The Truth about Claimed vs Actual Behaviour in Consumers

Streetbees Team
November 03, 2019

There are two major problems with relying on multiple choice questionnaires to deliver insights. The first is that using pre-defined categories and answers - created by those carrying out the research - leads to question-bias and limits any new clusters of behaviour from emerging.

The second challenge is overcoming the reliance on consumers’ memories and claimed behaviour. Recall is notoriously unreliable, yet so many traditional market research methodologies are dependent on it. Asking someone to recall an experience after-the-fact will miss the emotional state and the context if that choice - losing the detail necessary to uncover real insights.

Imagine being asked when you last had a glass of wine - you try and remember and assume it was on Saturday when you were out with your friends. However, it was actually on Tuesday night - you had gotten home late from work after a stressful day and wanted to relax and unwind while you watched TV alone.

We make decisions every day, and each one of them has multiple dimensions to it. Who we’re with, how we’re feeling, what time of day it is, how many hours we slept the night before - there are far more factors involved than we humans are consciously aware of.

Think of the amount of detail that is lost every time someone is asked “think about the last time you did X”.

The solution is to allow consumers to share what’s actually going on in their own words and in the moment of choice.

Human behaviour is overwhelmingly driven by the emotions and context that occur in the moment of choice - and these are almost impossible to capture when trying to recall past events. Streetbees data shows that 75% of our behaviour is determined by how we are feeling, who we are with and what we are up to - and this is supported by other psychological research, like the work of Daniel Kahneman.

By collecting rich, open text, unstructured data, we’re discovering deep human desires from the bottom up, instead of from the hypothesis down. Continuously capturing natural behaviour in the moment takes brands on a journey of discovery that enables them to decode the “why” behind people’s real life choices: something they’re often not even conscious of themselves.

Streetbees’ approach champions the voice of the consumer - capturing unfiltered, authentic real-life experiences. Through consumer-lef discovery we empower the world’s largest brands  to act like a start-up - giving them the eyes and ears on the ground and providing them with intimate knowledge of local markets.