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Multi-Method Research

The attitudes and behaviours of consumers towards a brand are influenced by what consumers know and think consciously and unconsciously about the brand.

The article by Koll, von Wallpach and Kreuzer considers the value of using three approaches to assess brand knowledge: free association technique, storytelling, and collage-creation.

It provides brand management with recommendations how to decide when to use each method and whether to employ one or more of these methods. Criteria for choice among these methods ranging from eonomic considerations to more benefit-oriented considerations:

  • Breadth of knowledge
  • Knowledge origin
  • Diagnostic potential
  • Therapeutic potential
  • Resource intensity
  • Comparability
  • Competitve information

The study shows that a multi-method approach can provide more thorough understanding of consumer brand knowledge than single- method approach. However, typical constraints in marketing research (e.g., time, money) and divergent objectives of brand understanding (e.g., monitoring, competitive tracking) impact the feasibility of a multi-method approach.


Oliver Koll, Sylvia von Wallpach, Maria Kreuzer (2010). Multi-Method Research on Consumer-Brand Associations: Comparing Free Associations, Storytelling, and Collages. Psychology and Marketing, Vol. 27, Issue 6, pp. 584-602.