KS&R Blogs


Hi, and welcome to my inaugural blog!

As Vice President and head of KS&R's qualitative practice, I'm very excited about sharing insights and information with you on the latest trends in qualitative research (and anything else that comes to mind). I'll also be providing links to relevant articles and research that lend insights to the topic at hand. As I plan to blog every few weeks, I'm hoping you will check back often for updates. Feel free to respond with your comments and to let me know if there are specific topics you'd like me to discuss. You can reach me at lvandyke@ksrinc.com.

What the Golden Gate Bridge (and other amazing edifices) Can Tell You About Your Brand

I recently traveled to San Francisco with Jennifer Coppola, one of KS&R's moderators, to conduct qualitative research in support of a client's “brand refresh” initiative. Central to this undertaking is the development and testing of various concepts for a new corporate logo, and San Fran was the first stop on our world-wide focus group tour.

Flying in over the Bay, I caught sight of The Golden Gate Bridge. A picture is worth a thousand words! No matter how many times I see the Bridge, it always takes my breath away. While at first glance it appears simple in design, its grandeur, uniqueness, resiliency and complexity set the stage for what I expect from this city.

Staring at the bridge from the window of the plane, I thought about the upcoming focus groups. Testing logos is tricky—which is part of what makes qualitative research so challenging, yet so exciting. Ask someone directly what they think of a logo design and you'll likely get a very logical, rational “left brain” response. But in order to uncover the imagery and emotions (often very surprising) that the logo engenders – and ensure its effectiveness in underpinning the brand -- we need the right brain response, too.

And for that, participants need help.

To get at how and what people think and feel about logos, KS&R employs architectural images using a “Picture Deck” projective technique. Focus group participants use the pictures as metaphors to describe their perceptions. Each participant is given an identical deck (see photos), and asked to select the photo that best represents the feelings, emotions, and attitudes communicated by the logo. Participants then describe those connections and associations.

The insights generated through the use of KS&R's Architectural Picture Deck also take my breath away! There is real power in such imagery, and the rich information it delivers is pivotal in the creation of a logo that truly maximizes the brand’s potential.

All the best,
Lynne Van Dyke