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Beyond Listening: Learning the Secret Language of Focus Groups

ISBN: 978-0-471-39562-1
240 pages
December 2001
Beyond Listening: Learning the Secret Language of Focus Groups (0471395625) cover image


A groundbreaking guide to making one of marketing's most important resources more effective

When kids in a Nabisco focus group told researchers that they always separated their Oreos before they ate them, the researchers recommended that the company develop a cookie that couldn't be taken apart. Fortunately, in this case, Nabisco didn't heed the researchers' advice. Each year, companies spend a billion dollars on focus groups designed to ferret out consumer motivation, and, according to expert Bonnie Goebert, in many cases they're throwing their money away. In this fascinating book, Goebert, a highly respected moderator with three decades of experience with focus groups, explains what's wrong with how companies use the information. More importantly, she draws on her own experiences with clients like the New York Times, Tropicana, Maxwell House, Colgate, Maybelline, Lipton, Federal Express, and scores of other prestigious accounts to provide simple clear-cut guidelines on how companies of just about any size can use focus groups to capture the hearts and minds of consumers.

Bonnie Goebert (Southampton, NY) heads her own focus group consulting firm.

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Table of Contents

Listening 101: The Value of Focus Groups.

Choosing the Voices: Who Should--And Shouldn't--Be in Focus Groups.

Listening behind the Mirror: Who Should Be Listening.

Listening over the Fence: The Moderator's Role.

Total Hearing: The Art of Really Listening to Focus Groups.

Consumer's Rule: Seeing the Consumer's Perspective on Products.

Consumer Laments: Learning from Consumer Disappointment.

Brand Standing: Uncovering the True Identity of a Brand.

Lasting Bonds: The Emotional Attachment between Consumers and Brands.

A Brand for All Times: The Essence of Loyalty.

Brand Stewardship: The Strategies of Winning Brands.

Outside Pressure: Protecting Brands in a Changing Marketplace.

Have You Heard: Trends for the New Millennium.

Focusing In: A Few Final Thoughts about Focus Groups.

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Author Information

BONNIE GOEBERT is a leading expert in focus group research, with thirty years of experience working on brand identity, product development, category expansion, and promotion and advertising strategy with Fortune 1000 companies in virtually every product category. She heads The Bonnie Goebert Company, a qualitative research consulting firm.

HERMA M. ROSENTHAL runs Writing Resource, an editorial consulting firm. Her clients have included The New York Times, Discovery Communications, and Children's Television Workshop. Rosenthal has written for Newsday, TV Guide, and Entertainment Weekly, among other publications.
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??there are some useful observations about the limitations of focus groups?? (Marketing, 31 July 2003)
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