Joel Vermaas

Joel Vermaas
  • Title: Innovation Leader
  • Company: Nature


Joel is an experienced consumer insights professional with over a decade of experience across both commercial and social research. Having had the fortune of working across multiple industries with clients of various scale, in engagements to inform all aspects of a business’ marketing efforts both local and international, Joel’s attention now turns to pushing the envelope of where the research industry can go. With a background in psychology, and a passion for emerging technology, it is the possibilities of getting closer to richer consumer truths more effectively, authentically, and quicker, that drives him forward.



Our client was seeking to optimise the pack size / price architecture of their range to maximise volume and margin.

This business problem is one typically addressed using discrete or volumetric choice modelling, in which respondents trade-off the various elements of pack, price and promotional price within the client’s control, often with a monte carlo overlay to project pricing results across the full promotional calendar.

In this instance however, our client was keen to innovate, and better cater in the research methodology for both the fast, in-the-moment, and slow, more considered rational decisions that consumers are known to make.

For this reason, Nature mashed together our strength in choice modelling with emergent VR technology to design a research approach that simulated the product in situ, wherein consumers were able to walk the aisles and interact as they would in the real world. Yet at the same time underpinned by a classic experimental design allowing multiple permutations of pack size, regular pricing, and promotional mechanics.

This approach allowed us to measure System 1 with System 2 decision making and ascertain how consumers navigated shelves (physically and gaze), whether they noticed changes to packaging and pricing, and how their behaviour shifted between scenarios. The use of VR alongside choice modelling gave us unique insight into consumer decision making – both what we know they did (observed) and what they believed they did (stated), helping close the gap between attitudes and behaviour. This unique approach has helped us get closer to the consumer truth.

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