In this article about brand marketing, James goes off on focus groups. First he mentions a a recent article in the New York Times that says that focus group participants are actually influenced by a marketers presence -- "well duh" he says. (picture me on the floor laughing). Then he goes on to quote a recent focus group conducted by a market research company that is described this way -
Participants were given iPods programmed with pop music and asked to visually represent how they felt about the concepts for two Web-based applications for Suave, a Unilever hair care line. While the women were creating the collages, representatives from Unilever watched from an adjacent room.
One montage, which included an upside-down Barbie doll in a pink taffeta dress, her outstretched arms giving the appearance that she was falling from the sky, represented vulnerability and the “ultimate feeling of not being in control,…Depending on the context, outstretched arms also represented playfulness and openness, and they were a theme in many of the images the women selected for their collages.
So what do you think? Is this valid focus group stuff or is it just BS?
- Hyping Research Methodologies (vovici.com)
- Focus Groups That Look Like Play Groups (nytimes.com)
- Will Video Make Focus Groups Obsolete? (questionpro.com)
- Real Purpose of a Focus Group (brighthub.com)
- How to Report Focus Group Findings (brighthub.com)