What is Qualitative Observation?

Qualitative observation is an important method used in qualitative research. Qualitative research involves the use of descriptive language rather than hard numbers. Therefore, qualitative research methods need to take into account the various facets of human behavior to accurately depict consumer insights.

Qualitative observation is arguably the most primal of methods, comprising your five main senses – sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.

While seemingly basic, these five senses are generally what dictate our first impressions. How a product looks, smells, and feels can be the deciding factor in what we end up purchasing. It can be something as simple as preferring a more muted color over a garish one. Or it can be a little more subtle, like the ergonomics of one pen versus another. Consequently, sensation-based observations are more subjective in nature, using descriptors and emotions rather than quantifiable data.

Example of qualitative observation

As the weather turns colder, a national bakery chain is experimenting with refreshing its store design. They want to know what qualities their stores need to have to best entice more people into their store. Are patrons as interested in colorful fruit tarts in the winter or do they prefer seeing sticky, warm cinnamon buns just out the oven? Additionally, should the stores smell more like freshly baked bread or are chocolate and sugar more appealing? And finally, would customers prefer the pastel pink and aqua walls to make way for winter-themed colors? Using qualitative observation in market research can help inform the bakery chain on how to adapt their stores for the changing weather.

Let us show you how to integrate qualitative observation into your Invoke Live sessions.

How Is Invoke Different?

  • Invoke Is Big Qual. An Invoke LIVE session brings every stakeholder together on a consumer-led journey that leads to a real-time decision.
  • Invoke is inclusive, bringing together marketing executives, producers, showrunners, brand managers, business executives, and insights teams on an hour-long conversation with your target audience
  • It’s conclusive, enabling you to probe audience sentiment, test concepts on the fly, attain clarity about strategy and message – and make the right decisions, often by session’s end
  • Our research is organic and illuminating, offering rich and sometimes unanticipated insights into how your audience view you and their world: the Why behind the What
  • It’s qual and quant simultaneously, with audiences of many hundreds in a single session

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