Despite some drawbacks that come with every chosen research technique, focus groups, workshops and in-depth discussions are a highly effective way to find out about the relationships people have with brands. They can reveal emotional, implicit and non-verbal thought processes.

Definition

Focus groups are a qualitative research technique that’s used to facilitate a discussion for a small group of participants on a predetermined topic. Moderators lead through the interactive group settings to generate rich discussions and insights into people’s attitudes, preferences, ideas and opinions.

Key insights

1. A looser approach can counter some of the negative aspects of focus groups

Indian food delivery app used a less structured form of focus group to identify consumer stories related to ordering in food, as starting points for the creative agency, and to get reactions to different types of humour in advertising. The idea of the “UNFocus Group” is to combine all the benefits of a conventional group discussion - multiple points of view, participants' ability to build upon others’ ideas, ease of applying projective techniques - but avoid overtly rationalised and nitpicky responses. It uses a stream-of-consciousness approach, where the moderator guides with just 8/10 statements that he/she introduces during the discussion, and stays away from overt probing and asking participants "why". Participants are encouraged to have conversations with each other and not the moderator.