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Your focus groups and surveys are lying to you

Your focus groups and surveys are lying to you Dan Hill
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Market research ignores true human nature


Ninety percent of human decisions are made from an emotional level, but 90 percent of market research is conducted using logic, rationality, and cognitive filtering. If you're entering the market research phase with a binder full of logical questions, you're not tapping into the core of what really matters to consumers.


Focus groups don't measure "contempt"


Contempt is the strongest emotion a consumer elicits. If they don't like or respect you, they're not going to buy from you. Contempt is universally shown on the face, but is not measured in most consumer studies and focus groups. Here's why this should change.


Surveys turn the participant into data providing zombies


When a consumer is given a few bucks to conduct a survey, you're fooling yourself if you think that's enough incentive for them to actually be engaged. Surveys are not valuable if you're trying to draw meaningful conclusions.


People are not going to be 100 percent honest with you in front of strangers


Focus groups are highly susceptible to groupthink. Gathering people together for a focus group is a step in the right direction, but those sessions usually turn into a series of raised hands and casual social interactions. In a large group, people tend to ignore their own feelings and go with the masses.


Just because they know your brand doesn't mean they like you


While a high score in awareness is great, it does not mean you've succeeded. American Airlines has great brand awareness, but people generally don't like them. You need to measure the emotions behind your brand's mass recognition.


A little personality goes a long way


People are not robots. If your brand is more concerned with checking off boxes for benchmarks, you may be ignoring the most important thing: brand personality. Give your brand a personality that people like and you'll tap into the consumer's heart, not just their head.


Dan Hill is a recognized authority on the role of emotions in consumer and employee behavior, with more than a decade of experience running his science-based emotional insights consultancy, Sensory Logic, Inc. One of the company's unique research...

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