April 14, 2023
Charlotte Fulcher

Implicit Case Study

Which visual assets drive sales of bottled water?

Split Second Research, a neuromarketing company, uses implicit market research methods to uncover consumers’ hidden subconscious drivers. In this case study, we use implicit methods to uncover which visual assets drive sales of bottled water.


A leading mineral water brand is known for its natural heritage, high mineral content and origins from the mountains. Nature, freshness and purity are key brand attributes.

Whilst undergoing a brand refresh, the client and agency were exploring new directions, which led to a new packaging design. In the new design, several visual assets were thought not to be key and were dropped as a result.

Since the introduction of this new packaging, sales began to stagnate and even decline. This was in the face of an aggressive campaign claiming strong natural credentials from a major competitor.

Implicit market research methods. Visual assets case study by Split second research


When Split Second Research were appointed to investigate consumer sentiment, it was revealed, through implicit market research methods, that the brand had unintentionally jettisoned its core heritage credentials. 

It was revealed that the new direction had confused and ‘lost’ its loyal customers and that two of the three assets that were dropped from the original packaging, were in fact shown to be key drivers in the category.

The results proved that customers trusted the original visual assets and believed in the source of freshness and purity and they were confused by the new approach.


The implicit market research study gave the brand new insights to inform their pack design – a confidence that their original branding was successful, as well as insights into key areas in which it could be improved.

As a result, work is now underway to renew the brand’s former successful foundations by restoring the previous visual assets with a contemporary update. They even decided to enhance one of the two assets, making its presence clearer on the pack, since it is a crucial asset for the brand.

Dr Eamon Fulcher, CEO of Split Second Research Certamente Conference

Learn more about our implicit market research methods or get in touch with our experts to explore how we can meet your market research needs.

Tags:  packaging evaluation, case study, implicit market research, implicit testing, implicit case study, branding, brand identity, branding, brand awareness.

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