More Focus Groups Please

Now there’s a headline that would have Steve Jobs rolling in his grave.

Around Apple HQ in Cupertino, it was never exactly a big secret that Jobs never thought too highly of the ol’ focus group, instead decreeing it a process that roughly amounted to putting creativity on trial and that “people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

Of course, that’s not to say that focus groups don’t serve a purpose, but as Jobs would agree they’re no substitute for well-conducted market research and good ol’ fashioned quality innovation. But, if you’re wary of taking my word for it, consider this—even the inventor of the focus group agrees.

“Even when the subjects are well selected, focus groups are supposed to be merely the source of ideas that need to be researched.” —American Sociologist, Robert K. Merton

But, what about when focus groups go from informing advertising decisions to actually serving as a medium for advertising itself? Well, as Chevrolet shows us, brilliance.