The purpose of a focus group is to gather together current or potential customers to discuss a topic, product, or service to receive real world opinions and make the best business decisions moving forward. By gathering opinions of consumers businesses get a better idea of what products and services will work and what will not, what aspects will be received favorably, and what will influence buying decisions of their consumers. Focus groups can allow businesses to learn from consumers of how their product or services will fair on the market. These groups can help save businesses from investing millions in the production of ill-fated packaging designs or development of services that lack consumer interest.
Focus groups discover the why of opinions rather than seeing only the numbers. Sometimes it is useful to know that five out of ten people don’t like a product or service, but sometimes it is more useful to know that of those five, three just don’t like the color of the package, and two don’t use that product whatsoever. Each of these two issues could be easily addressed and are not as severe as 50% of consumers rejecting a product entirely. That is the beauty of focus groups, they allow for insight not only into opinions but how those opinions are formed and the ways in which people discuss these opinions in a group setting. Groups allow us to see how people interact with others and come to new conclusions, change their opinions, or develop their own in a social setting. Focus groups also allow us to ask questions as they arise. This more flexible type of research is called qualitative research as it is more interested in the qualities of the information (the why) than the quantities (as with quantitative research); learn more about qualitative and quantitative research here.
At Strategic Research Associates we provide clients with recordings of their focus groups and allow for live group viewing in our specialized client rooms with one way glass so clients may take notes and contemplate feedback as it is produced. Live viewing can also be arranged via web streaming video services for clients who are unable to attend groups in person, so everyone can learn from the group.
Do you think you could use a focus group? Then contact us. Call, submit a quote request online, or email for next day estimates or to discuss your upcoming project. Or learn more about participating on our About site.
For more information about focus groups come back in two weeks when we’ll be talking about Whose Focus, Whose Group? The People who make Focus Groups Succeed.