insight innovation

Evolutionary insight for paradigm shift in consumer research

AIMgen Lab aims to introduce the methodology and tools globally to promote a paradigm shift based on evolutionary psychology, and herewith grow as a laboratory supporting market research companies around the world.



With markets developing on a global scale there is a growing need for a unified view on global consumer motivation to improve actionable insight and develop innovative 21st century strategies. Today the focus often still is on collecting more data without a framework to turn these data into actionable insight. A true paradigm shift necessary in market research, we think, can only be expected by complying with the ultimate ‘why’ –the evolutionary causation–of consumer behaviour. The ultimate approach can provide a unified motivation theory and complement and bolster the empirical – the proximate –results of research that are currently being used, and help create real innovative insight.


Why evolutionary psychology? In an attempt to understand buyers’ decision making processes consumer research blends elements from different social science perspectives. So far biological, behavioural and cognitive theories of motivation have encouraged prolific research activity. The real underpinnings of consumer motivation cannot be fully and accurately understood, however, without the evolutionary foundations for explaining motivational processes and the existence of motivated human behaviour as shaped by evolutionary processes over millions of years.



For building a new evolutionary based test method we had to find a solution for 1) how to collect data; 2) how to turn the collected data into real insight and 3) how to translate insight into actionable insight.


We developed an evolutionary psychological framework proposing three non-hierarchical levels of motivated behaviour, measurable as individual differences. The framework contains two major axes on which the variables can be positioned. As a result we have six motivation profiles for both male and female, explaining both the fundamental motivation and explicit consumer behaviour and choice that can be linked to brand-personalities.


To support consumer researchers exploring and translating these motivation profiles into brand personalities, profiles, strategies and positioning we created an evolutionary based consumer-brand correlation model.


The fundamental evolutionary principles were also used for the development of an innovative quantitative method to collect data about consumer motivation and translate these into motivation profiles. The result of this design is an online visual questionnaire using iconic, visual signals as stimuli. To exclude reason and to make the test as consistent as possible we incorporated a time limit and ask respondent to only indicate signals they strongly dislike. All visuals used are validated by qualitative research based on evolutionary principles of costly signalling. Within some 5 minutes consumer motivation profiles is created that can, amongst others, be translated into scatter plots, used for landscaping, or linked to brand perception results. The profiles can be used to develop strategies for all segments of the consumer funnel.


To quote our ESOMAR paper conclusion: “We aim to have taken the first step and argue that our model has both a scientific and commercial relevance for consumer market research and (applied) evolutionary sciences.”

About Your Company (Description & Contact Info)

AIMgen Lab is a privately owned start up company for developing methods and tools for consumer motivation research based on evolutionary psychology. The methodology used is the outcome of over 15 years of scientific and commercial research. Founded in 2009 by Marie-Anne Simons and Jan Guus Waldorp, AIMgen Lab aims to present and develop new ways for gaining actionable insight in global consumer behaviour.

AIMgen Lab developed the Evolutionary Motivation Indicator Tool (EMIT), an online research and segmentation tool as the DNA and foundation for various other applications. The first application developed is E-MindSight, an online tool for measuring and analysing brand perception.

AIMgen Lab executed several pilots including the commercial validation of EMIT together with a Dutch online market research company. The results were presented at the annual ESOMAR 2011 conference in Amsterdam. The scientific validation of the methodology is subject of the doctoral thesis that Waldorp and Simons are completing at the Dutch University of Groningen. AIMgen Lab is based in The Netherlands just outside Amsterdam, P +31 20 6623566, T +31 20 662 59 51, Our website:


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