The idea of Tangents is to explore the image attributes at the core of a brand outside of the specific focus of the marketplace it competes in.

The approach is based upon building connections between the core brand attribute or value, and respondents personal lives. The rationale is that the brand has claimed a value that already exists in a variety of ways for people in their lives and relationships. The specific word or value is explored in relation to the respondent’s personal context before it is re-applied to the brand and the market context.

The benefit is to take a value in relation to an established brand position that may have atrophied and bring new life and a new angle to its market position, or alternatively to identify a distinctive positioning for a new brand.

The research techniques that we use are adopted from Personal Construct Theory and involve the following approaches:
  • identifying and exploring opposites; "what something isn't" can throw new understanding on what something is! We ask for the opposite expressions to the value we're exploring and build a matrix of associations out of this
  • looking for behavioural examples, or pyramiding; here we ask how would we know this value when we come across it? 'What actions or expressions are signs of it?'
  • developing a value hierarchy or laddering; progressing an attribute up to its most significant personal meaning.
We have used this approach to explore a range of brands both fmcg, consumer durables and services.

Much of this in-depth work is too personally revealing to be amenable to group discussions and our favoured format is the Friendship Pair. From this work positioning concepts are developed that can then be evaluated in groups.

If you would like to know more about Friendship Pairs, Personal Construct approaches or Tangent methodology, contact:
Joel Conway on +44 (0) 20 7837 7700
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