Writing Recruitment Screeners

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Writing Recruitment Screeners

Creating Your Study

7 min read

There are two ways to bring recruits into your Fabric study: provide us with the right information to write the screener for you, or bring your own screener.

Since respondents aren’t paid to answer screeners, try to limit the number of screening questions to ten data points (including age, gender and geography).

1. Let us build the screener for you

When building your DIY study, select “Let Us Recruit”, and then on the following page define the recruits you’re looking for responses from. This may include:

    • Demographic information like age, gender, geographic location, household income and education
    • Behavioral criteria like product usage, recency of purchase, competitive products owned, brand affinity, amount spent, and frequency
    • Psychographic criteria such as personality questions, agreement to attitudinal statements, general preferences, or other intangibles
    • Our team recommends keeping recruit criteria simple to allow for the quickest possible responses and the highest likelihood of approval from the recruiting team.

2. Provide us with your screener

The content of your screener can be cut and pasted into the “Define Your Recruit” field within the “Let Us Recruit” option, or you can paste a link to a document containing your screener for our team to program. 

3. Fabric will accept/reject your criteria within 24 hours at the most

Once you have submitted your recruitment request through the Fabric platform, the team will review it for feasibility within 24 hours. Most requests are approved within 1–2 hours. If there are any questions or potential sticking points, we will reach out via email.

4. Once the screener is approved, finish building your study and launch

Once your screener request is approved, you will receive a notification. In your dashboard, the study status will now read “Approved – Awaiting Payment”. From there, the next step is to do a final review on your study questions. 

Then proceed with launching your study. Your recruits will populate the study dashboard, with the first respondents usually coming in within 24 hours of launch.

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Writing Study Questions

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Writing study questions_icon

Writing Study Questions

Creating Your Study

7 min read

Fabric studies include a total of up to 10 questions per respondent. Respondents have 60 seconds to answer each question.

Below are guidelines to help you think through how to ask questions on the Fabric platform to yield the richest, most captivating and emotional responses.

Start broad, then get specific.

Start with the broadest possible context. You may want to start by asking respondents about their relationship to the culture that your product or service exists within. Then drill down into the brand, product and/or ad landscape.

How would you describe the culture of home furnishings in Madison, Wisconsin?

Ask specifically vague questions.

If you give consumers something to cling to, they will cling to it. Instead, let consumers create the story for you by asking questions that are specific to your area of interest, but that don’t lead the witness.

Show us any object in your home that defines luxury for you; explain in detail why you consider it luxury.

Ask about shifts in behavior.

A great way to understand habits is to ask about how <blank> is changing for them. Be sure to be specific about the time frame, though.

Is Adidas a brand on the rise—or the decline—over the past two years? Why?

Ask them to define something.

Sometimes, asking a very foundational question about a definition of something can really open up avenues for consumers. Marketers or product designers might think they know how consumers think, but hearing how they define something can be transformative.

How do you define competition within your athletic life?

Use polarizing questions.

Respondents will gravitate to gray areas; don’t let them. Ask them what they love or what they hate. Force them to choose A or B, and explain why. If they struggle to answer, that can be telling too. If you want them to answer a number scale (and elaborate on the score), force them to choose 0, 5 or 10 out of 10. 3’s or 7’s won’t tell you much.

What do you love most about your hair? What do you hate?

Ask WHY.

One of the simplest and often overlooked questions is “why?”. That can be about their motivation, their reward, their product use, their behavior—or even as a projective technique.

Why do you use FaceTime?

Get respondents in the relevant space.

Have them bring you to the environment that makes the most sense for your mobile video survey. Beyond the actual response, you get a glimpse into their brand and product assortment.

Please show us all the audio, video and other A/V devices that are part of your home entertainment ‘ecosystem.’

Don’t cram three questions into one.

Imagine we toss you a single tennis ball. Easy to catch, right? But what if we toss you three? Or five? Not so easy. Stick to one question, or they will focus only on one of the questions; and that one might not be the most important one for your study.

Instead of “How do you feel when you wear high heels? When do you wear flats or sandals?” zero in on a single question: “How do you feel when you wear high heels?”

Tug at the respondent’s emotions.

The best insight comes when people talk about things that they really care about, whether it is something that they love or a secret pet peeve of theirs. Deprivation works. Creating tension can help.

How do you feel emotionally when you feed your baby something super healthy?

Leverage “Show and Tell”.

Your data will be much richer if you can see the respondent interact with the product on their video. Have them capture a living example of what works well and what frustrates them.

Show us your cat, and introduce them on camera to us.
Show us your favorite sports bra for racing a 10k, and tell us how it feels different from the one you typically wear to the gym.

Use their language (not your client’s).

Use language that the respondents are comfortable with, and would use if they were talking to a friend. For instance, a respondent might not know what an “asset” is.

What is the difference between online content that is sponsored versus online content that is not sponsored?

Optional: Keep the last question open-ended.

Giving respondents the freedom to share open-ended thoughts can lead to even more novel insights.

[Company Name] is listening: how can they make your buying experience better?

Be creative!

Put your respondents in hypothetical situations, use similes and metaphors, or ask a question that is completely “out there.” The more creative your question is, the more creative (and interesting) your responses will be.

Write a love letter to IKEA and read it on camera.

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Testing Creative Stimulus Materials

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Testing Creative Stimulus Materials

Creating Your Study

7 min read

Whether it’s a new product design, the development of a new ad campaign, or the iteration of new UX or features, we often get asked about how to test different types of stimulus materials

How to attach stimulus

You can add a link to any individual question or multiple questions. Just highlight the word you want to link, then (as with Google Drive) paste in the link.

Users will click on that link and be directed to the destination. We generally recommend using Google Drive because most people are familiar with it, but links can take users to:

    • Websites
    • Videos (e.g., YouTube, Vimeo, etc.)
    • Cloud storage locations (Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, etc.)

What kind of stimulus can be attached

Researchers use Fabric to test a broad range of assets. Some examples: 

    • PDFs
    • Videos
    • Sites/apps

How long should a piece of stimulus be?

The kinds of stimulus that have been tested include:

Product design:

    • Sketches of product ideas from a designer’s notebook
    • Descriptions of a new product
    • Proposed layouts
    • UX/UI
    • Packaging
    • Beta products/apps and finished products


    • Platforms
    • Campaigns
    • Tag lines
    • Campaign elements
    • Manifestos
    • Positioning statements
    • Value propositions

Since each respondent is served up 10 questions, there are a number of ways to leverage the Fabric platform for testing stimulus. As a general rule of thumb, if you have four different pieces of stimulus to test, here’s how the arc of the study might look:

    • Q1: baseline perceptions of X
    • Q2: first reactions to Stim 1?
    • Q3: what resonates with Stim 1?
    • Q4-Q9: repeat Q2 + Q3 for the other Stim
    • Q10: compare and contrast or pick fave* 

*Note: for Q10 in the above example, it’s a good idea to include a rollup of all the stimulus to remind them of everything they have already seen. Otherwise they might have trouble recalling the first few concepts.

Testing statements or paragraphs

When testing product descriptions or positioning statements which can run longer in text form, do your best to keep the concepts highly differentiated. Present 3–5 concepts max. If there is significant overlap in the concepts and/or the statements are long, consumers will have trouble distinguishing one from the others. In that case, we recommend that your wrapup include a rollup PDF of all of the statements/concepts. The rollup will refresh the respondent’s memory after they’ve seen each individually.

Avoiding order bias

To avoid your entire sample seeing the stimulus in the same order, therefore biasing their reaction depending on the sequence in which they see the stimulus, break your studies down into smaller sample sizes and switch up the order. 

For example, with a sample size of 15 people (n=15) and three pieces of stimulus, a suggested approach would be to structure it like this:

    • Cohort 1 (n=5): Stimulus A,B,C
    • Cohort 2 (n=5): Stimulus B,C,A
    • Cohort 3 (n=5): Stimulus C,A,B


As with everything in an online environment, confidentiality can be compromised. A few notes on how to protect your ideas:

    • Our user Terms and Conditions have built-in confidentiality; but as you know, a lot of folks don’t read them all.
    • Serving your concepts up without a logo or brand can help make it brand-blind, eliminating not only security concerns but also may give you a purer read on the relevance and resonance.
    • Serving up the same concept with multiple logos on it can help head-fake consumers, and also give you a read on the influence of the brand associated with it.
    • Lastly, if the risk of the idea somehow leaking is high, we recommend you NOT use Fabric to test your concepts. You have to do the risk/reward calculus. If a 17-year-old teen can hack into the Pentagon, taking a screen grab of a concept is not beyond the realm of what consumers may do.

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Editing the Highlight Reel

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Editing the Highlight Reel

Your Study Results

7 min read


Creating a video highlight reel brings your market research to life. First, complete steps #1–4 in our best practices tutorial, Creating a Video Highlight Reel, where you’ll learn to gather your materials and make a paper edit using our helpful tools. 

1. Before you start editing
2. Edit the first draft
3. Deliver the rough cut
4. Refine
5. Best practices

To learn about the power of video in market research presentations and how to prepare assets for your video editor, see our previous tutorial: Creating a Video Highlight Reel.

1. Before you start editing

The project lead should provide you with a paper edit and access to any assets the video requires.

Review paper edit
First, look at the titles. Are any titles too long? Too much text? Do you have the information you need?

Next, examine the content. Are all the excerpts clear? Can you easily find the respondent name and question number?

Does the amount of content you see fit with the runtime desired? If not, ask whether you should make choices for cuts, or if the project lead prefers to make edits to the paper edit before you start.

Use our paper edit estimator to approximate highlight reel run time.

Study the brand
Look at the end client’s website, advertising, other videos for design cues including:

    • Color palette
    • How and where colors are used
    • Fonts used
    • How fonts are used for different sizes and purposes
    • How images are treated
    • Any unique shapes/patterns commonly used

To identify font names and styles, and identify exact colors, go into your web browser’s Developer tools.

Download brand assets
Next, obtain the appropriate fonts and brand assets.

    • Look for a clean brand logo with transparency online.
    • Download fonts from the web if possible.
    • Download any textures/images that may come in handy for your first pass of an edit.
    • If you can’t find brand assets online, ask the client for fonts, colors, logo, and other elements.
    • Ask for the client’s brand guidelines PDF as well.

Select music
Now that you’re better acquainted with the end client’s brand, find some music options that complement the brand and the themes/vibe of the paper edit.

Look at stock music sites like Artlist, Soundstripe, and YouTube Audio Library. We suggest grabbing 2–3+ options, unless you find one perfect song. Optionally, you can decide to choose music later.

2. Edit the first draft

As you dig into editing the video, it may be tempting to download all the relevant research clips together; this will not work well. DO NOT download the needed clips from Fabric all at once. It’s best to go one at a time, following the paper edit.

Get started on the first draft

    • Follow along with the paper edit and download one clip at a time.
    • Make a folder or folders to keep clips organized on your computer or hard drive.
    • Start a new project.
    • Add brand assets to your project: logo, colors, install fonts, etc.

Add a video quote to the project

    • To add the first quote from your paper edit into the project file, download the clip from Fabric.
    • Move the clip from the download folder into your project folder on your computer.
    • Add the clip to your organized folder in your Premiere project, then open the clip in the viewer.
    • Read the transcript available to you on Fabric to identify roughly when/where to find the desired quote in a particular respondent’s video response.
    • Mark in and out.

Set up the sequence for your first pass edit
Start by creating a new sequence from this clip in your editing software of choice:

    • Right-click ‘Make sequence.’
    • Modify sequence settings to make resolution 1920×1080 (HD).
    • Check that it is using a reasonable frame rate (23.97, 24, 29.9, 30) since it is based off the clip.

Next, add music and a background color matte:

    • Add a song to the timeline.
    • Reduce volume -10db or -18db depending on the song.
    • Add a color matte beneath the video clip. This creates a nice background if you want to make clips smaller, or if some are mismatched in their aspect ratios.

Move on to making title cards for your sequence:

    • Create the first title card, setting up a look for all the following titles in the edit.
    • Continue adding titles as you follow the paper edit.
    • Play with the music/title/clip timing to set a vibe.

Arrange your computer screen for efficient editing

    • Put Fabric site on one part of screen.
    • Put paper edit on another screen, or other part of screen.
    • Open two Finder windows (or the Microsoft equivalent) next to this, so you can see both windows open at same time. One window is your downloads folder. The other is the folder where you are keeping clips stored in your project folder.
    • Position the Premiere window on the other side of the screen.

Assembling the edit
Use the following workflow to keep yourself organized. File names from various respondents downloaded from Fabric may be challenging to keep track of, so stay organized as each clip is brought into the project.

    • Reference the paper edit.
    • Download clip from Fabric.
    • Move clip from the downloads window to the project window.
    • Drop clip into your project.
    • Open clip in viewer, choose in & out points (reference paper edit to Fabric transcript).
    • Drop clip into the proper place in the timeline.
    • Repeat for each clip.
    • Add each into its proper spot in the timeline before moving on to the next quote and clip.

Assess the assembly
Now you should have all your clips in the edit. You’ve made all required titles (lower 3rds can be left for later).

    • Adjust audio volume so you can easily hear it. Right-click, choose ‘Audio gain’> adjust peaks: set to -2. This should make all the dialogue easy to hear.
    • Check your runtime. If it’s too long, decide whether to make some trims or contact the project lead for larger changes to the story.
    • In the trimming process, look for opportunities. Can you cut out repetitive language to save time and improve clarity? Can you cut out pauses or ums and ahhs?

Once you get close to having a good runtime

    • Check for any huge audio or color issues that may distract viewers.
    • Apply a quick noise reduction filter.
    • Do a quick color adjustment if needed.

Review the flow of your draft

    • Do you need to J or L cut under the titles?
    • Should the audio start a bit under the preceding title?
    • Do you need pauses or fades? Or is it more of a hard cut energy? You can even hard cut to color and then cut in the title.
    • Adjust timing as needed.

Sharing & first delivery
Decide whether the draft is strong enough to share your intent and the vibe. If you’re getting close, refine your work for a first delivery.

Look at how you’ve used music throughout. Some questions and tasks:

    • Is the music helping the story?
    • Can you make the final resolve of the song land with the logo at the end?
    • Line up the start of the song as you’d like with the start.
    • Make another clip of just the very end of the song.
    • Time it with the logo at the end.
    • To nail the timing just right, go back and make timing adjustments, blending the two parts of the song somewhere in the middle. Try to match the beat or do a nice fade, or make the cut while someone on-screen is talking so the cut isn’t noticeable.

Scaling clips
Scale all clips so they look good together. Make your use of backgrounds and borders intentional. For example, do you want a border around all clips?

If you have some 4×3 and some 16×9 clips, decide how to treat each size. Keep that decision consistent throughout your video.

Your project lead may have told you that b-roll would be expected. If they didn’t, and b-roll was not scoped, it is best to do without.

If you do need b-roll, start laying it in to support the story. Look for stock footage, ask project lead or client for b-roll, or find clips online. Do not use online video without permission, especially if the video is publicly viewable.

Music, audio, & visual adjustments

    • Make music a bit louder under all title cards, and any time there’s a pause in speaking. Ramp smoothly.
    • Apply 2–3 frame audio fades to all audio clips (removes pops in audio).
    • Adjust default transition for audio to make it 2–3 in Premiere preferences.
    • Use key modifier to select all audio cut points (check your keyboard shortcuts).
    • Use shortcut to apply transition to all audio cuts (again, check your keyboard shortcuts).
    • Consider using noise reduction filter if needed.
    • If some audio echoes, try the dereverb filter.
    • Adjust visual if there are problems such as weird color on someone’s face

3. Deliver the rough cut

Now it’s time to deliver an initial rough cut to your project lead. To get there:

    • Export project at 1080 HD for web.
    • Quality-check the export and link you send to make sure there wasn’t a glitch.

When communicating with your lead, sending them the link, be sure to:

    •  Ask any questions you still have.
    • Mention any areas you know need more work.

4. Refine

Now your project lead, and possibly others, have viewed the rough cut. It’s time to refine video content based on feedback.

Communication is key. Know when to take action yourself, and when to ask.

Look around first, then ask questions
Don’t ask a question unless you’ve looked around for answers first. You can:

    • Check earlier emails
    • Check the paper edit
    • Look online 

If you still don’t know, ask for clarification.

Take action on your own
Don’t change the content greatly without asking first—or you’ll waste your time. That said: sometimes feedback will be vague, but you can make improvements based on it. In that case, move forward with trims for clarification and concision.

Sometimes general or emotional or vibe feedback is easy to work with. 


“It should feel more fun and less hectic.”

    • Consider music change
    • Edit pacing

“It feels a little slow.”

    • Again, consider music change.
    • Try cutting out more ums and ahhs.
    • Remove fades and go for more hard cuts.
    • Remove repetitive language or clips that echo each other.

Improve audio
Sweeten all clip audio at once with the Audio Track Mixer.

    • Make sure all your dialogue audio is in its own track(s) with no other sounds/music in it
    • Open the window ‘Audio Track Mixer’
    • Twirl down the little triangle in corner
    • Add an effect to the track(s) with dialogue
    • Choose ‘Multiband Compressor’
    • Double-click
    • Choose the preset ‘Broadcast’
    • Adjust gain down to -1 or -2db
    • Close window

Lower 3rds
In a video highlight reel for Fabric market research, lower 3rds may include information such as a respondent’s name, title, age or location. Ask the project lead how much information should be divulged. For example, are we hiding full names? Keep information consistent across clips.

5. Best practices


    • Sometimes simple is all it takes.
    • Consider a slow scale transform to add impact.
    • Chop a title and cut it in chunks to make a long title appear in a series of builds, to make it more digestible.
    • Use screenshots/b-roll/still images with a slight scale and position change to add interest.
    • You can use a motion template if it’s custom to the client’s brand identity.
    • It’s best not to use After Effects unless it was scoped into your project.


    • Most clients appreciate seeing diversity, but try to mix in diverse people naturally.
    • Don’t repeat too much of one person, if you can help it.
    • Make sure the color correction is flattering for different skin types.
    • Don’t over-brighten dark skin tones, but make sure they’re visible.
    • Make sure pale faces aren’t too blue from the computer screen light.

All together now
Sometimes it can be effective to show that a lot of people share the same impression of a brand/product/idea or frustration. You can emphasize this in a few ways. 

    • Repetition: Literally have multiple people echo a statement or a word. Cut this carefully so it has a good rhythm.
    • Finishing each other’s idea: Similar to Repetition, but you have a respondent cut off the last person and add to what they said.
    • Pile-on: Cut snippets of similar sentiments together rapidly. Don’t forget to play with rhythm.
    • Grid of faces: Your project lead may request this. Note that it is very, very time consuming. Perhaps avoid the grid, or at least tell your project lead that this takes a lot of work. To have a grid of many faces can be interesting, but to have different voices chime in at different times causes even more work. You have to use freeze frames and many tracks to create it. If you change one thing, it causes a cascade of timing changes.

Nice audio, easy!
Use the audio tricks listed above. Use clip gain for all clips, use the Audio Track Mixer, and use little 2–3 frame audio fades on audio transitions


The Power of Emotion: Fabric Philosophy

The Power of Emotion: Fabric Philosophy

Start Here

7 min read

We firmly believe the best consumer insights are the ones rooted in an emotional understanding of people. We would argue that the vast majority of human motivation, behavior, attitude, belonging and ultimately, decision-making, is driven by emotion. 

The “why” is absolutely important as table stakes for any qualitative market research study. However, the most successful brands, ad campaigns and product designs connect with people on a deeper emotional level.

That’s why we focus on video; it’s the most emotional of all media. It allows people to express themselves more authentically, fully and genuinely than they can using the written word. Video captures tone of voice and shows facial expressions, enabling the researcher to connect human-to-human with the respondent. Video is also the most data-rich research artifact, encompassing video, audio and transcripts.

Emotion-Based Proprietary AI

Emotion is the driver motivating us to develop our own proprietary AI. Our AI is specifically programmed to be responsive to sentiment and emotion. We purpose-built our AI from scratch to be a simple, elegant ‘research assistant’ that helps researchers work faster. Our AI assistant speeds up qualitative data analysis by identifying the most emotionally engaged videos and quotes. It also tracks eight primary emotions.

Emotional Insights in the Marketplace

Our founder, Tom Bassett, has worked in advertising and product design for some of the most valuable brands in the world. This work showed clearly the importance of emotional insights in successful brands. Here are a few examples of insights he helped identify:

Olympic athletes have an intensity and near-pathological desire for victory.

This emotional insight led to the industry-famous creative brief: How do we communicate the idea that to the Nike athlete, “Sport is war minus the killing?” The fuller story is told by John C Jay of Nike’s ad agency, Wieden & Kennedy, in “Briefly,” a documentary film about the creative brief.

Working with ultrasound technology makes doctors feel like superheroes.

Despite the environment of anxiety that physicians say surround their work—the possibility of malpractice suits, digital record keeping, new technologies—we found that they all experience personal superhero moments working with ultrasound, which gives them a massive surge of confidence. This emotional insight led to award-winning product design for SonoSite, the #1 brand of portable ultrasound.

The Funnel: Structuring Research Studies

The Funnel: Structuring Research Studies

Start Here

7 min read

Goal vs. Pre-set Process

When developing a research study, there’s an interesting tension between 1) setting out to find original insights and 2) following a pre-set process. Our general recommendation is to remain focused on the goal rather than a specific process. However, if you’re newish to insights, a previously established process may be the best place to start.

Designing Your Research Study: The Funnel

A conceptual approach we recommend for developing research studies is what we call “the funnel.”

It’s important to start broad, and then narrow down in order to help frame the context for consumers—like the shape of a funnel. For example, we do not recommend starting at, say, the feature level for a product or a specific part of an ad campaign. Instead, begin with larger subjects.

Here is our 8-point framework to help you think through how to design your study.

1. Culture

Suppose your study is about launching a new car model. Begin by exploring: What’s happening in the culture more broadly? If you start with a question or two on their views about where the culture of cars seems to be, you might unlock respondents’ views on ride sharing, the role of electric cars, personal safety, image and more. These questions allow the respondent to weigh in with their opinion on the larger culture, without necessarily applying it to their personal situation yet.

Sample questions:
What’s happening in the culture of online dating? What’s your personal impression of car culture at the moment? What’s the word on the street in sneaker culture?

2. Category

What are the dynamics shaping the category your product operates in—from the POV of the consumer? By understanding the category level, you begin to help shape feedback, but not at the brand or specific product model level yet. These questions locate the respondent in relation to the whole category, not necessarily a particular brand.

Sample questions:
How has the role of cars changed in your life in the past three years? What are your views on home ownership now that interest rates have changed? What are the most important things to understand about you in terms of how you manage your personal finances?

3. Brand Landscape

How do consumers view the differences amongst brands in the landscape? Understanding how different brands are perceived helps frame the broader context for how they view the overall brand landscape. 

As we narrow the funnel here, we learn about respondents’ awareness, imagery, associations, preference, and purchases of brands. We also learn the different Jobs to be Done that respondents associate with each brand. Clay Christensen explains eloquently how the Job To Be Done for the McDonald’s milkshake (at breakfast time) was to help kill time in the morning commute (versus provides some sort of protein-based nutritional supplement).

Often, if the researcher does desk research, they’ll assess the brand landscape based on what the brand itself is trying to stand for; but chances are the consumer doesn’t see the brand landscape the way marketers attempt to position it. These consumer-based perceptual differences provide valuable insights for researchers.

Sample questions:
 Is—or how is—the Lyft brand fundamentally different from the Uber brand in your opinion? In your opinion, what are the most authentic brands in golf and what makes them authentic to you? Are smartphone brands pretty much all the same? Elaborate.

4. Product Landscape

What are the perceived product differences across your key competitors? Knowing how consumers relate to specific product-level differences—whether overall difference between two products, or more precise feature-level differences—helps you understand how specific products are differentiated in the mind of the consumer. 

Sometimes it turns out the consumer sees no difference at all. Sometimes subtle yet important product-level differences can create dramatic points of differentiation. Without packaging, for example, Dawn looks a lot like any other dishwashing liquid. But wrap the “grease cutting” emphasis around it and suddenly, it’s very different from Dove or Palmolive.

Sample questions:
When it comes to online cloud storage, which brand has the most relevant product features for you/why? What’s the biggest difference between the feature set of brand X and the feature set of brand Y for you? What are the most important product features of a home internet plan for you?

5. Design Landscape

Are there significant perceived differences in how design shapes the brand or product experience? Many brands—and VCs—recognize the power of good design in an intensely competitive environment where color, format, style, ease of use and aesthetics become major drivers of retention.

Sample questions:
How is the design of the Caviar app different from any other online food delivery app? What could be improved in the user experience of the Nike app for ordering new products? Does the design of an external battery for your electronic peripherals (phone, wireless earbuds) matter/why?

6. Advertising Landscape

How do consumers view the overall advertising landscape? Arguably, this question was a lot easier for people to answer when there weren’t so many different forms of media. It’s still important to understand the types of advertising people actually enjoy, and how they see the predictable patterns that many brands fall into. Note: most people will tell you that advertising doesn’t ‘work’ on them, so you have to be clever not to set them up to tell you that.

Sample questions:
What is the most impactful online ad you remember; what made it so memorable? When it comes to advertising for wireless phone providers, what annoys you most? Has a pop-up ad ever been helpful? Tell us about your favorite Super Bowl commercial of all time.

7. Your brand/product/ad

Now the funnel narrows down. Here is where the consumer gets to unpack all of the ways they view your offering. It could be on the level of brand, product, advertising, PR, employee, values, corporate behavior, executive leadership, sustainability, stock price, retail environment and more. 

Just be mindful that you don’t necessarily have to be loved universally for consumers to actually buy your product. Great brands are more frequently taking a stand on issues; in an era when social media is a powerful voice for the average person, taking a stand can cause flak. The question companies ask themselves is what do people actually BUY at the end of the day? 

An example is Nike’s ad featuring Colin Kaepernick. Some people burned their Nikes, but online sales jumped 30% in the following weeks.

Sample questions:
How is Polestar different from any other electric vehicle brand? How does our CEO’s recent press release resonate with you personally? When it comes to sustainability, how does our brand stack up against the best sustainability brands in the world? How does our download function compare with YouTube’s?

8. What is the opportunity?

Making your way through the funnel, look for the opportunity. What is the connective tissue that creates a unique opportunity for your brand, product, or ad? It could come from any level in the funnel: Culture (people want more beautifully designed products in their homes: Nest), Category (5,000 songs in your pocket helped a generation of iPod buyers understand what an MP3 player was), Brand (Blue Bottle coffee found a niche within the premium coffee landscape), Product (Peloton designed a phenomenal biking experience for home fitness), etc.

Following of the Funnel Framework
By following the funnel structure, researchers gain in two ways. They gain knowledge of the specific questions they set out wanting to know (How do people feel about this new feature? How do they perceive our brand and how might we change that?). They also develop a larger understanding of consumers and the current landscape, holistically and contextually.