The following blog post was written by Sara Cruz, Research Associate at RMS.

What do many multi-million or multi-billion companies have in common?

They truly know and understand their ideal customer. They see the value in learning everything possible about what they like, don’t like, want, don’t want, as well as their struggles, preferences, and opinions. They listen to their customer and allow the voice of their customer (VoC) to influence business decisions regarding past, present, and future products and services.

How could they possibly know everything about their customer?

Simple. They ask the right questions to the right people through several ways—including focus groups.

According to Entrepreneur, (https://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/market-research) market research is the process of gathering, analyzing, and interpreting information about a market, about a product or service to be offered for sale in that market, and about the past, present, and potential customers for the product or service; research into the characteristics, spending habits, location and needs of your business’s target market, the industry as a whole and the particular competitors you face.

When you ask the right questions, listen, and adjust according to your market, you are more likely to experience increased success in the marketplace, ultimately increasing your bottom line.

Allow me to share some statistics with you about the growth of Nike and Disney over the last decade:

Ten years ago, February 2009, Nike (https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/NKE/nike/net-worth) was worth around $18 billion, while February 2019 Nike is roughly worth $133 billion. Disney’s (https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/DIS/disney/net-worth) net worth in February 2009 was around $32 billion, while February 2019 Disney’s net worth is around $166 billion.

Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Now, I am unable to comment on the entire business plan of Nike or Disney, but I do know the use of focus groups is commonly used with large companies, including Nike (https://www.forbes.com/sites/gregpetro/2016/07/08/nike-just-does-it-keeping-an-eye-on-the-customer/#1b4f396d56da), and Disney (http://blogmickey.com/2017/01/disney-using-wonders-life-pavilion-guest-focus-groups/) to gain valuable insight about their customers wants, needs, preferences, and opinions.

As discussed early, companies use the information learned from focus groups to influence business decisions regarding past, present, and future products and services. They are always striving to give their customers what they want, after all, sales are based on the simple concept of supply and demand. When customers want or need a product or service, they are more likely to buy.

Do you think Nike would spend millions on product development, manufacturing, and marketing on every idea for a pair of new sneakers? Absolutely not! They test the market before investing on a large scale into a new product.

Do you think Disney would create a new ride without the opinion of their loyal customers? Absolutely not! They test the market before investing on a large scale as well.

The good news is, you don’t have to be a multi-billion-dollar company to benefit from market research. No matter what size your company is, no matter what product(s) or service(s) you offer, here at Research & Marketing Strategies we can help you benefit from the knowledge acquired through market research, such as focus group’s guided discussion, surveys, mystery shopping, or in-depth interviews with your ideal customer.

So, ready to be like Nike? You can! Contact us to talk about how utilizing a market research project can change the trajectory of your business. Just do it!

Interested in joining a focus group panel to share your thoughts on certain products and services? We’ve got you covered there, too! The RMS ViewPoint Research Panel is made up of people like you— consumers who have the ability to influence the decisions of local, regional, and global organizations by sharing their point of view. And it’s free to participate. In fact, earn cash when you DO partake in a focus group or research study. Sign up and learn more here!


RMS is a full-service market research firm located near Syracuse, New York. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Vice President of Corporate Development at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 315.635.9802.