Focus group

Gauging opinions, feelings, and attitudes about a product, service, marketing campaign, or brand

A focus group is a small, but demographically diverse group of people and whose reactions are studied especially in market research or political analysis in guided or open discussions about a new product or something else to determine the reactions that can be expected from a larger population. The use of focus groups is a research method that is intended to collect data, through interactive and directed discussions by a researcher

It is a form of qualitative research consisting of interviews in which a group of people are asked about their perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes towards a product, service, concept, advertisement, idea, or packaging.

Focus Group Format

During the focus group, the moderator takes participants through three different types of questions designed to gather as much information from them as possible. They include:

Variants of focus groups include:

Advantages of focus groups

Focus groups provide a valuable method to gather customer feedback and opinion on different ideas and concepts. The format of a focus group session can be replicated to some extent and can, therefore, be taken around various geographical regions to provide high numbers of participants and a good spread of demographics. When sessions are observed by members of a client organisation, a focus group can provide invaluable insight into who their audience really is.

Disadvantages of focus groups

Focus groups have come under some criticism for their inability to remove the potential for ‘group think’ where some participants will be swayed by the opinions of other more dominant members and feel under pressure to conform. In our research, we have often found that what people say they do is often very different from what people actually do, therefore reliance upon focus groups alone can be misleading when trying to uncover true customer behaviour.