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That's Pinteresting!

July 23, 2013

Ok so the old corkboard and pin days are over, and the new virtual pinning is increasing in popularity. I have to admit that I am addicted to Pinterest! Gone are the days that my desktop is flooded with screen shots of things I have found browsing the net, or that I have folders and folders of random disorganized images that have interested me in some way and I thought I might reference in the future. Pinterest fulfilled a need that 70 million other people around the world also had! It is simple, easy to use and gives me a way to organize my thoughts visually.

So if I use Pinterest as a visual representation and organisation of my aspirations, my ideals and my personality, surely Pinterest offers up a plethora of valuable consumer insights and behaviours about people, brands and product usage. So how valuable is Pinterest as a market research/insights tool?

Pinterest could be used to:

  • Track trends (see what’s catching people’s attention, what is important to people now, what is being re-pinned and what isn’t)

  • See how are people talking about certain brands/products (e.g. What description do they add to the images?)

  • Look into how people sort products & brands in their mind (e.g. Which board is it on?)

  • Explore how images are labeled, as their label could provide insight into how people perceive your brand/product. Do they add a simple descriptive label (Silver earrings), or more emotive (Amazingly gorgeous silver earrings that I must have! Would look perfect with my little black dress.)?

  • Uncover insights about people that regularly pin your product/brand. What do the topics of their boards say about them? Get a snapshot look at their aspirations and dreams.

Specific uses in qualitative research could include getting respondents to:

  • Curate pinboards as preliminary work (instead of journals).

  • Re-caption pins to provide insight into their perceptions.

  • Compare captions to the same photo and give their preference.

  • Use ‘popular’ pins in the research topic area as stimuli and ask respondents about them.

  • Produce their own collage/board to reveal something about themselves.

  • Sort provided image on to boards of their selection.

Pinterest has the potential to be a useful tool for any qualitative researcher, and if used effectively could provide brands with insights that could help them better understand their consumers.



Author: Zoe Manderson
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