We're fascinated by research.
Trying to see something from someone else's perspective is always a fascinating challenge.
When we look back on many years of focus group research, two very different projects come to mind - How students choose their university, and how middle aged women choose their milk.
So how do students choose their university?
We took a sample of ten year 11 and 12 students (males, females and students from Non-English Speaking Backgrounds), to McDonald's to find out.
One and a half hours, 30 potato wedges, 25 ketchup packets, 12 cheeseburgers, countless cokes and 2 cappuccinos later we discovered that students:
- look for courses that match their existing interests
- will only do courses that give them an outcome e.g. profession, $$$$, lifestyle
- use the internet as their key information source
- can eat the fat intake of an entire nation and stay skinny!
Not quite the scenario for middle aged women.
And how do middle aged women choose their milk?
We began with a good sample – six focus groups - a mix of age, gender, household structure (e.g. family with children, single person etc), and residential area.
As you might imagine, price, flavour, habit, length of use-by-date, the appearance of the milk, and the appearance and coldness of the milk container, were key factors influencing participants' milk purchasing decisions.
When it came to how middle aged women, however, there was a surprise factor – the milkman. Yes many a woman liked to have a milkman deliver their milk.
They would lie in their beds listening to the sound of the milkman clink his milk bottles as he jogged to the front door in his tight white stubbies and old Dunlop volleys. And they remembered the generations of women before them who had also lain on a bed listening for that early morning clink.
Ah, the romance of milk!