Like, Love, Wow, Sad & Angry – The New Language of Market Research

Browsing through Facebook, I’ve always come across statuses that I want to express my feelings about, but the like button just doesn’t capture what I want to say. Facebook has been working on something for a while now to address this issue. To help express empathy, anger, sadness or joy. To not just like a status, but to express more about what you feel.

Finally, after years of market research, Facebook came up with the ‘Reaction Buttons’ comprising of love, haha, wow, sad and angry. Imagine being able to click the sad button to express yourself on a status that is about someone being really sick or the untimely death of a beloved pet pup.


Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 9.49.27 PM

(Source: Time, Image by Time)

What Facebook have done from this new development is that they not only have given a better tool to the users to express themselves, but have also opened a new area of market research for brands and consumer product organisations. The feature unlocks a huge opportunity for producers to understand what consumers feel about a particular product being introduced into the market or probably a new marketing campaign launched by big companies.

How can brands maximise the use of this new feature from Facebook?

Brands like Nike, Apple, Samsung, Nestle and Starbucks can look at Facebook reaction button analytics offered by Facebook and try and understand why a customer is favourable or against a particular campaign run by a brand. They can also associate text analytics and try and find in depth information about how a consumer’s mind works.

Market research is key to a successful launch of a new product or a marketing campaign. Through primary and secondary sources, brands collect information from customers about what they would like to see next from a brand and relate it to the age of the customer, income, profession, gender and even relationship status and make meaningful business decisions in the best interests of both producer and consumer. The carefully collected data based on surveys, interviews, and in this case, customer reactions on Facebook, can help brands decide the changes they would like to make to their new launch to make its reception more favourable.


(Source : Facebook, Image by Facebook)

Also, competitors can learn from the mistakes of the competition. By keeping a close eye on competitor marketing campaigns using Facebook, brands can understand public reception of new products in the market. Based on this, brands can polish their product, correct mistakes and take advantage of the gap in the market.

Through Facebook emotions, brands can now understand what changes they need to incorporate into their marketing campaign to ensure it doesn’t rub off on the consumers in a wrong way.

Recently, lululemon commented on their Facebook and twitter pages about the pop star, Beyonce using their designs for a new athletic wear line in a quirky and fun way. But, it went wrong. The number of angry emotions was unbelievably high and the negative backlash faced by the company took them by surprise. Subsequently, lululemon deleted the comment and posted an apology to ensure that they don’t lose any customers by claiming that the company only meant it as a joke. That’s market research at its best. Based on customer reactions to a post, lululemon changed its stance about an opinion it had. The company also helped its competitors understand what not to do in a marketing campaign.

Facebook’s reaction buttons represents a great opportunity for brands and business to gain a better understanding of how the brain of a customer functions. If used smartly, Facebook can power product enhancements, customer service, online purchase experience and marketing strategies. Facebook’s new buttons can help brands understand the customer in a faster way than by traditional methods like surveys and interviews.

Marketers need to harness the power of Facebook and take complete advantage of the new buttons to take market research to a whole new level.










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