Hypnotism Helps Eliminate Focus Group "Group Think'
Writing in Brandweek, Kenneth Hein takes a look at Ero RSCG's use of hypnotism in focus groups for client Volvo. Following a test drive, focus group members were hypnotized with the goal of obtaining their true reactions to the car versus the usually clouded opinions offered by most focus group members.
So what did Volvo find out? Their cars make people feel middle-aged and a bit suffocating. New York's Brandvisioning is the company that hosted the hypnotized focus group and has been doing similar hypnotism-based work for ten years. Many brands have engaged in hypnotized focus groups over the years and for good reason, a hypnotized person is usually more forthcoming than their conscious self.
Others aren't so fond of the practice. Reason Consultancy Partner Marc Babej said, "I have a particular venom for this area. These subconscious attitudes have little to do with purchase decisions. Most consumers navigate the marketplace based on the tangible benefits of the product."
But if hypnotism offers up a bit of good old honesty about a brand, isn't that a good thing?