Mood boards are especially helpful when conducting market research. They allow for a genuine reflection of what a customer's experience is like when interacting with a brand or product.
A mood board is a visual tool aiming to represent a certain atmosphere or trigger a specific feeling. It’s as if you had a Pinterest board displayed physically in front of you. *Mind blown.*
When leveraged correctly, you can use mood boards to drive your market research, improve your product, and refine all marketing tactics.
Using mood boards for market research helps bring your ideas to life. Learn more benefits of mood boards below!
What are the benefits of mood boards?
A mood board is a visual stimulus tool, using large layouts of images to evoke a feeling or emotion. Most people are familiar with mood boards for design purposes, like weddings and interior decorating, but they are used for so much more.
This type of tool is helpful for market researchers when studying respondent’s experiences with products and brands. Mood boards are also used for advertising purposes as they create a strong foundation for marketing objectives.
Researchers in advertising use mood boards to display marketing strategies for a new product before development, and again to see how their respondents react to the new product post development.
Another benefit of mood boards is their ability to encourage enhanced collaboration. You can try as you may to explain something over and over, but when it comes to market research services, some theories and concepts need more than words. Using visual representations can help clarify the vision of a project and better exude key messages.
How to create a mood board
When creating a mood board, feature a collection of colors and images that represent a product, concept, or theory. It should also have fonts and textures that bring your main objective to life. Take liberty on tweaking these elements as you go to ensure your mood is showcased correctly.
At first, a mood board should consist of anything and everything that pops into your head. As you collaborate with your team, your mood board will condense based on preferred images, texts, fonts, etc. Be privy to the elements that should be removed based off inconsistency with the overall project and goal.
If you have multiple ideas or objectives, create multiple mood boards! It’s important that your mood board is crafted around a single idea, therefore it isn’t uncommon to have a number of different mood boards.
It is helpful to create a mood board in the initial phases of a project, especially for market research purposes. This ensures you are effectively communicating concepts and ideas with participants and sponsors.
How to use a mood board
When performing market research, it’s best to have two versions of a mood board. This allows you to test the concepts of each mood board against one another and determine which garners the best feedback and engagement.
You can also use mood boards in market research by allowing participants to create them in a focus group. For example, when conducting a group study at a market research facility you’ll likely have two versions of the same product. For each version, ask the participants to create a mood board highlighting their perception of the product.
With a goal in mind as to what you hope the product to reflect, you’ll be able to see which version of the product most accurately meets the goal at hand.
Determining brand identity with a mood board
A mood board can serve as a valuable branding tool. A mood board allows you to explore your visual identity and assets. Your brand identity should do so much more than help you stand apart from the competition; it should also help communicate with your audience.
A mood board gives you the chance to refine your brand identity without changing it in "live action" mode. You can stay behind the scenes with your mood board, reevaluating your identity and putting into action only those elements that complement your existing brand.
This type of market research tool can also help with making decisions about editorial design, web design, social media, and more. Overall, a well-designed mood board that is leveraged to its fullest potential will impact all aspects of branding.
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