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The Value of Candid Feedback

by Chris Dalton | 03.10.14

Focus groups have long been used to gather early-stage feedback about new products and ideas. They’re an integral part of any strategy in building and testing new concepts. The information gathered can provide insight into the potential acceptance or popularity of the product once it is publically released.

Groups have advantages over individuals, too. Group discussion allows for interaction that produces higher quality insights than that which would be produced by any one individual. Listening to others’ ideas and experiences has a snowball effect that builds upon itself.

Clearly, data shows that group feedback provides great value during the product development cycle. How, then, can this power best be harnessed?

Brandlive case study: a consumer home goods product

Recently, a consumer home goods company launched a new product and held two sessions during the day on Brandlive, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The product was a more expensive, more advanced version of a product that had been on the market for a while. During the morning session, the company received a lot of negative feedback and confused questions:
 
What’s the point of buying this new product when I already have the other one?
 
Why is it more expensive?

 
The company examined this feedback and realized they weren’t being clear in the product messaging for their new launch: they needed to better distinguish the differences between the two products and justify the higher cost. Using this feedback, the company changed their messaging during their afternoon broadcast and got a more positive response.
 
By using this instant feedback, the company was able to dynamically change their messaging and potentially saved an untold amount of lost revenue by not optimizing their messaging.
 
With online focus groups, there are some huge advantages over in person groups:

  • There are no geographic restrictions, so your sample size is more diverse and representative
  • The sample size is larger – in person groups have practical limations, whereas online groups have scalability
  • Participants are anonymous to each other, which encourages honest feedback
  • The costs of hosting something in-person are eliminated
  • Because feedback is recorded in an online environment, it is immediately available and at your disposal

Pulling together the best attributes of traditional focus groups and using a low-cost digital solution can provide a simple method to gathering essential insights into products as they are being developed and tested.




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