"Let's put together a few focus groups, show them the names, see what they think, and then we'll know which name to choose."
Sound like a good idea? Not always. When in the throes of selecting a new name, soliciting consumer feedback may seem like a great way to take ambiguity out of the process. Many marketers, uncertain about whether or not to change the company name or unable to decide among new brand name candidates, assume that focus groups will be a quick and easy solution to their dilemma. But that may not always be the case.
So before you settle down behind the one-way mirror, it is wise to stop and ask yourself, what is it I really need to learn, where are my information gaps? Do you need a disaster check on decisions made by management? Do you need help "selling up" a new idea? Do you need to gauge target market interest in a new product or service? Or do you need help deciding which new name candidate to select?
The answers to these questions are crucial because clearly defining what it is you need to accomplish with research will determine what type of research, if any, you should undertake to arrive at the right name solution.
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