The Celebrity Apprentice: Butchering Focus Groups Since 2009


Not that I watch the Celebrity Apprentice (cough, cough), or really expected more, but its scary how much this week's episode butchered the concept of focus groups as they prepared to pitch their ideas for a new graphic novel style mascot for Zappos.com.

Not to go all research snob on you, but at a minimum:

1) They should have had a moderator or at least a discussion guide

2) They should have been talking Zappos customers and prospects, not comic book fans

3) They should have had something to show participants or they should have conducted ideation exercises

Seriously, I shouldn't have expected more. But it irks me when research is so poorly displayed in popular culture. At least they have a better writeup on the value of focus groups on the web site.


Watch for yourself at:

http://www.nbc.com/the-celebrity-apprentice/video/clips/week-2-athenas-focus-group/1053921/



Comments

Jeff McKenna said…
Building on your point about popular culture's view of market research, Seth Godin refers to MR in an off-handed way, as "the survey guys" in the post you reference below. Maybe I am a sensitive market researcher, but he could have referred to them as the "research team".

I know I am harping on the fact that he points to one of the visible (and unpleasant) tasks we do, instead of the value we can provide. Sort of like the difference between a "sewer worker" and an "underground maintenance engineer" (as Ed Norton said on The Honeymooners). Of course, MR always can do a better job of delivering value...

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