How we help

We are a Multisensory Research Consultancy agency, helping you to perform better in your volatile and complex markets. To do this, the customer has to be put in the center of decision making processes. We have accumulated a vast track record in the domains of consumer understanding, product innovation, pack performance and shop experience.

Our specialists live, breathe and speak the language of these domains. Their expertise helps to build the bridge between your needs and the consumer. Whether your objective is to understand what drives product preference and decision making, truly connect to your customers, know why and how they shop, or uncovering what the customer is experiencing, Haystack provides in-depth analysis of the behavior and decision-making processes. Our credo: let us manage the complexity in research and make it simple, easy and enjoyable.

From understanding the consumer to testing & validating concepts, product and shop experiences:

Understand & Explore

Discover and identify consumer, shopper and market trends. Explore the needs, attitudes and behavior that are hidden beneath the surface.

Ideate & Create

Co-create ideas, concepts and products, and screen them for relevance.

Test & Validate

Validate the market potential of new products and services, the full marketing mix and go-to-market strategy.

Product Innovation

Did you know that the majority of product and service innovations flop within 3 years? Why? Mostly, the innovation process is not totally customer centric and research is often only conducted at a very late stage in the process of the innovation funnel. To create an impactful product experience, you have to touch the right sensory triggers and test it in the right way.

At Haystack, we believe that sensory and consumer science is the ultimate building block for brand relevance and penetration of your products in the market. For your brands, having a taste or olfactory signature, a distinctive taste identity, a unique service proposition, is the first step to stand out from the crowd and corner the market. We combine innovative methods, creative thinking, sensory expertise and a deep understanding of consumer decision-making to optimize your whole proposition.

Haystack helps you to develop winning ideas, concepts and products with a maximum impact on the market. And as innovation is a matter for both marketing and R&D, Haystack has in house bio engineers & PhD sensory scientists to link both worlds with each other, to innovate better.

Understand & Explore

  • Need exploration
  • Usage and attitude
  • Sensory mapping
  • Consumer mapping

Ideate & Create

  • Idea factory
  • Concept distillery
  • Concept filtering
  • Flavour factory

Test & Validate

  • Concept testing
  • Product testing
  • Concept-product testing
  • Product claim support

Pack Performance

The single most important reason why products don’t sell in store? Unseen is unsold! As Byron Sharp states: “Branding is the ongoing fight for attention, not for love.” At Haystack we help you develop a pack that touches the right sensory triggers, and we validate its impact on shelf.

Consumers engage very superficially when they are in their shopping routine. This makes it very necessary to understand how visual communication works in order to create a pack that impacts behavior in store. From understanding the shopper’s needs to translating it into the right pack execution.

Haystack is expert in helping retailers and brands by using top notch technologies to tap into the unconscious mind of the consumer. In 2010 Haystack won an ESOMAR Award for their outstanding methodology Pack Validator for packaging tests using a combination of traditional research approaches and objective measurement tools (Eye tracking, Neuroscience, Reaction time measurement, virtual reality).

Understand & Explore

  • Pack audit
  • Pack handling test
  • Pack distinct assets test

Ideate & Create

  • Pack distillery

Test & Validate

  • Pack screener
  • Pack validator

Shop Experience

A good pack or service is key, but getting it sold in sales outlets is the next challenge in the complex shopping world. The shopping world has drastically changed over years. Online shopping, explosion of global and more than ever an overload of choice for the shopper. On top, the number of touchpoints consumers are exposed to is huge, making decision processes even more complex. Also, in out of home consumption (on trade), brands face a challenge to boost their sales in a world of over choice. Being consumer centric is the key to success.

We help you building a successful shopping and trade strategy in a continuously changing world and create an engaging experience in store or out of home, leading to business growth. Connect with the shopper and fully understand the market dynamics in order to create impact via the right touchpoints & marketing mix.

Haystack is specialized in helping retailers and brands to score at the store or on trade. From understanding the shopper needs to the actual purchase: how he or she is oriented, which touchpoints are of importance, how shoppers inform themselves and are triggered to buy in store (online or offline). Haystack can help you in understanding each step in the path to purchase.


Understand & Explore

  • Shopper mapping
  • Shopper safari
  • Shelf audit
  • Market mapping

Ideate & Create

  • Shopper ideation factory

Test & Validate

  • Touchpoint screener
  • Touchpoint validator
  • Usability testing

Consumer Understanding

In an increasingly complex world finding out what people really want and why requires cracking the code of the psychology of choice-making. When a decision feels right, consumers have a hard time explaining why. To uncover and fully understand the why, Haystack proposes the right recipe: a mix of traditional and implicit neuroscience research tools and an expert team of research consultants.

Creating impact in consumers’ life needs this deep understanding of how people behave, and how they respond to the world around them.

Consumer understanding is the starting point of each innovation or renovation project in our three expertise domains: product innovation, pack performance and shop experience. It’s about pinpointing the essential insights that enable companies to stay relevant, future-proof and impactful.


The Right Mix of Tools

Tapping and understanding system 1, obviously needs a total different way of doing research. System 2 research has its place but needs to be enhanced mixed with system 1 measurement tools.  A good and taylor made mix of quantitative tools, qualitative tools as behavioral measure as implicit measurement and neuroscience tools is needed to fully understand how people behave and decide.

Objective measurements

  • Camera observations
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) 
  • Expert panels
  • Reaction time
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Observations
  • Behavior Tracking
  • Eye Tracking

Quantitative tools

  • Intercepts
  • Street interviews
  • Entry & Exit interviews
  • In-home testing
  • Face to face interviews
  • Mobile research
  • Consumer panels
  • Web/online

Qualitative tools

  • Intercepts
  • Duos
  • Focus Groups
  • Blogs
  • Communities
  • Missions
  • Ethnography
  • Pre-tasks
  • In-depth interviews

Trainings, workshops and lectures

“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” ― Socrates

Continuous learning is critical to keep up with best practices, methods and trends in this fast moving world.
Haystack offers top notch trainings, workshops, and lectures to develop or enhance your skills. We gather best practices, tools and techniques and blend them with real life products and services cases and examples.
Topics: Consumer Centricity, Consumer behavior, Consumer insights, Future of Shopping, Food Trends, Multi-sensory testing, Instore communication, Shop experience.

Our team of experts can develop tailor made trainings on the above topics translated specifically to the needs of your organization. All workshops, trainings and lectures can be run at your offices.

For more information or to make a request regarding trainings, workshops or lectures, please contact our Marketing Executive Karen Cumps.