How a headphone manufacturer used AI to mine online reviews to improve product positioning


By analysing vast amounts of online reviews with, we unveiled new insights into consumer perceptions and emotional associations with the headphone brand.  

Big Data Collection

In the ever-evolving world of technology, understanding consumer sentiment is crucial for any business. For one headphone manufacturer, this meant diving into over 200,000 online reviews to assess performance, perceptions, and emotional associations.

The project spanned across 10+ markets and took into account 34 brands, including 33 competitor brands. 

Using, we analysed >200,000 online reviews, including 33 competitor brands across 10+ markets. All in a matter of days.

Using AI to structure and uncover hidden topics in online reviews

The goal was to capture and assess brand performance through market-level topic modelling, an AI approach which tags a topic to each valid review. This involved capturing multiple metrics such as functionality, customer service, aesthetics, sound quality, and noise cancellation.

These topics were further categorised against the Kano Model – delighters, satisfiers, and must-haves. This allowed us to benchmark each brand against the topic areas and understand if future actions were likely to move 4 star reviews to 5 star reviews (delighters) or simply reduce the likelihood of a 1 star review (must haves)

What we recommended

The results were revealing. We explored each topic area to understand consumer perceptions and emotional reactions. For example, we uncovered the precise language and phrases used ‘naturally’ by consumers within the ‘aesthetics’ topic and ranked these phrases by how differentiated they were against their competitors.

These phrases objectively proved that certain parts of the client’s messaging were resonating with consumers, which could be worked into product descriptions to help with positive reinforcement of the brand’s visual identity.   

We also uncovered clear negative sub-themes within battery life and charging, as well as issues of incompatibility with Apple devices.  These were dragging down review ratings.

Armed with these insights, we made a number of recommendations, including investing time in understanding claimed vs. actual battery performance, and raising connectivity issues with the Innovation Team.  We also recommended that our client quickly incorporate messaging that resonates with consumers into product descriptions and other marketing materials.



Joe Lockey

Senior Analyst

Joe joined us after completing rotations across our consumer, services and health sectors, whilst gaining exposure to both qualitative and quantitative research techniques.


Alice Hedlund


Alice has experience in customer-centric growth, brand strategy and innovation at global scale. She specialises in brand transformation journeys, bridging the gap between business and brand strategy to create holistic and actionable plans for impactful growth.

Helen Donald


Job Title

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Tom Carvell


Tom has a science background with a PhD in Materials Chemistry. He has spent most of his career working on in-house front-end innovation where he delivered mid/long term strategic projects for brands such as Durex, Scholl, Veet and KY. He is focussed on delivering pragmatic but provocative innovation strategy for CPG categories.

Manick Pratheeban

Senior Principal

Manick is a brand strategy and consumer insight specialist with 15+ years’ experience helping to grow some of the world’s biggest brands. He has a proven track record of translating trends, consumer, and market data into actionable insights to formulate growth strategies.

Kate Jones

Senior Principal

Kate has over a decade of experience in creating transformative strategies for customer-focused businesses. With a background in consumer insight and behaviour change across consumer health, packaged goods, leisure, banking and other sectors she focuses on elevating the customer experience to create human-centric innovations and foster impactful growth.

Jacob Gascoine-Becker


Jacob specialises in leveraging consumer research to inform investment strategy and business case development. A management consultant since 2014, he previously spent eight years working in ecommerce and digital marketing.

Ines Achabal

Senior Analyst

Ines is inately curious and creative. She is known for her expansive thinking when exploring client challenges and elevating the visual quality of outputs to maximise their impact.

Helene Mills


Helene has 20+ years’ experience advising business leaders and investors on growth strategy based upon consumer and market intelligence. Her particular specialism lies in leisure, retail, food and beverage sectors.

Helen Donald

Helen Donald


Helen has consulted businesses at different stages of growth across a variety of sectors, specialising in consumer packaged goods and consumer healthcare. She is an adept strategist, bringing clarity to the most complex of situations and connecting dots to create rich, future-proofed platforms for innovation, brand positioning and growth.

Allan Chen STRAT7 Advisory

Allan Chen

Senior Principal

Allan’s core skillset provides an analytical and commercial lens to address client challenges. He started his career as an actuary, and since then has held a broad range of strategic roles, improving performance across the private and public sector.


Björn Dufwenberg

Managing Director​

Björn has 15+ years’ experience in insight-driven transformation, across management consulting, as well as brand and innovation agency roles. Most recently he headed up the Customer-Led Transformation practice at PwC Sweden, until joining STRAT7 in 2021. He’s worked on global projects covering consumer goods, durables, spirits and beverages, retail, banking, and private equity.

Kamilla Dala

Senior Principal

Kamilla has 10+ years’ experience leading and implementing insight-driven transformation within global matrix organisations in durable and consumable goods. Areas of expertise cover segmentation, uncovering and translating actionable consumer insights within innovation, product development, brand positioning, strategy and marketing.