Advanced research methods elicit most memorable products of 2010

Meghan VH

The results of the 2010 Most Memorable New Product Launch study were recently released, with Apple’s iPad claiming the top spot, followed closely by Microsoft’s Windows 7. Sentient collaborated with Schneider Associates and SymphonyIRI to conduct this study. In a new twist to this annual study, Sentient’s advanced methodologies were used to augment traditional survey data and shed light on subconscious emotional associations with new products.

Sentient’s proprietary Automatic Brand Association (ABA) methodology unlocked consumers’ subconscious associations with new products. Using ABA, we found that Windows 7 evoked the strongest subconscious emotional responses with overall positive feelings and feelings of self-identity among consumers. Windows 7 might have seen these subconscious results for a number of reasons. Specifically, Windows 7 was considered such a huge improvement over its predecessor – Windows Vista – that consumers were quick to feel positively about this product. Additionally, Microsoft’s ad campaign featured consumers claiming Windows 7 as “my idea”, reinforcing their self-identification with Windows 7 and the Microsoft brand.

The study also looked at specific attributes associated subconsciously with the Apple and Microsoft brands. Results proved interesting, with some maybe to be expected (i.e., Apple strongly associated with modern, bold and simple while Microsoft is strongly associated with comfortable, trustworthy and complicated), while others seemingly unexpected (i.e., Apple is more strongly associated with friendly than Microsoft). These type of brand and competitor results would provide invaluable insights to brand managers.

Sentient’s ABA methodology was also used to demonstrate which marketing tactics would produce the strongest subconscious emotional connections with consumers. Moreover, we were able to uncover the ideal marketing mix to influence subconscious emotions with new products.

Please contact us at to learn about how you can use ABA to shed light on subconscious associations with your brand.

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