Observation of consumers is often a powerful tool. Looking at how consumers select products may yield insights into how they make decisions and what they look for. For example, some American manufacturers were concerned about low sales of their products in Japan. Observing Japanese consumers, it was found that many of these Japanese consumers scrutinized packages looking for a name of a major manufacturer—the product specific-brands that are common in the U.S. (e.g., Tide) were not impressive to the Japanese, who wanted a name of a major firm like Mitsubishi or Proctor & Gamble. Observation may help us determine how much time consumers spend comparing prices, or whether nutritional labels are being consulted.
Qualitative analysis accepts introspection as data and looks for subjective meanings, thus acknowledging the need for interpretation (Levy, 1981). Qualitative analysis and interpretation of projective techniques are no different from the procedures for qualitative research in general. There are no systems of scoring or tabulation. Instead the description and explanation of the projections by the subjects form the database which then requires ordering and interpretation (Gordon & Langmaid, 1988:118).