Underestimated women, developing a qualitative method within consumer research, exploring women amongst sports

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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Women are proven to be emerging consumer segment but they are largely underestimated al-though they purchase over 80% of all consumer goods. Secondly, lack of qualitative consumer research with human aspects and learning consumer's perspective is problematic in today’s busi-nesses. My perceptions are mostly based on my professional observations and experiences within the sporting goods industry that I utilize as a platform for my thesis. I unfold my aspects on heavily masculine oriented sporting goods industry and present some examples of how women have been approached differently. I present a review of women found from the previous studies together with several successful brands examples that have approached women unique ways. I have utilized the self-theory as a framework to further explore women within sports context for my thesis. The self is viewed through possessions, digitalization and consumption aspects. After having reviewed some popular consumer research methods such as surveys and focus groups, I developed a qualitative research method called Dig-I'in to further explore consumer insights. The method is based on a digital platform and using interactive and empathic interview approach. I reveal how the method is used in practice including the research and group context definitions as well as the guidelines to conduct, document and analyze the findings. The field was explored through seven women with different profiles generated from their sports involvement perspectives. From the in-terviews I generated individual narratives of each participant and searched for common themes. The conclusions fraps up the paper by reflecting on the method, the theory and the background by discussing about different aspects of them and by bringing some new evidence to support my ini-tial assumptions.
McGrory, Peter
Thesis advisor
Pantzar, Mika
women, consumer research, sports, qualitative method