Fluency Research Group


Whether it is in-person or online, Fluency provides a full range of qualitative services. Read below how we utilize different group configurations to meet the needs of our clients.

Focus Groups

Focus groups have long been a sort of generic term for qualitative research. “Let’s do some groups” is often just another way of asking to speak and interact with consumers directly. The use of traditional 8-10 person focus groups seems to on the decline as researchers are more carefully choosing composition and respondent numbers of their “groups.” That being said, full 8-10 person groups do serve a purpose. They are ideal when a broad look at a market, product or category is needed. Skilled moderators can help reduce the likelihood of group think that is risk for larger groups, however it is difficult to obtain great depth of information during large group discussions. Going into depth with a few respondents can sometimes lead to some boredom and disinterest among other respondents so keeping things at a relatively high level gives all respondents a chance to participate and keeps them engaged.


Mini-groups are a great alternative to full groups. Consisting of 5-6 respondents, mini-groups allow clients to observe a good number of people and can also provide more depth of discussion. Mini-groups are also a better alternative when groups will involve projective techniques or extensive flip-chart/white board work. The smaller group size allows respondetns to share exercises in some depth without other respondents having to wait too long to share and begin to loose interest.


3-on-1 groups are often used when more focus on a particular detail of a product, service, concept or positioning is needed.Triads allow for some sharing of ideas and building of ideas among respondents, but when looking at stimuli or giving specific feedback on a product or service, a triad begins to resemble three 1-on-1 interviews. This allows for the depth of response one would achieve with a 1-on-1 interview, but the groups are more time and cost efficient as 3 times the number respondents can be seen in essentially the same amount of time.


2-on-1’s are not used extensively in consumer work as they can set up a poor respondent experience by seeming to pit one respondent against another when providing views or feedback. Use of dyads in joint interviewing (parent/child, couples, supplier/customer) can be informative when the objectives dictate their use.


One-on-one interviews, like the term “focus groups,” have often come to mean “we need depth and individual insight.” While IDI’s do provide the means to gain focus and depth in an interview, other techniques can provide for this as well. IDI’s are best used when it is important to limit any outside influence on the respondent. This is most important in areas like usability testing, laddering, food prototype testing or in categories that are sensitive in nature (personal care, financial services, health). The key moderating challenge is making the respondent feel comfortable in the one-on-one environment and ensuring the respondent is giving honest opinions, not modifying response to please the interviewer.