Market Research Tip – Surveys are great and most people don’t go beyond them for consumer insight but they are missing out on good information. Consider a focus group. They provide rich information and can give you insights into your consumers though process that even the best survey would never find. They are a great addition to a well run survey or they can stand alone.
Make sure you go in with an open mind or the information will not be as useful. There is a documentary that is shown to business students about the company making Levi’s trying to go into the Men’s Suit category and what an unmitigated disaster it was. During the market research phase they had a focus group that told them flat out it wouldn’t work. The researchers were so convinced they dismissed each and every concern the focus group brought up. We laugh at their failure to use the group effectively but the truth is we are in love with our product and have a had time taking the critique a focus group will generate. If you can convince a third party to run it for you that helps, but be prepared to address the critical evaluation that is the hallmark
of a focus group.