14 Brain Teasers That Turned Out To Be Marketing Research

Have you ever been asked to participate in a survey, only to realize that it was a marketing research study?. Have you ever also somehow failed to notice all of the giveaways that this was marketing research?. Marketers and brands use these types of studies all the time, but they’re not always obvious.

Some marketers have turned them into brain teasers or riddles so that consumers have fun learning about new products. Want to see what we mean?, Check out these 14 examples:

1. Brain teasers can serve as effective tools for conducting marketing research.
2. Creative puzzles can provide insights into consumer behavior and preferences.
3. Analyzing responses to brain teasers can reveal valuable data for marketing strategies.
4. Integrating fun elements like brain teasers can enhance engagement in research.
5. Brain teasers offer an unconventional approach to gathering consumer insights.
6. Thought-provoking questions can uncover hidden trends and consumer motivations.
7. Using brain teasers demonstrates the importance of innovative research techniques.
8. The overlap of entertainment and research can lead to more genuine participant responses.
9. Brain teasers showcase the dynamic and versatile nature of marketing research.
10. Marketing research can take unexpected forms, like brain teasers, for impactful results.

1. The Lady Or The Tiger

This is a classic story about a man who is forced to choose between two doors. One door has a lady behind it and the other has a tiger. He chooses the door with the lady but then finds himself locked in with the tiger.

The man is eventually rescued by the lady, who was hiding in another room as part of an elaborate test for her suitors; she wasn’t at all angry about being tricked into it.

Increasing conversion rates is a crucial aspect of successful marketing campaigns. Employing effective strategies like optimizing clickthrough rates can significantly impact your results. Discover actionable insights and techniques in our article on boosting conversion rates to drive better outcomes.

2. The Carpenter’s Dilemma

The Carpenter’s Dilemma is a classic brain teaser that’s been around for centuries. The question revolves around a carpenter who is tasked with building a table for a king but is only given two boards of different lengths.

He can’t use them as they are to build the table because then there would be no wood left over he must cut them up somehow.

A common mistake people make when solving this problem is to assume that if he uses one board at its full length and one at half its length, he’ll have enough wood left over for his project. You might even get stuck in that place yourself: 

“Well I’m using this board (1) so it has to be longer than this other one (2).” But if you think about it more carefully, you’ll realize that this isn’t true.

3. The Monkey’s Paw

The Monkey’s Paw is a short story by W. W. Jacobs, first published in 1902. The plot revolves around an old couple who want to make their son rich, so they visit a woman named Mrs. White and ask her for help with their problem.

She gives them something called the Monkey’s Paw – a hand-carved talisman that can grant wishes when certain conditions are met; however, each wish comes with terrible consequences for anyone involved in making it.

The story has been adapted into several plays and films over the years; one notable adaptation was done by John Landis in 1993 as part of an anthology series featuring famous horror writers adapting their own stories (the others being Stephen King’s “The Woman in the Room”, Ray Bradbury’s “The Veldt” and Richard Matheson’s “Button Button”).

Planning your marketing research efforts requires careful consideration and prioritization. To streamline your approach, explore our resource on prioritizing marketing research that outlines essential questions to guide your decision-making process.

4. The Boarded Window

A man lives alone in a house with boarded windows. He is a doctor by profession, only he never heals anyone. Instead, he kills them.

He has been doing this for years, but no one knows about it because the house is surrounded by trees so that no one can see inside. One day, an old man decides to take a walk through the woods and discovers this house with its boarded windows. He cannot believe what he sees.

5. The Guilty Man

A man is suspected of murder and arrested. He is tried, found guilty, and sentenced to death. On the day appointed for his execution, he is allowed to make a final statement. He says:

“I have a few words to say in my defense. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth but I have been working hard all my life. I made some mistakes as we all do; who hasn’t? This does not make me a murderer.”

His lawyer steps forward and says: “Your honor, please give this man’s last words due consideration.” The judge says: “Okay then you may begin your speech.”

6. The Fall Of The House Of Usher

The Fall of the House of Usher is a classic spine-tingler by Edgar Allan Poe. It’s about a man who is haunted by his sister, who has been dead for years but keeps showing up in his dreams. The title comes from how that brother’s family mansion goes to ruin over time.

The story ends with him being buried alive in the attic because his sister refuses to let him die. Of course, this could be just another interesting piece of literature (if you’re into that kind of thing). But if you look at it through marketing research goggles, there are some interesting takeaways:

Excelling in marketing research demands a solid foundation of knowledge and skills. Discover the significant advantages of enrolling in dedicated courses with insights shared in our article on the value of marketing research courses to accelerate your expertise.

7. Hansel And Gretel

The story of Hansel and Gretel is a classic fairy tale, but it might be more than just a story. Some scholars believe that the tale was originally written to help promote the sale of gingerbread. In this theory, Hansel and Gretel are two children who get lost in the woods while retrieving firewood for their parents.

They meet an old woman who offers them candy and tells them she knows their parents very well she even lives with them. The witch then tries to eat them because they’re so delicious-looking (and have amazing taste).

The moral of this story: gingerbread never goes bad if you keep it stored in your trunk.

8. The Tell-Tale Heart

This classic Edgar Allan Poe story is about a man who slowly goes insane and kills an old man he finds in his bed. The murder happens in the middle of the night, but no one hears it because there are no other people around (or so we’re told).

The murderer hides the body under the floorboards and then proceeds to give himself away by constantly walking over them. He does this for fear that someone will find out his secret—but also because he just can’t stop himself from listening for any sign that anyone knows about what he did.

The story ends with the murderer confessing all of this to a detective who has been investigating the crime scene and found some blood stains leading up to where they were hidden beneath floorboards in an old house in London Towne.

9. The Purloined Letter

The Purloined Letter, a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, is about a stolen letter. The thief hides it in a secret compartment in the wall, but before that, he gives it to his accomplice who hides it under his coat and then puts it back on the table when they leave the room.

You would think that this would be an impossible thing to find, but if you read through you see that the solution is right there in plain sight: The letter itself.

10. Silver Blaze

Silver Blaze is a Sherlock Holmes story that has been adapted into radio plays, television shows, books, and movies. It’s also one of the most famous cases that Sherlock Holmes ever solved.

Colonel Ross owned a horse named Silver Blaze and had hired John Straker to be the trainer. One day, Silver Blaze disappeared during a race that Colonel Ross was sponsoring at Newmarket Racecourse in England.

The night before his disappearance, Carter (the groom) had seen someone lurking around the stable where he kept Silver Blaze.

A week later when they found the dead body of John Straker who worked as a trainer for Colonel Ross’ horses they also found evidence linking him with foul play related to the theft of this particular horse from its owner’s stable just two days earlier.

Ensuring the credibility of your ideas is pivotal in the marketing research process. Dive into our comprehensive guide on verifying ideas effectively to navigate through 14 actionable steps that lead to validated and impactful results.

11. A Scandal In Bohemia

The story revolves around a woman who wants to be free of her husband. She gets in touch with Sherlock Holmes and asks him to find out if he’s cheating on her. He appears at the house one day, posing as an old friend of her husband’s.

He asks her if she remembers a picture that she would like to see again if it were possible, and the lady thinks back to the time when they first met and realized how much he loved art. When she goes upstairs and looks at their collection of paintings, she finds one missing.

“The Man With The Twisted Lip.” It was painted by Charles Bellingham, who had been found dead not long after creating it (the woman is his daughter). As you may have guessed from these details, this painting has been stolen from its owner by her ex-husband (who happens to be his father).

So what does all this mean for marketers? Well for starters: don’t assume you know everything about your audience.

12. The Adventure Of The Speckled Band

The Adventure of the Speckled Band is one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous Sherlock Holmes stories. In it, a young woman named Helen Stoner asks Holmes to investigate the death of her stepfather, Dr. Grimesby Roylott.

The doctor was found dead at his country estate with a snake coiled around his neck. The case is complex for Holmes because he has already solved another murder in which he suspected Dr. Roylott was involved.

But when he arrives at the scene of this new crime, there are no obvious clues and no suspects; so he begins by interviewing as many people as possible who knew him including Helen Stoner and her sister Laura.

13. The Adventure Of The Red-Headed League

In this Sherlock Holmes case, the League was a pawn in his game. When Mr. Jabez Wilson, clerk to a well-known firm of stockbrokers, was approached by a man named “Red-headed” Phelps who offered him a job as an assistant in his office, Wilson is surprised by the offer but accepts it anyway.

The job turns out to be very simple: he has to copy out pages from some books that were sent over from London each day and then return them at night but after he arrives on his first day of work, he realizes that no books are waiting for him in the office.

The next morning when Red-Headed Phelps returns and asks about their progress, Wilson tells him what happened; but instead of being angry about having wasted time traveling from London with nothing to show for it except an empty office space, Phelps seems mostly amused by this turn of events.

He assures Wilson that everything will work out just fine if they stick with the original plan and sure enough later that evening another package arrives from England containing several large volumes (which are now neatly arranged on shelves around them).

Understanding the significance of marketing research is essential for informed decision-making. Explore our article detailing what you need to know about marketing research to gain insights into its value, process, and its role in achieving business success.

14. Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character, who first appeared in publication in 1887. The character was developed by Scottish author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and has been portrayed by many actors since.

Sherlock Holmes is a consulting detective, who lives in London and uses his powers of observation to solve crimes. As a result of his intellect and prowess at solving complex problems starting from trivial details, he is referred to as “the world’s only unofficial consulting detective.”

Sherlock Holmes may have been the first to practice detective work in fiction, but his methods are still used today by real detectives and by market researchers.

The ability to gather information, analyze it, and come to conclusions is a key skill for anyone who wants to be successful in business. So next time you’re solving a mystery or trying to figure out how much people like your new product idea, don’t forget that the same skills can help you succeed.

Final Thoughts

In the days before social media and smartphones, companies were always looking for new ways to gather data about their customers. The methods they came up with were sometimes sweet, sometimes strange, and sometimes downright misleading.

But one thing’s for sure: these marketing stunts are memorable! Which ones have you heard of? Do you know any brands that tried something similar? Let us know in the comments.

Further Reading

Explore more about brain teasers and their applications in various fields:

Brain Teasers for Family and Consumer Science: Discover brain teasers relevant to family and consumer science education.

Business-Oriented Brain Teasers and Answers: Sharpen your problem-solving skills with business-focused brain teasers and find solutions.

Challenging Brain Teasers by NSA Employees: Delve into a collection of tough brain teasers designed by NSA employees, providing a glimpse into their problem-solving prowess.

People Also Ask

What Is The Best Way To Measure The Quality Of A Product?

If you want to measure the quality of a product, you need to ask people how much they like it. To do this, you must first determine whether or not your customers can give you an honest answer. If they can’t, then you will have trouble measuring their quality.

What Is The Difference Between A Brain Teaser And A Marketing Research Question?

A marketing research question is designed to get at an actionable response. It’s a question that can be answered with a “yes,” “no,” or a number. A brain teaser, on the other hand, is just meant to be fun and entertaining it’s not meant to yield any useful or actionable information.

How Do You Know If You’ve Come Up With A Good Brain Teaser?

If you can’t figure out what kind of answer you want from your audience, then it’s probably not going to work as a brain teaser. If you don’t have any idea what questions they’ll be asking themselves when they’re trying to solve it, then they won’t be able to give you any helpful answers.

A good brain teaser should lead people down one path of thinking and then drop them off in another place entirely but only after they’ve spent some time trying (and failing) to solve it themselves.

What Is The Best Way To Get A Brain Teaser?

The best way to get a brain teaser is to make them yourself. Brain teasers are great for advertising, but they are also great for marketing research.

If you have an idea for a new product or service, but you don’t know how well it would do in the market, try making up some questions and answers that are related to your product and see how people respond. You can also ask people directly if they would be interested in buying your product or using your service.

What Should I Do With My Answers?

You should use your answers in any way that helps you sell more stuff! The best thing about brain teasers is that they are fun, so they can be used as part of any marketing campaign or advertising strategy.

You might want to consider using them as part of an email newsletter or social media post; just make sure that whatever you’re doing isn’t too expensive (or complicated) because most people will probably just ignore it.

What’s The Best Way To Make Sure Your Marketing Campaign Is Converting?

You don’t need to guess you can just ask your customers. Sure, it may seem like a no-brainer that customers would tell you if they were dissatisfied with a service or product. But what about the other side of the coin?

What if you asked them not only how well your product or service was working for them, but how well it worked when compared to competitors’ offerings?

That’s exactly what we did at [company name]. We conducted a study across our largest markets and asked our customers about their experiences using [product name], as well as their experiences using competing products.

The results were clear: customers who used our product felt like they got more value out of it than those who used competing products. We also discovered that these customers were more likely to recommend us to others than those who used competing products.

What Is The Best Way To Get Someone To Talk About Their Life?

Ask them a brain teaser. The person will want to answer it, and in doing so, they’ll tell you something about themselves that they might not have otherwise shared.

How Can You Find Out If Customers Understand Your Product Or Service?

Give them a brain teaser that involves your product or service in some way and see how they respond. If they can’t figure it out, then chances are they don’t understand what you do!