I just finished my period of participating in a marketing research program for a few audio devices related to MP3. The marketing research was conducted by Acorn Marketing Research. I’ve heard of other marketing research company such as Frost & Sullivan, AC Neilson, Synovate (Tried to get a part time job there but failed) but I never heard of Acorn before. As I can recall, I participated in 2 marketing research one for a new kind of cereal (Just got a free gift though) and the other is for I guess it was a Pringle vs Mister Potato (I was picked from the street and they didn’t reveal the product name. I was paid RM15 after that).
About three weeks ago, I was contacted by someone who knew LV and therefore decided to try out the marketing research program. At first, I had to go into a screening call to make sure that I was the right candidate. The interview lasted more then half an hour and after answering all the questions, the appointment was set the next week and I find myself to their office located in Bukit Damansara. I knew that I was getting paid (a generous one too) so it doesn’t worry me to pay those expensive fuel and parking fees to go there.
I was told to bring over my MP3 player and my casual earphones or headphones. I really don’t owned one since I just use my Sony Ericsson W810i to listen to MP3 so I borrowed my brother’s 3 years old MP3 Player and told the interviewer that I use 2 devices for different occasions.
My Sony Ericsson W810i and MSI Mega Stick 1
After almost an hour of interview and filling up a few answering sheets form, I was shown 4 audio devices from different manufacturer and asked for my opinion on what I think of it. After all that is done, the interviewer gave me 5 set of products for me to try out for 2 weeks and report my finding in the forms provided. Here’s what I took home (plus got paid as well):
Test Products That I Was Given
How the test was done is during the first week, I had to select one product to be tested for the whole day. After one day, I need to fill up the report sheets given and then I had to pick another one the day after. Once every product have been tested and reports were filled up, I had to choose the one that I like the most and try it out for one week before giving the final verdict. It’s that simple.
The first product on my first day that I had chose was:
MOTOROKR S9 Bluetooh Stereo Headphones
It was no surprise that I went for this one first. It’s wireless, the futuristic look and most of all, Bluetooth. My only Bluetooth enabled product is my Sony Ericsson W810i, my Compaq Presario V3751AU and my Sony Ericsson Bluetooth headset HBH-GV435. The product also came paired with this transmitter which is supposed to work with my MP3 stick:
Sony Bluetooth Portable Stereo Transmitter
My only problem was this:
Sony US AC Power Adaptor
The adaptor had a AC120V where here in Malaysia we use AC240V. I had to wait for the step down transformer before I can charge the Bluetooth transmitter. Surprisingly, you can buy a small step down transmitter at Low Yatt plaza for only RM22. Unfortunately, my Sony Ericsson couldn’t transmit MP3 songs for listening. Since my laptop has Bluetooth, I attached the MOTOROKR S9 with my Compaq V3751AU and enjoyed my MP3 songs while waiting for the step down transformer to arrive. I was also told that none of these products are available in the local market yet which is why they were testing it first.
The sound quality of the MOTOROKR S9 was very good but the comfort wasn’t so good because the strap head gives pressure to the side of my head. Furthermore, since I wear glasses, it somehow got in the way of my frames making it more uncomfortable. It might be suitable for active person who loves the gym. Upon wearing it, I find it hard to wear because I had to wear it from the back of the head. Overall, although I like the wireless mobility, I wouldn’t buy it because it’s not comfortable.
My second day, this was the product that I choose to try:
Creative EP-570 Stereo Music Earphones
I had a bad experience using earclip earphones before. It was really uncomfortable. As expected, it was still uncomfortable for me even though the product had some cushioning and the clip is customizable. The sound quality is okay and the ease of storage is there. Still, I don’t think I’ll wear this because I find it uncomfortable and hard to wear since I had to touch my ear just to make sure the clip is secured.
My third day, I wear this one:
Sony Comfortable Soft Hanger MDR J20SP
Now this product is really comfortable. The rubber hanger is soft and flexible. The sound quality is very good yet my main issue is the cord just too short. Attaching it to my mobile MP3 player stick, it’s really handy but because of the short cord, I can’t put it in my pant’s side pocket. The verdict, I don’t think I’ll buy this product.
My fourth day, I wore this:
Creative Stereo Headphones HQ1400
I’ve told the research interviewer that I would really prefer this headphone over all of the rest because I like the comfort and the sound insulation the design of the headphones. For a bulky design, the headphone is surprisingly light probably because of the light material used. After trying out for a day, I find the sound insulation is acceptable, the bass and treble is awesome and I can wear this for hours without a problem. I chose this product as my favourite one.
Two weeks past and it’s time to give back all the loaned products and submit over the filled up feedback form. I took a picture of the entire products before returning back the stuff:
The interviewer interviewed me for the last time to get more feedbacks from me and to my surprise, he told me that I can take home the product of my choice. I couldn’t believe it so I asked him several time if he was kidding me. At first, I was thinking of taking the Motorola MOTOROKR S9 back home because I knew it would cost me more than RM400++ if I were to buy one. Then again, I don’t really think I’ll use the S9 so often and that would be ashamed. I finally took home the Creative Stereo Headphones HQ1400 and not regretting of not taking the S9.
LV had a more interesting product to test. She brought home 5 mono Bluetooth mono headsets to try out.
She finally taken home this Bluetooth headset:
lip II mini Bluetooth Headset chosen by Laadvamore
The reason for this was because she find that for those girls who wears ‘tudung’, this is the most suitable one. I saw this product sold at a ‘pasar malam’ nearby my house for RM120. I guess she made a good choice by getting this one complimentary of the product test research activity on top of the remaining complimentary ‘ang-pow’.
This was actually my 3rd market research participation and certainly the most rewarding one. I would certainly participate in another product market research if given such opportunity.