Objectives of focus groups
Focus groups provide an opportunity to bring people together in order to allow them to express their personal thoughts on different topics within a group context. The key benefit of constituting a group is to bring to light areas of consensus or indeed dissent or segmentation with regard to attitudes to a given issue.
Themes that can be explored are many and varied: exploring the needs of a target audience, in-depth analysis of value propositions (concept, product, packaging), brand image and the associated emotional registers, consumption habits or activation elements.
Target profiles can be either B2C or B2B, i.e. consumers, experts, professionals, etc…. it all depends on the subject in question.
Setting up focus groups
Several design formats can be considered, according to your objectives and the topics that you wish to explore:
1/ Focus groups of 6 to 8 participants: an ideal format for scratching the surface, digging deeper, validating and optimizing what is on the table. The group dynamics make this an extremely worthwhile experience because everyone is free to respond to each other's comments and reactions, making it possible to look more closely at rational issues but also to explore what is more in the realms of the imagination,
2/ Quads (groups of 4): a more agile configuration that is ideal for fostering iteration. The participants in the study are thus broken down into several quads so as to enable optimal iteration between these sub-groups. The aim is to make improvements to the material being tested by means of "Test & Learn", a method that forms the basis of our Design Sprint approach.
3/ Alternation of collective and individual dynamics may have an important impact in certain cases in order to isolate the opinion of each participant and to neutralize the mechanisms of influence. Individual awareness and understanding may be brought to light by the use of specific tools such as a one-to-one interview before the group activity, a personal questionnaire or pre/post tasks,
4/ A group may bring together several different profiles according to your objectives: consumers, non-consumers, ex-consumers, experts, professionals, creative consumers or people with different lifestyles, personalities or specific motivations.