Focus Group Plan for International Beer Brands

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Pre-Study

Absolute first test-run: Have a party and let people drink what they like and talk about it. We’re talking two batches by that point, and one of them will be highly unrefined. So I think it’s a good idea to just test the waters and find out how people respond in an environment that is totally unstructured, but in which information and discussion are at the forefront.

Focus Group

We get four people together with the moderator. The moderator tells them that he is opening an imported booze bar (never specifies “beer”) and has found a distributor that will let him test samples for free if he carries out these formal studies and reports the results to the distributor. The moderator gives the participants copies of a letter from the distributor explaining that these are drinks from around the world and are from world-class manufacturers. The moderator then presents two questionnaires, one at a time, with the following questions:

Questionnaire 1 (by email, one week before study):
What is your favorite brand of alcoholic beverage and why?
When is your favorite time to drink alcohol and why?
Do you believe that drinking alcohol has health benefits? Please explain. Give an example of a “classy” alcoholic beverage. Who would drink this beverage and why? What kind of alcohol do women prefer?

Questionnaire 2 (day of study):
What is your favorite brand of beer and why?
What is the typical age of a beer drinker in Mumbai?
What nationality would you trust the most to give you advice on new kinds of beer, and why? What are the different kinds of beer, and what makes them different? What kind of food goes well with beer?

In what kind of party or social situation should one never drink beer? What are your criticisms of beer in general?

The questionnaires are collected, and everyone is seated at a table with the moderator. The moderator has been instructed to act appropriately skeptical. He is excited about the prospect of using this distributor...
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