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Trying Before Buying!
marketers can add an important dimension to focus groups. Focus groups
can be augmented with in-home trials to improve new products. And,
existing products can be repositioned to stimulate increased use. This
"two-in-one" design has been successfully used for myriad products and
over-the-counter drugs to software and online products.
If consumers are allowed to try new or existing products in their own
home, they can then discuss their real-life product use in follow-up
focus groups- and provide unique insights to manufacturers and
marketers. Sometimes, consumers are asked to test more than one version
of a manufacturer's product- or even a competitive product along with
the one being tested.
After product use, study participants record their experiences in a
diary and bring it to the focus group for discussion. Discussions range
from their experiences with the products, their attitudes about the
products as well as the general product category, and their ideas for
product improvement. Packaging, instructions for use, and even names
are all fair game for the focus group discussions.
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