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.