Case Study: Using OpinionPond™ to Identify Consumer Trends in Digital Imaging Technologies

An association in the consumer technology industry wanted to assess the opportunities and threats in the digital imaging industry by gathering detailed insights regarding consumers’ use of digital imaging devices, their perceptions of how and why the modes of digital image creation and sharing are changing, and the role that they would like technology to play in the future of digital imaging.

Determining the reasoning behind consumer habits and attitudes towards digital imaging became important to the industry because of the technological advancement of mobile phone camera technology and the subsequent concern that consumers may replace their dedicated imaging devices with multi-use devices, like mobile phones. The insights were needed to help shape the association’s own strategic initiatives, as well as to provide its wide range of member companies with valuable market information and emerging trends that they could use to enhance their products and services to meet shifting consumer needs.

To this end, Rockbridge conducted in-depth qualitative research (supplementing a quantitative research phase) to help our client develop a more intimate understanding of the consumer and make sense of why certain industry trends were occurring. The qualitative data was captured through Rockbridge’s OpinionPond™ platform.  OpinionPond™ is a virtual qualitative research platform that utilizes a social media inspired interface that allows participants to comfortably interact with one another on a selection of topics.

A total of 50 consumers participated in the virtual discussion by posting comments and uploading photos they had taken using their devices over a period of several days. All of the discussion topics were moderated by a skilled Rockbridge moderator, and participants were actively probed to dig deeper into their thought processes and to eliminate uncertainty when comments posted were unclear. Both the convenience of the OpinionPond™ forum being online without any restrictions of time or place, as well as the user-friendly, social media-like interface served as an important advantage. Not only were participants able to contribute their thoughts conveniently, but these features also made it easy for project stakeholders to view the discussion and provide feedback throughout the data collection period.

Upon conclusion of the OpinionPond™ discussion, transcripts of the discussion were delivered to the client. Analysis of the comments and photographs that were shared on OpinionPond™ led Rockbridge to identify the key themes that emerged within each discussion topic, and chosen participants’ individual perspectives were showcased in an executive summary to personalize the story behind the statistics obtained in the quantitative phase. Additionally, relevant quotes from all of the discussion topics were included throughout a comprehensive PowerPoint report; these quotes served to reinforce trends and findings also observed from the quantitative data.

The rich consumer insights produced using OpinionPond™ provided a thorough understanding of consumers’ digital imaging preferences and needs, allowing our client’s diverse membership to utilize this fresh information to aid in their product development decisions.