Focus groups are the marketing consultant’s friend. They allow you to assess your target demographic’s reactions to new and existing products before you go to market. You can gauge the effectiveness of your product’s design, the attractiveness of the packaging and even the name of the product.
There have been some turkeys, I mean which focus group inspired the marketing men at Ford to name the Focus the erm, Focus. Or for that matter naming the Ford Ka! However, for the most part focus groups are useful to ensure that when your product goes to market it doesn’t stick on the shelves, but flies out to the consumer in exchanged for their hard-earned wonga.
There are focus groups and consumer panels for every conceivable product. Including sex toys. I’d never thought about it much before today, until I talked to the operations director of one of the UK’s own sex toy manufacturers. We were discussing bringing their latest toy to market and he mentioned having “around fifty women” evaluate and comment on the product before the design was finalised.
The obvious questions are:
· How do you find these women, do you just walk down your local high street and ask a random selection?
· What sort of people do you invite to be part of the panel? Or are they self-electing and put themselves forward?
· Do they tell their family and friends what they’ve been testing?
Unfortunately theses questions occurred to me after I’d finished the interview I was conducting. I’ll email him the questions now and include his answers in my account of the interview appearing on A-Rouse.com soon.
Late edit: Having read this Suze wants to volunteer for this sort of focus group.