Tell me what you feel and I tell you what you like

A new test, the ConsumerFacetsTM, differentiates the psychological dispositions of consumers. In an ESN video, sensory researcher Lise Dreyfuss explains how the test works and what it adds to the understanding of consumer behavior and product development.

When you are happy, do you feel like bursting with joy? This is one of the questions in the Consumer Facets test developed by Lise Dreyfuss from ESN member Biofortis, France and colleagues. The ConsumerFacetsTM measures psychological variables of consumers, and was developed to fill a gap in sensory and consumer research.

Personality drives consumer behaviour

Lise Dreyfuss explains: "We found that traditional variables such as age, gender and consumption habits didn´t sufficiently explain why consumers differ in their product likings and product choices. We thought that more individual variables such as personality, psychological aspects, and motivations would be more relevant in explaining product choices in everyday life."


"The test is fun to do", find most consumers who finished the ConsumerFacetsTM test.


The Consumer Facets comprises 15 scales that measure psychological dispositions of consumers, for example affect intensity, social comparison, and the need for tactile input. For each product testing, a specific subset of scales is chosen, and the consumers are able to fill out the questionnaire in 20 minutes or less. The ConsumerFacetsTM test is easy to use and can be plugged in to the traditional product testing.

Emotional consumers seek strong sensations

What do the results of the test tell the researchers? Consumers that score high on the affect intensity scale are looking for strong sensations. Thus, they will especially appreciate products that are highly stimulating, for example, products with complex textures and new flavours. Lise Dreyfuss emphasizes: "The tests offer an extra module that can be plugged in to the traditional product testing in order to highlight psychological drivers of liking and choice. The tests can also be used as a screening tool for focus groups by detecting consumers with specific psychological dispositions."

Can you hear the difference?

One challenge for researchers is to adapt the test to different countries and different languages. Lise Dreyfuss strongly recommends to first validate the translated scales before implementing them. At Biofortis, they are working on expanding the Consumer FacetsTM test. For example, Lise Dreyfuss and her colleagues want to add a scale that differentiates people according to how important the sound of a product is for them.

At Biofortis, the ConsumerFacetsTM is now used regularly. Lise Dreyfuss recognizes, "Clients understand that psychological drivers help to better comprehend consumer behavior."



text & photo
F. Hübener / (17 March 2017)

Rob Gossens

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