Jon Ragatz Consulting Since 1999
  Conducting Focus Groups  

What do your consumers, customers or members think of your organization, brand name, new product concept, new packaging or new advertising?  How do they use your product in their homes? How can it be made more sustainable?  How do competitive brands compare? How can you build a more genuine, lasting relationship with your core customers? Is it priced right?

Conducting a series of focus groups can help you develop preliminary answers to these types of questions.  This form of primary, qualitative research is proven, insightful, flexible and fairly quick.

Other explorations might involve:

Conducing internal employee groups to assess morale or to provide feedback on company benefits or programs

Evaluating new packaging concepts for a brand

Getting quick feedback on flavor or recipe variations

Evaluating a competitor's newly launched product

Pretesting direct response or other advertising materials

Observing consumers using electronic gear or following directions in your instruction manuals

Developing new member services for a nonprofit organization to aid retention or member involvement



Focus group discussions can be set up just about anywhere on a couple of weeks notice (assuming your target is fairly easy to identify and reach).  On average, a series of three groups on one day, in one location, will cost about $8,000-10,000.  This fee includes all steps associated with screening, recruiting and scheduling target consumers;  respondent incentives and refreshments;  facility rental charges including options such as audio and/or video taping;  group moderation;  travel costs;  and a topline analysis & report. Importantly, these costs can be dramatically reduced if clients provide the respondents and/or the facilities. Depending on the objectives for the research, however, this option may not be a good one as it may bias the results. I'd be glad to discuss various options and their trade-offs with you.

As client or moderator, I have conducted more than 300 focus groups for brands such as Andersen Soup, Kraft, Oscar Mayer, Seven-UP, Parker Pen, Kemper Life Insurance,  Burger King, the Evanston Art Center, Olay skin care products, Richardson-Vicks' new products,  Carnation cocoas and milks, Nestlé Nésquik, Advanced Food Products, Alta Dena dairy products, and others.  This kind of in-depth experience enables our clients to get "uncommonly more" out of their focus group investment. I have also been working with natural products since the early 1990's and have been deeply involved with sustainable trends and behavior as not only a consumer, but also a graduate faculty member for two pioneering Green MBA programs on the west coast.

Contact me to discuss how I can help you with your focus group or other qualitative research needs.


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