ESOMAR Qualitative

“7 Deadly Sins” Key to Brand Building

I had the opportunity to go to the ESOMAR Qualitative Conference in Valencia Spain this week.  They put on a good conference.  Kudos to ESOMAR and the Conference Committee for an excellent conference.  I also discovered a wonderful city in Valencia.  If you ever get a chance to visit, do it.

One of my favorite presentations was, “The Power of the Dark Side” by Shobha Prosad.  Congratulations to Shobha as she was awarded “Best Paper” for the conference.  

Essentially her premise was that the seven deadly sins are the key to brand building.  Since branding is essentially emotional and personal, these emotional characteristics are central to the brand.  Indeed, a central theme running throughout the conference was the need to capture emotional as well as rational content when conducting qualitative research.

The seven sins can be divided into two categories:

  1. Psychological:  Pride, Greed and Envy
  2. Physical:  Lust, Gluttony, Anger and Sloth

She believes that these are the 7 “sins” that drive brand building.  However, she also stated, “For every behavior there is an equal and opposite expiratory behavior.”  Therefore, she identifies opposite motivators or needs.   She distinguishes the two types by the descriptors “Devil” and “Angel.”

Devil
Angel
Pride
Humility
Envy
Compassion
Greed
Generosity
Lust
Chastity
Gluttony
Abstinence
Anger
Peace
Sloth
Alacrity/Diligence

 

 

 

 

 

Shobha states that successful brands stand strongly in one or more spaces.  In fact, in each of her examples, brands occupied at least two spaces a “Devil” space and an “Angel” space.  This is consistent with the notion that brands often have a core driver that is most often self-serving to consumers (Devil motivator) and a secondary driver (Angel motivator) that is often used to rationalize purchase.

Though there was nothing ground-breaking in her overview of the “7 Deadly Sins” and their corresponding “Angel” motivators, the clarity of the concepts and admonition to keep these in mind during our brand research was a strong and needed reminder.

In summary, the presentation encouraged me in several ways:

  1. Remember to consider emotional and behavioral feedback at least as strongly as rational results in qualitative research.
  2. When confronted with an altruistic or “Angel” motivator behind a brand or action, look a little deeper for one of the more self-serving “Devil” motivations that might be the actual driver while the “Angel” is the outward rationalization.
  3. How are the various brands that I am responsible for represented here?  Time for a little self-analysis.

Mobile: “The Pocket Ethnographer”

“Mobile is an ethnographer in their pocket.” said Chris Jones of BrainJuicer today at the ESOMAR Qualitative Conference.  He was speaking of their success using mobile phones to conduct “self-ethnography.”

His case study highlighted the differences between a brand’s segmentation definitions and how that people interact with that brand in real life.  For example, an oatmeal brand may think of oatmeal as being consumed in at the family breakfast table  in a cereal bowl with some fruit on top and a sprinkle of sugar or cinnamon.  In reality, that oatmeal may be consumed in a plastic bowl direct from the microwave and eaten in front of the television while the consumer also catches up on facebook posts.   Digital ethnography is becoming so much easier and less expensive that brand teams can use it to create a much more robust understanding of their brand segments.

A Nokia case study presented by Sharmila Subramanian of Face and Katherine Gough of Nokia also demonstrated the power and capabilities of mobile diaries used as ethnography.

These case studies support a trend we are seeing at 20|20 with LifeNotes mobile app.  Mobile is finally gaining the capabilities and penetration that we have been expecting for some time.  Researchers are taking advantage of these tools to take ethnography research methods to a much broader consumer base.  The triad of mobile limiting issues consisting of cost, capabilities and reach have now intersected and the research community is embracing it.

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