The following blog post was written by Josh Elander, Research Associate at RMS.

Two Different Approaches for Consumer Product Feedback

A manufacturer recently partnered with RMS to conduct research on two separate flooring products. The key objectives of the research were to obtain feedback on new product prototypes, as well as learn more from consumers about the overall decision-making process for each product.

Approach: Research was conducted in key markets across the United States. Syracuse, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles were selected to represent East Coast, Midwest, and West Coast consumers. The RMS team worked with the client to design a customized research approach for each of the two products.

Focus Groups: For the first product (luxury flooring), focus groups were conducted in each market to gather consumer insight on the flooring purchase process as well as the manufacturer’s own products. These groups discussed the extensive process of researching, buying, and installing flooring. Consumers also handled flooring samples and provided detailed feedback, including the perceived benefits and purpose of each product type.

Intercept Interviews: For the second product (a flooring mat), RMS conducted intercept surveys at malls in all three markets. Given that this type of product is much more of an impulse purchase, there was an advantage to conducting short (3 to 5 minutes) interviews with consumers. The interviews obtained initial product perception by potential consumers, including likelihood to purchase and feedback on various product design options. The interviews also determined what sizes consumers would likely purchase, and what rooms they would place the product in.

Results: Ultimately, both approaches obtained essential feedback from real customers. The focus groups and intercept surveys collected a wide range of important information for the client, including:

  • Perception of the client’s products, and competitor products
  • Consumer insight into the buying process
  • Feedback on product prototypes
  • Product features and their role in the buying process
  • The effectiveness of marketing buzzwords for in-store displays and packaging

With this information, the client is ultimately able make informed decisions and determine the appropriate next steps for marketing and distributing each product.

If you’re interested in partnering with RMS on a consumer research project, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at or by calling 1-866-567-5422.