To drive growth, Unilever and other multinational companies have their eyes set on quickly growing Asian markets. Gaining a deep understanding of consumers is a pivotal part of realizing that growth. However, when doing research in this region it can be difficult to reach the right people and get a true understanding of their preferences. Many Asian cultures are characterized by high context effects, which means that in social settings many things are often left unsaid. Asian cultures are also characterized by higher degrees of acquiescence and embeddedness, which can lead to Acquiescent Response Style (ARS) and Socially Desirable Responses (SDR). ARS refers to the tendency to agree with propositions in general regardless of the content. While SDR is defined as the tendency of respondents to answer questions in a manner that will be viewed favorably by others, ARS and SDR make it more difficult to uncover the real opinions of respondents. When explicit judgements about stimuli are requested, these effects are particularly strong and they are further strengthened when an in-person interviewer is present. We believe that in order to overcome these response biases, we need to adjust and move towards a different way of conducting research, one that is more in line with current times.

Dual processing