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Keywords:

  • Projective techniques;
  • cartoon friends;
  • personification;
  • word association;
  • customer loyalty;
  • food retail

Abstract

An investigation into customer loyalty to food retailers posed a methodological problem – namely how to delve beneath the surface and access consumers' unspoken feelings, perceptions, attitudes and values. This paper explains how four different projective techniques were used to access the thoughts and feelings of 160 interviewees in order to obtain a thorough understanding of the interviewees' satisfaction with their ‘main’ food retailer and to characterize the relationship between the customer and retailer. A brief description of the use, analysis and examples of cartoon friends, word association, personification and mini case studies was provided in order to describe their role in the data collection process.