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Word Association Technique Applied to Cosmetic Products – a Case Study

Gámbaro, Adriana, Parente, Emma, Roascio, Antonela, Boinbaser, Lucía
Journal of sensory studies 2014 v.29 no.2 pp. 103-109
case studies, consumer attitudes, leaves, marketing, new products, product development, sensory properties
Word association, a projective qualitative technique, was applied to the development of olive oil‐based and olive leaf extract‐supplemented cosmetic creams. One hundred twenty female respondents presented with five stimulus terms – namely, “nourishing cream,” “antiaging cream,” “olive oil‐based cream,” “olive leaf extract‐supplemented cream” and “antioxidant‐rich cream” – were asked to write down four images, associations, thoughts or feelings evoked by each of the different stimuli. Word associations made by the surveyed sample were then grouped into 14 categories. For each of the proposed stimuli, the frequency of mention of elicited words was analyzed according to and within each category. The use of word association enabled the identification of expected or desired sensory properties and efficacy of the studied cosmetic creams, as well as the concepts associated – in the minds of respondents – with each of the creams. The resulting information may be used to optimize the selection of new products and their denominations. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Relevant information regarding consumer perception of different aspects of prospective cosmetic creams, made available by application of a word association technique, enables the definition of major product development processes as well as the identification of most suitable marketing and communication strategies.