and contrasted: External Preference Mapping and two forms of unfolding - Internal Preference mapping and Landscape Segmentation Analysis®. The objective of this talk is to clarify the assumptions underlying the model for each method and to describe the characteristics of a technique to successfully unfold the rich information contained in consumer liking data.