Our knowledge: The Séissmograph-Report

Séissmo carries out annual, internally funded fundamental research studies based on where we see shifts and movements in the market – the Séissmograph. The Séissmograph Reports allow us to putur methods and techniques to the test, meaning not only do our clients benefit from the findings of our research but also from the optimisation of the methods that we use. It is a tool that can serve as a lifelong learning for everyone and provides an open playground for our team members. Since 2002, Séissmo has publically shared its knowledge and routinely demonstrates the proficiency of its methods as well as its empirical and experimental curiosity.

Please select a year and download our report for free!

Séissmograph 2020


Shopping Exfearience

In the course of our annual fundamental research Séissmograph about the shopping experience in France & Germany, we have discovered a new phenomenon: anxiety and fear at the grocery store. This is what we call the Shopping Exfearience.

While this affects the scope of what shoppers are able to perceive (stress works like blinders), it also shows a longer term effect on the retailer’s image, related to their ability to manage the new regulations during the Corona crisis at the total store level and what it concretely means for the shoppers’ journey.
With the methodology of the cognitive interview, which consists in letting them live again their last grocery purchase without interrupting their narration or asking any questions, we deliver insights that we truly believe surprising and comprehensive.

See how much the lockdown in France reflected on the French’s anxiety during grocery shopping, and how the German’s worries evolved, although the shoppers had more freedom of movement.

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Séissmograph 2019

Webinar with German voiceover and English slides

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Brand Claims Made Visible via Pantomime

How professional actors help naïve consumers embody their inner pictures

We observed a lot of insecurity among brands when it came to choosing, validating or checking and verifying the performance of their claim.
So we asked ourselves how to test a brand claim to shortcut “cognitively processed, rational, smart answers”. And what would happen if we asked consumers to make their inner pictures visible when confronted with a claim?
We found a way to engage consumers emotionally, quickly and playfully whilst listening carefully to their verbatim while giving instructions to a professional actor.
In this piece of experimental research conducted in Germany in 2019 about more than 50 claims across diverse industries, you will discover what you can expect from a claim at all and how it can be chosen to enrich your brand emotionally.

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Séissmograph 2018

Multiethnic group of sleepy people women and men with wide open mouth yawning eyes closed looking bored. Lack of sleep laziness concept

Consumers are quite active at night

What do consumers do at night?

Well, they’re not all sleeping. Some wake up in the middle of the night or go to bed later than planned. Does that ring a bell?
We have learned that consumers are quite active at night. Which opens up great opportunities for products and services – but only if they have been adapted to their nighttime situation.

We’re very excited to say that we’ve shed some light into the darkness of nightly consumerism! The results we’ve come up with can be of great value to you. Gathered using a combination of an online forum and our unique cognitive interviews – a powerful non-invasive methodology we’ve developed together with police detectives – you’ll be surprised at what we learned.

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Séissmograph 2017

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Séissmograph2017_Trailer from Séissmo - Natacha Dagneaud on Vimeo.

The mystery of online product reviews “Read and let write”

This year our self-financed Séissmograph report deals with the massive phenomenon of online product reviews. Reading product reviews has become a new way of gathering information and fine-tuning the decision making process for on- and offline shopping. As such, reviews play a considerable economic role. This report delivers an interesting understanding of the online consumer feedback phenomenon and helps producers and retailers to continuously optimise the reviewing process. Learn how to increase the consumer willingness to submit reviews!

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Séissmograph 2016

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Séissmograph2016_Trailer from Séissmo - Natacha Dagneaud on Vimeo.

These boots are made for shopping…
…but are the shops?

Shoes and shoe shopping – everyone has an opinion on the matter and rarely are there so many stereotypes relating to a single topic. Reason enough for us, the Market Researcher, to get to the bottom of what exactly makes buying shoes a shopping experience? Séissmo’s market researchers went out and about in Europe and took a look at the shop windows of shoe shops in four different countries. The differences and similarities that we have uncovered make up the topic of this year’s Séissmograph, which will be available shortly. In addition to our observations in the shoe shops and the revelations of the shoppers from Italy, France, Germany and Norway on the topic of shoe shopping, we have also visited them at home, where we have discovered the fascination of online shopping too. As a sneak preview we have put together a short film, which gives you an idea of what the buyers as well as the shop windows revealed – and not just about shoes!

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‘Good foreplay – deeper insights’ – why warm-up exercises in focus groups lead to more authentic responses

This question keeps cropping up again and again: Why “waste” precious time on seemingly unnecessary introductory exercises? Séissmo decided to get to the bottom of this question and to verify if and why the introduction matters, if and why it is important to take consumers along an associative and imaginary journey before “extracting” the facts from them. After reviewing 4800 minutes of group discussions, we can eventually assure you: it seems vital to “lose” time at the beginning with a projective introduction or a warm-up exercise in order to gain increased productivity and quality at the end!

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Market cartography – ‘Free sorting in qualitative market research’

It is very important that a brand understands their competition, their category and themselves better. Séissmo introduces a sorting technique capable of detecting trends: The Market Cartography. Free sorting is a valuable method for learning how consumers see the market by choosing their own sorting criteria. While sorting different products, consumers can be active, spontaneous and speak out about what they have in mind. Furthermore, free sorting is an intuitive and interactive process.

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Cognitive interviewing in market research

This study, demonstrates how cognitive interviewing, a qualitative interviewing technique derived from the forensic police method for interviewing eye witnesses, can add value to market research. It provides insights into the perception of a retail environment. In order to better illustrate the performance of this technique, we present the results of a shopper study on the perception of major hypermarkets in Germany and Israel as conducted by Séissmo and Brandman Research.

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‘Spending money makes you rich’

What do rich men spend their money on? A survey of the top 10% earners from China to the USA revealed that the most successful business men are also ‘homo oeconomicus’ in their private lives. A purchase always has to be reasonable and justifiable. However, there are always moments when even the most rational top earner cannot resist! These are usually concerning hobbies where there is a passion.

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Spending patterns of the top male earners, resource allocations and trade-offs

In 2009, Séissmo owner Natacha Dagneaud received an Executive MBA from Kellogg School of Management / Northwestern University in Chicago (USA). This study corresponds to her final thesis which looks at what impact the financial crisis, which began in 2007, has had on consumer behaviour of the top earners in 6 countries: The US, England, France, Germany, Russia and China.

Is it still appropriate to show consumption or should it be avoided?

The study combines qualitative in-depth interviews with top earners from all six countries as well as the results of a follow-up online survey of 600 participants.

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Cognitive interview – ‘The consumer as a witness’

The cognitive interview
Originating in the world of forensic psychology, this technique can be used to reconstruct an event using all impressions and actions that a witness can recover from their memory. Adapted to market research, it can be used to re-live the shopping process through the eyes of the consumer and to uncover their hidden memories, thoughts and feelings about certain products or procedures whilst shopping. This technique has been developed at Séissmo with the help of Consumer Profilers from the German Criminal Investigation Office. Further information can be found in the later development of the method, cf. Séissmograph 2011.


Men and their aging bodies – ‘A dialogue with the deaf’

A semiotic and psycho-sociological analysis on men’s aging
This study outlines the relationship men have with their bodies which are wearing over the years and the way they handle these transformations. Some deny their age completely, some use coping strategies. This study reveals the challenges facing men’s bodies during this period of their lives.

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How german women view their bodies – ‘The body complete and the body under construction’

The German woman’s relationship with her body
This study reveals surprising new findings concerning the relationship German women have with their bodies. The parts of the body which are given most attention are not as commonly believed bums, tums and legs but actually feet, tummy and teeth. This new scheme goes a long way to explaining why sales of related products and services are different in Germany.

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Yellow bin – ‘What is really consumed?’

We dug around in the rubbish
This study revealed the ‘tangible’ results of real (vs. officially stated) consumer behaviour of an interesting cross section of population. By routing through the yellow sacks and examining their contents, we were able to focus on brand portfolio and product mix.

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Anglicism – ‘Taking the dictionary into the store’

Anglicism in the marketing world
This study looks at the German consumer’s understanding and attitudes towards English product descriptions. The study revealed a surprisingly low level of understanding, regarding English product language amongst German consumers and allowed the consumers to be grouped into four types of reaction. The research pointed towards product segments where English product descriptions were legitimate.

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Unemployed people as trendsetters – ‘I buy, therefore I am’

Trendsetters on the streets
This study provides an insight into consumer behaviour amongst the unemployed population in Germany. It discovers that in some areas, the unemployed are spending / investing more than the working population. Additionally, the study reveals consumption environments within which the unemployed feel most comfortable.

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Women today – ‘German women let go’

Times change and so does the German woman.
This study presents a comprehensive insight into the thought patterns, behaviour and attitudes of today’s women of different ages. It is able to divide German women into four types whilst simultaneously providing a vision of ideals and values which will become important to the new woman of tomorrow.

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