Exploratory and Evaluative Consumer Research
How often have you heard group discussions (or focus groups as they’re often referred) criticised for being overly rational, out-dated and not really getting to the heart of consumer behaviour or decision making?
We absolutely agree. When asked to explain their choices or behaviours, consumers will inevitably post-rationalise.
However, group discussions absolutely have their place, particularly when an evaluative or developmental response is desired. It’s also an effective way to create a collaborative, generative environment.
But, like most things, group discussions must evolve to stay fresh and relevant. Our bespoke Concept Kitchen and Proposition Plus qualitative research methodologies are the perfect example of us ‘mixing up’ the traditional discussion group to add true value to research and get to the heart of understanding consumers. Furthermore, we believe real value lies on how the time is used and the complementary research techniques that are used to support our group discussions.
Getting the best out of our group discussions
We have a raft of exercises and projective techniques to uncover ‘below the surface’ feelings, beliefs, attitudes and motivations which can be difficult for consumers to articulate. These techniques encourage fun, freedom and thinking beyond the rational and conscious.
Getting our participants in the right frame of mind…whether it be creating a festive atmosphere (using Christmas music, mince pies and ‘decking the halls’ when researching Christmas in spring), conducting beer groups in real-time on a girls night out, or replicating a shopping fixture using our bespoke Mockshop methodology, we understand the importance of those additional touches that help deliver research that takes you further.
A consideration for the most appropriate group size is also fundamental in any research design. We conduct mini-groups or quad discussions for more complex exploratory research – where a more detailed and focussed environment is necessary and/or participants need more ‘air time’ to discuss a complex topic. Equally, smaller group discussions create a more intimate environment for discussion of a personal or sensitive topic.