One client said, “This is genuine co-creation with our customers”. Another called it “A focus group on steroids.” Still another said, “Compared to this, watching a traditional focus group is like watching grass grow.” They were all talking about Drumcircle’s unique, new qualitative research technique, Create/Debate groups.
Imagine two, simultaneous focus groups in two, adjacent rooms. One room is filled with fans of your brand, the other with people you’d love to have buying what you sell. Each group has been given a set of stimulus materials, including metaphorical pictures, lists of product features and benefits, page after page of possible Emotivations, scissors, glue and big, foam core boards.
After some warm-up exercises led by one of our Certified Create/Debate Group Facilitators, each group is told to use those materials to create a collage that illustrates a perfect experience with your brand or product.
That’s the “create” phase of the Create/Debate group. And, as marketers, we all learn a lot watching the collaging process from behind the one-way mirror. But, the fun really starts when we bring the two groups together to compare their collages in the “debate” phase of the process.
Watching fans of your brand pitch their story to a roomful of nonbelievers, then watching as the nonbelieving potential customers pitch their imagined perfect experience back to your brand’s fans is illuminating. You’ll hear potential product and positioning ideas straight from the mouths of your customers and, perhaps more importantly, from your non-customers. You’ll hear what really matters about your offering (versus the features and functions you love to talk about) and where it might be falling short of real needs and expectations.
We’ve facilitated Create/Debate Groups with physicians, farmers, million-dollar investors and moms responsible for weeknight dinners. We’ve facilitated Create/Debate groups in Peoria (really) and Paris. The format is flexible (you can even sit in the room with the Creators and Debaters and ask them questions, if you’d like) The results are always illuminating, inspiring and surprising.