Using psychoanalytics to uncover the unconscious behavior that drives gin consumption


QUAL360 NA VIRTUAL conference is just around the corner and as part of our pre-conference interviews we recently spoke with Indira Valencia from Pernod-Ricard and Jim Peterson from Research Strategy Group about the highlights of their challenging session on ‘’Discovering Conscious and Unconscious Perceptions of Gin’’ and the current state of qualitative research.

The QUAL360 NA VIRTUAL conference is all set to kick-off this week on July 22-23 with a stellar speaker line-up and experts from international brands as well as renowned agencies. Don’t miss your chance to hear experts from PayPal, Bacardi North America, Samsung, Eastman, L’Oréal, United Airlines and many more.

Question #1: Without giving too much away – what is the core message of your talk and what would you like delegates to remember?

Jim & Indira: Using AI and technology to support the development of nimble, value-based research solutions for clients can drive down the costs for a client however the overall quality of the results can be a disservice to our industry overall.

We believe there exists a demand to apply qualitative social science methodologies to solve the go-to-market challenges for new offers and unique brands.

With the application of different methodologies, such as behavioural science, behavioural ethnography, and in this case, semiotics and psychoanalytics, research firms and clients can get at insights that deliver more impact.

The innovative insights team at Corby/Pernod-Ricard believes that qualitative research using social science-based approaches can help strip away the biases and emotions that obscure results using traditional forms of research. Trying to make sense of how people behave or react to products is a challenge. We have access to more data than ever today, but it’s how you interpret the data and understand why people are behaving or reacting in certain ways. That’s the real challenge.

We will share how we captured insights to help scale up a unique new brand both locally and globally. Ungava Gin which is produced by Corby Spirit and Wine (affiliated globally with Pernod-Ricard) quickly became a leading gin in French Canada through its unique heritage, ingredients and natural color. The question was how was it going to play elsewhere, outside of its home province of Quebec.

Question #2: Why did you choose the topic of your talk?

Jim & Indira: Corby took a bold move on a product that broke many of the rules of the gin category. While the product took off in Canada, it was not known in the markets that Corby was targeting. This meant much of consumer perception would be formed by looking at the packaging, and some POS advertising. We decided to use semiotics to understand what the brand iconography and packaging was communicating to mainly, non-aware consumers. Part of our challenge was to get a deeper understanding of what gin meant to consumers in Canada, the US, and the UK, and whether this particular yellow gin could meet those needs. The use of psychoanalytics was an approach that allowed us to understand the unconscious motivations for buying gin.

This new product was a major initiative for Corby Spirit & Wine in Canada that necessitated the use of psychoanalytics and semiotics to understand things that cannot be understood from a purely rational point of view.

At the end of the talk, we would like participants to think about how a brand can become transformative through the use of qualitative research that borrows heavily from the social sciences and can be developed to match the interest of consumers from several countries.

Question #3: What motivates you to join QUAL360 NA and what are your expectations?

Jim & Indira: We want to see what is new in the industry and to learn from others, and we hope to offer learning to other attendees. One of our colleagues presented on Virtual Reality a couple of years ago and spoke very highly of the conference.

Question #4: There is a lot of talk about the current state of qualitative research – how would you sum up the current state of qualitative research and potential future challenges? And what do you think QUAL360 NA as a conference can contribute?

Jim & Indira: We have found that in this increasingly data-driven world, clients are drowning in data and missing the insights that they need to add depth to the data. By adding social science to the qualitative process – whether it is a behavioral science, semiotics, psychoanalytics, phenomenology, etc., – we believe that this strengthens and increases the value of qualitative. Keeping current with this kind of thinking is one of the great values of the QUAL360 conferences.



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