|Expertise ● SBE - Consumer Sciences, Marketing, Innovation|
School of Business and Economics
The School of Business and Economics (SBE) has a particular interest in four main domains; Services, Networks and Innovation, Modeling, and Food and Health. The last domain, in particular, matches well within the Eatwell framework. More specifically, the research in the Food and Health theme looks at consumers’ reactions to product package labels (e.g., low-fat, organic and health claims). Other research focuses on how consumers try to limit their consumption (dieting), how to optimize shop assortments, and how to manage customer expectations. These researches are executed by means of experimental design making use of implicit research methods instead of traditional, explicit research methods (e.g., focus groups and surveys). There are two basic reasons for this: First, traditional methods are inherently unable to duplicate what the brain does, how it operates, and how it forms perceptions of products. Second, explicit research methods do not work very well when it comes to probing how consumers truly feel about when exposed to a stimulus. Ample research has found that human brains process much of their sensory input subconsciously. So, if we only listen to articulated reports of what consumers’ like and don’t like, we may well be led astray. We therefore do not make use of explicit surveys questionnaires (e.g., asking whether a drink is perceived as healthy, or asking whether they would buy), but rather rely on implicit measures that limit conscious control over responding. Specifically, we examine consumers’ reactions to products, product taste, product package,… through means as reaction times tests, implicit association tests, or real behavior (like consumption).