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Need to know

Published:  23 July, 2008

The market research profession gets a bit of a mixed press. First, the good news: thanks to advances in technology, it has never been easier to gather views on the products individuals buy and consume.

Hall tests

This is a broad term to describe the research process typically used if you want consumers to test a product or service.

'Halls' can be any public or semi-public space: a pub, shopping centre or office meeting room.

The main advantage of this technique is that you can get instant feedback from a quantitative sample of consumers (typically between 50 and 200) on an existing product or concept.

We have a proprietary hall test methodology called Brand Benchmarking, which is specifically designed around the needs of wine brand owners.

Typically our work involves testing consumer perceptions of wine packaging or taste, usually pitting a client's product against a range of competitors it would be up against in a supermarket or wine shop.

The main disadvantages of hall tests are the small sample sizes, a consequence of the fact that it is a relatively expensive way of gathering data.