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Completion Techniques


Respondents are asked to respond to an incomplete stimulus in this kind of technique. Require pre-preparation of sentences or scenarios. Here one would be looking for more specific information than is expected from association techniques. Examples would include Sentence completion, Telepathy, Interest graphs, Brand mapping, Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) and modified TAT.

Telepathy- Telepathy is a creative group story-telling excursion. This technique is particularly useful in understanding the common denominator in the imagery created by a concept or statement for strategy development. Respondents are invited to cross the threshold, guided through their experiences and then welcomed back into the room to jot down a summary of what happened on the other side of the door. They are then instructed to create a group story of their experience and the story must be based on the commonalities experienced by all or most, yet be garnished with flourishes of individual differences.

Interest graphs- Are mappings representative of respondents’ levels of ‘interest’ in a product entity or a brand or a celebrity endorser etc. This could either be mapped for a variable over a period of time or across various alternatives at a particular time. The respondent is supposed to plot his/her interest over time, predicting the future as well (past, present and future). Alternatively, interest could be plotted relative to brands on various dimensions.

Brand Mapping- Is a technique to identify and visually present a brand's market position (consumer perception, opportunity, competition…). Each brand has a position in the perceptual map space that reflects their relative similarity or preference to other brands with regards to the dimensions of the perceptual map. With the help of perceptual maps we can understand consumer judgments of similarity or preference into distances represented in a multidimensional space.

TAT (Thematic Apperception Test) and Modified TAT’s: An exercise originating in psychotherapy, it has been designed to allow the subject to project hidden feelings or associations onto a neutral object or scene. A person's responses to the TAT cards can provide information about his or her views of the self, the world and interpersonal relationships. This technique is used in developing print ads and billboards.

The participants are first shown an unbranded visual that is under consideration for the ad and asked to create a story around it. The moderator or interviewer encourages participants to go beyond the literal and release some of the more elusive feelings and associations that the imagination stirs up. Participants reveal their feelings indirectly through their responses to visuals.


The picture might be shown a second time with a brand name and a tagline. The participant is asked whether he or she sees the same scenario and how well the picture and the brand match. The interplay of brand and visual can then be explored. Because most people view these exercises as fun, they take the opportunity to express themselves more fully and openly.