Focus groups were a major player in our success of creating, marketing and selling “Caboodles” cosmetic organizer boxes.
Resulting in over 90% of all teen girls owning at least one Caboodles organizer box and establishing Caboodles as one of the first teen Brands to be introduced at retail.
With this success we obtained distribution in over 30,000 retail stores worldwide.
How did we manage to generate such a strong following with teens.?
Focus groups, focus groups, and focus groups!!
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to involve your consumer in every stage of your product development, brand development and marketing programs.
We ran focus groups in a local San Diego high school on a bi-monthly basis for many, many years. 100 teen girls per session and three sessions a day gave us immediate input .
Involving our consumer with our product development gave us the EDGE over our competitors.
We knew what was hot today, not yesterday. Teens kept us ahead of the trends… they were making the trends… and, before long, we became the teen trend experts.
We were constantly keeping retailer buyers and trade editors informed of what our focus groups were telling us.
Here are 10 tips on running a focus groups
1. Follow every question with a “why” You learn more from the "why’s."
2. When you get a negative response – ask “why”
Negative responses are worth gold – you can make affordable changes in the early stages of your product development
3. Make your questionnaire no more than 2 pages
Don’t forget to have them put their name, age, gender, and contact information on the top of the page
4. Download a talent release form and have every participant sign a copy so you can use their information and photo in your sales & PR materials
5. Choose a focus group that you feel will be your end consumer. Your first few groups can have as little as 10-15 participants.
If you do not get a good response from this group – Is it the right consumer? Or is the product at fault? Better to find out in the early stages so that you can address the issues.
6. Do not use the same group twice unless you are focusing a new product.
We find that 1500 participants gives an excellent read –so as many groups you can run – the better.
7. Ask the same questions with each group and add questions as your product & brand begins to develop
8. Leave your ego at home - A good salesperson can sell anything to anyone… you are not there to sell – but to learn.
9 If you don’t get 85% acceptance for your product – you need to go back to the drawing board.
10. Don’t just take from your focus group – remember to give back too.
If you are running focus groups at schools.. make your session a learning and inspiring event for students. Share your story with them.
If you are running focus groups with children and their parents.. remember to bring pizza and drinks and a small gift to say thank-you.
Read more on “Running your Focus Groups” in “The Caboodles Blueprint."
Learn from your focus groups Page 60
Three points of advise at Focus Groups - Page 62
Know what questions to ask - Page 64
The Power of Consumer Focus Groups - Page 68
Create a consumer Profile - Page 87
How are you going to get your product to market - Page 105
and so much more..
30 years of experience taking products and brands to market...
Causes Leonie Mateer Supports
St Judes Children's Research Foundation
Conservation international Foundation
Breast Cancer Research Foundation