Debate-style focus groups are a great way to learn more about consumer preferences. This style of focus groups amps up the disparities between product supporters and detractors or heavy users and light/non-users by putting them in the same room and asking them to debate your product’s merit vs. other options!
Debate style focus groups require two groups of consumers to come in at the same time. The process begins with a brief discussion with each group in separate rooms with a moderator (i.e. heavy users in one room and non-users in the 2nd room). The moderators work with each of the groups to form the basis of their debate arguments. The groups are then brought together in one room to debate the topic at hand (for example, “Apple makes the best laptop computers for business professionals” may be the topic debated). One group will agree and the other disagree. The arguments that come out provide a deeper understanding of the category benefits, how your product performs in that category, key product and category drivers, consumer perceptions and attitudes about your product and others in the category, etc. The moderators’ role during the debate is to keep the discussion genuine, probe on key issues and encourage group participation. At the conclusion of the debate, the groups return to their separate rooms to debrief with their respective moderators on what was most convincing from the other side and which of their arguments they felt held up and which did not.
Debate-style focus groups provide a new level of insight and understanding you are unlikely to get from traditional focus groups. It’s also highly engaging and entertaining for the people observing in the back room!
IGNiTE your team with new consumer insights!
Cindy Diamond, President
IGNiTE, facilitating creativity and innovation