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We help ensure you ask the right questions to the right people. The result? Answers you can have confidence in.


  • Most women in Indonesia have little knowledge on car maintenance and they normally rely on their mechanic to select products or brands for their cars, such as tyres, regular servicing, etc. Further, having personal drivers is not uncommon amongst the growing middle class and the car owners rely on these drivers to look after their cars, including maintenance. If your products are car maintenance related, your insights may lead to non-comprehension without opinions from drivers or mechanics.
  • Over 20% of Singapore’s population are non-residents such as expatriate, domestic helpers and construction workers.  Unless the products or brands targeting non-residents, it is necessary to exclude these non-residents.
  • Having helpers in households is not uncommon in SEA countries. They do the cleaning and the cooking for the family. It’s not a surprise if these helpers know better on the cleaning products used in the households. They even recommend certain brands that work best for cleaning. Therefore their opinions matter and influence the products or brands to purchase.
  • In some SEA countries where the traditional retail trade (i.e. small shops or wet markets) is still dominant, some shoppers rely on the shop owners’ advice on products or brands to purchase. If your product distribution covers the traditional retail trade, including the shop owners in the study will give you a complete picture of shopper behaviour.
  • SEA mothers have a significant influence on their kid’s snack consumption. It is often the mothers that determine which snack products are consumed by their children. The data without mothers’ opinions will bias your insights.


  • At least half of the population of Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam live in rural areas. They have low purchasing power and economic wise may not be included as your target market . The more potential consumers live in urban areas or cities. These city dwellers have high incomes and greater purchasing power. This is a more appropriate segment to target for commercial products and services. Further, people living in capital cities have income levels well above the national average and they represent the country’s most developed markets in terms of consumer behaviour.
  • Extended family structures are not uncommon in SEA countries. Grandparents, other siblings, cousins, aunts or uncles may live under the same roof. Who is the target respondent to represent the household?


  • Maintaining consistencies of background information such as income, education or occupation can be challenging. People in some countries, such as Indonesia, would avoid questions about their income and are more willing to answer questions on their household expenditures.
  • How do you ask income questions? What is the time-frame? Weekly, monthly or yearly? Should we ask take home pay or gross income? What elements of income should be included? Bonuses that are often given at the end of the year that may not be counted as monthly income.
  • Some countries employ social grade or economic classification (SEC) as alternative solutions in measuring purchasing power. Indonesia has a social class system based on monthly household expenditure. The Vietnam and Thailand Market Research Societies developed their social class based on family or household income. However, one of the biggest challenges is maintaining and monitoring the social grade system in order to still be reliable and relevant, especially in rapid-growth, developing countries.
  • Asking postcodes is common in some countries. This is not the case in some SEA countries, like Indonesia or Vietnam. Few people remember their home postcodes. So if your study requires postcodes as part of the analysis, there will be a problem in getting accurate data of postcodes. We suggest asking different questions, perhaps addresses or distancing to a specific area.
  • How do we ask age to SEA consumers? SEA women would be more honest if given a range of ages rather than asked to type their specific age.
  • Indonesians have stronger ‘hearing’ or ‘listening’ culture than ‘reading’ culture. Consider this when designing your survey online. Too long? They will skip it and so gone are the answers.


  • Do SEA consumers understand ‘value for money’ concept as it is meant to be? They may perceive it as a cheap product. Simple translation alone is not enough and rephrasing or having explanation may help minimizing misinterpretation.
  • How do you describe ‘foreign’ concepts? Sun-bathing is popular in Western countries but SEA consumers would think it is an odd activity as they are avoiding the sun to keep their skin colour as light as possible. On the other hand, whitening products are more relevant and selling very well in Asian countries.
  • Visual stimuli and instruments are not necessarily universal and required translation and testing for misinterpretation, especially if they are developed in relation to a specific cultural context.

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