Understanding people’s consumption process is a never-ending task. The elements that make up this task are constantly changing and different patterns coexist at the same time and place. There are multiple parameters that people consider when systematizing the categories of products and services.
On many occasions these parameters are not tacitly rationalized or verbalized. For example, custom and the environment in many cases define the models that people follow to make their purchases. A widely used technique to make the task of supplying the home easier and faster is to use semantic fields.
Semantic fields are groups of concepts with different meanings, but that share some characteristic in common. An example would be the semantic field of colors. Concepts such as yellow, blue and red belong to this field; also vermilion, gold and indigo. When we consume, we use these fields: vegetables, fruits, pharmacy, snacks, drinks, etc.
Its use is so spontaneous that we don’t stop to think about how many semantic fields we use and what concepts make up each group. Furthermore the fields can overlap each other and be contained within each other. This idea may lead us to think that we clearly understand its use and definition. We are far from it.
Although at the beginning we believe that a dictionary is enough to understand them, the semantic fields are very complex and their understanding throws many surprises. Understanding them requires qualitative studies that allow investigating them with due depth. To cite a new example we can think of the concept «newsprint».
When hypothesizing in which semantic field the previous concept belongs, the answer of many would be that it is in «printed media». However, a careful analysis can show that we can also find it in the semantic fields «glass cleaning» and «protection of fragile things»; this for people from Latin America. If we extend the exercise to people from the United States, we could also find this concept in the field of «coupons and discounts».
At Acertiva we have experience in qualitative studies. Understanding the semantic fields used by people, the purchase motivators, and the obstacles to starting a new habit are just some of the projects we have developed. We are attentive to your messages to be part of your team when carrying out your next market study.