Mystery shopping :

Mystery shopping is our core competency. In a nutshell, mystery shopping is a market research technique where people observe the quality of products and/or services while acting as a regular customer. This information is then collated and analyzed to create actionable insights. Reputable secret shopping companies use mystery shopping programs to highlight areas in need of improvement in business performance and processes. Knowing where the problems are is the first step to fixing them and soaring past your competition.

Among other things, mystery Shopping can help:

  • increase customer service performance
  • improve sales levels
  • improve customer satisfaction
  • increase employee motivation
  • protect brand equity
  • improve communication

E thnography is no longer a research ‘innovation’ – it is a staple part of TOS’s core research offer. We have developed a suite of ethnographic research methods grounded in the commercial reality of shortening timescales and limited budgets. In many instances, clients need fresh “ethnographic” insight, but they need it quickly and cost-effectively.

Our pragmatic approach allows clients to gain a window into the lives of consumers by adhering to the following principles and techniques:

  • Rigorous screening so we understand the respondents “ background story” before meeting with them
  • Empowering respondents with program objectives, and not being afraid to “go with the flow” concentrating on the elements of their lives that are of most interest
  • Using statement selection exercises to give us a short-cut to a raft of behaviors, perceptions and attitudes – and similar techniques that allow individuals to express themselves easily and without constraint
  • Using homework, scrapbooks, paper diaries, online diaries,  video diaries – so ethnography respondents can evidence behaviors, perceptions, and attitudes when we’re not with them
  • High volume, focused contact – multiple reconvened meetings, regular contact to build trust and rapport, and ‘contextual observations’ – capturing film evidence where appropriate
  • Carefully selecting respondents with whom to ‘deep dive’ further
  • Defining and agreeing the relevant ‘contexts’ and settings for each respondent meeting – the situations that define them, their natural habitats
  • Using consultation channels that the respondent is comfortable and confident with – whatever their ‘normal’ is
Emotional Analysis:

TOS’s neuromarketing research and insight tools (sometimes known as neuroscience research), includes face emotion analysis that is ideally suited to visual communications research including; TV advertising, branding, packaging, and website evaluation research by capturing the expressions and emotions people exhibit when watching/seeing a wide range of research stimulus.

Introduction to Facial Expression Analysis

Paul Ekman pioneered research into emotion recognition in the 1960s his test subjects had to classify the emotional states of people they saw in each photo from a predetermined list of possible emotions.

Ekman’s research determined that there were key emotions, which he termed universal emotions. These original universal emotions are:

  • Joy (or ‘Happiness’) – symbolized by raising of the mouth corners (a smile) and the tightening of the eyelids
  • Surprise – symbolized open wide eyes, eyebrows arching and exposing more white and with the jaw-dropping slightly
  • Sadness – symbolised by lowering of the mouth corners, the eyebrows descending to the inner corners and the eyelids drooping
  • Anger – symbolised by eyebrows lowering, lips pressing firmly and eyes bulging
  • Disgust – symbolized by the upper lip raising, nose bridge wrinkling, and cheeks raising
  • Fear – symbolised by the upper eyelids raising, eyes opening and the lips stretch horizontally

There is a seventh emotion that is sometimes considered universal emotion – or we call ‘Neutral

There are other emotions we feel which are not included within our emotional analysis as we do tend not to show any clear and obvious expressions with these emotions.

Implicit Reaction Tests:

TOS’s neuro-insight solutions include Implicit Reaction Time testing – a useful technique to understand the unconscious mind derived from the Implicit Association Test (IAT).

Many of our thoughts, ideas, and beliefs are often formed when we are not consciously aware of their impact or times when we are not prepared to admit their impact on us. This is where neuroscience and our neuromarketing research techniques come to the fore – which gave rise to TOS’s Implicit Reaction Analysis.

Based on Daniel Kahneman’s SYSTEM 1 thinking, Implicit Reaction Time testing measures the differences in reaction time as an indication of the strength of association. Research shows a strong relationship between the speed of response and how closely or strongly associated a concept is with an item—such as a brand, advertising or idea.

At TOS, we provide a measurement of unconscious Commitment and Confidence of responses to a range of stimuli and questions. Ultimately, if consumers truly associate key attributes to your communications or brand (i.e. fast response), or if they are simply playing “lip service” to it (i.e slower response).

The Advantages of TOS’s Implicit Reaction Analysis

IRAs are one of the fastest-growing neuromarketing tools at the moment for several reasons.

  • It captures subconscious responses online (or on a mobile device)
  • It does not require any complex equipment (e.g. electrode caps, MRI scanners)
  • It can be turned around quickly
  • It is highly scalable (via online methodologies)
  • It is cost-effective
Visual Attention Analysis:

Visual Attention Analysis can be incorporated into several communication research services offered by The Owl Strategy. VAA allows advertisers and media agencies to measure the visual performance of execution or campaign before it goes on air, by analyzing the levels of attention, brand effectiveness and positioning as well as how the ad’s elements are perceived. It can also be used on website landing pages to help improve website conversion rates by increasing the visibility of key messages and ‘call to action’ elements.

Unlike eye-tracking, the VAA technology simulates human vision and creates measurement reports that predict what a real human would be most likely to look at through algorithms that have been developed from countless eye-tracking studies. It has been designed to closely resemble a 5-second eye-tracking session made up of 40 subjects. The algorithms are based around: Colour, Orientation, Density/Contrast, Intensity, Size, Text, Skin and Face detection – and is typically more than 90% accurate in terms of comparison will real eye-tracking data.

VAA is not designed to replace traditional eye-tracking research but used to help in the development of concepts and ideas before going to full testing. 

Consumer neuroscience-observational