In the domain of product development, fragrance – often is one of the first sensory attribute consumers come in contact with when it comes to laundry detergent. It is also almost always an important consideration at the point of purchase. Consumers do not just want nice fragrance, they expect that same fragrance to linger on the clothes they wash. The ‘lasting effect’. As our client wanted to ensure their detergents deliver in this area, they came up with three different variants. We were engaged to evaluate consumers’ liking and perception on the different fragrances. We also wanted to see how consumers perceive product efficacy with respect to the fragrance type.
To achieve this, we had to monitor how the fragrance changes at each stage of the washing process. From pouring out of bottle, to rinsing, to post-drying. We carried this out in a controlled environment amongst a representative group of housewives. And, we followed preset guidelines for each washing stage in a circuit format of testing. Since we were dealing with fragrance, the challenge was to ensure that the testing environment had to be constantly cleared of any rogue aroma, smells. This includes fragrances lingering from prior test cases so as not to bias consumers that were taking part after.
Consumers told us which fragrance they preferred. Using appropriate statistical analysis, we were also able to recommend to the client at which stage(s) of the washing process consumers felt tweaking on the fragrance was needed to obtain the desired lasting effect. Not only that, we were also able to identify and guide product development on which aspect of the fragrance, e.g. top notes, etc. drove consumers’ liking and how it translates to perception on product efficacy. This helped the client optimize and eventually launch-to-market two of three tested prototypes.