Why Focus Groups Remain The Most Effective Way Of Testing Toys With Kids
We’ve done the big quantitative studies, in fact we’ve done them for some of the biggest Toy companies in the world across multiple territories, and they did yield some insight. In particular, we conducted a huge quantitative tracking study on a major global hero brand, to enable the marketing team to allocate marketing spend (from a marketing budget of c. $15m) according to kids product preferences in the testing. Frankly, this worked based on the evidence. It seemed like the company was backing the right horses when comparing the products preferred by kids in the research and those products that sold best.
However, that was a project with a very specific focus. In the majority of cases, where the brand team are looking for more in depth feedback than a simple preference, focus groups really are the best way to go in our experience. Focus groups allow for analysis of the social effect with a particular brand or toy, for competitive comparisons and evaluation, for highlighting product, packaging and marketing collateral tweaks – some fundamentally important, and more.
The reality is that while most companies like hard stats, it’s hard to derive MEANINGFUL stats on anything other than surface level.
The challenge with most suppliers of Focus groups though i.e. research agencies, is that many of the qualitative moderators have never done anything else so they have no real life product or marketing experience, meaning they often struggle to reach the right conclusions based on consumer feedback or fail to see the wood for the trees.
From our perspective that’s a good thing, as we have robust research and Toy business/entertainment brand management AND P&L credentials and experience, we don’t ever deliver fluff. We deliver clear, meaningful feedback.
We solve problems which aren’t in the research brief, but which become apparent during the research, because we have managed brands and run P&Ls on a large and small scale in over 52 countries worldwide.
The reality is that focus groups / playtesting conducted by a strong, commercially minded research agency will normally deliver vastly more insight and value than quantitative methods. If you’d like to know more, please feel free to drop us a line…