The power of consumer perception in home care – Context is key


1. VP of Research & Innovation, HCD Research
2. Manager of Behavior & Marketing Science, HCD Research


Home care products enable consumers to express themselves, implying the product has meaning far beyond its functional purpose. The product communicates underlying messages through its sensory experience, which impacts the usage behavior of consumers. Yet to create the optimal sensory experience, the product should be evaluated in the context in which the consumer uses it.

Bringing the research into the home is a valuable approach to understand if the concept fits the context in which it will ordinarily be used. It is through contextual research that companies can discover and understand what means the most to the consumer. Additionally, key insights are gained through behavioral data because it reveals usage habits, which can be translated to consumer wants and needs.
The consideration of context is vital to fully appreciate the wants and needs of consumers. Harnessing those insights helps build a better product, brand, and company within a more personal industry like the home care space.

Being a homeowner involves so many decisions, ranging from the colors of the walls to the type of coasters on a coffee table. Each decision plays a role in setting the overall tone of the environment, which often reflects the lives and personalities of the individuals who inhabit that space. The way the room is lit, its smell, and the furniture all communicate and contribute to the overall ambiance. Consumers use sensory cues to set an expectation about the room, which is why the products intended for the home must be perceived by the consumer as both belonging and welcoming. If a product seems out of place, it will stay at the store.
Products used at home represent the type of buyer the consumer is by showing their values and preferences. Often home care products are chosen to fit a certain theme of the room, which is determined by the activities of the space. Consider how the standards of a bathroom compared to a kitchen vary. Having toilet paper in the kitchen seems out of place because of the expectations we have about both the purpose of the product and the room. To dive even further, product sensory details can make or break the experience. Using certain fragrances ...