Building Leading-Edge Consumer Community

Online leading-edge consumer forum

Recruiting the right people is essential to get high quality from qualitative user research.

Recently, we increasingly get feedback from leading-edge consumers on potential ideas and prototypes. They offer valuable input to existing and new products contributing innovations. However, recruiting leading-edge consumers requires time and effort.

The Context

An FMCG company wanted to create a consumer community with around 10 – 15 leading-edge Japanese consumers who can objectively and creatively characterize their user experience of beauty care products.

The Challenge

Recruiting “leading-edge” consumers in the limited time

Initially, the definition of “leading-edge” consumers was general. For example, the leading-edge consumers could be beauty freaks. They could be semi-professional beauty editors, too. Therefore, it was ideal for exploring the possible definitions and selecting the best one. However, we had only one month to build the community. Consequently, we needed to come up with the meaning very quickly to start the recruitment.

The Solution Approaches

#1. Translating”leading-edge” into recrutment criteria

Based on understanding the client’s needs, we translated the meaning of “leading-edge” consumers into specific consumer habits and attitudes and set the selection criteria for the respondents’ selections. Finally, we confirmed the recruitment criteria with the client before moving on.

#2. Chain-Referral Recruitment

Of several research agencies for consumer recruitments, we partnered with a recruitment agency specialized in qualitative research. They recruited consumers by chain-referrals (or snowball sampling), which is a time-effective approach to recruit respondents in stringent criteria in a limited time.

#3. Multiple Selection Criteria

After the recruitment, we further screened the candidates by selecting people who described their products’ user experience in clear writing. Then, we interviewed them to check how they can objectively speak about their user experiences. We checked their open-minded, committed, and learning attitudes, too.

The Outcome

We built the leading-edge consumer community in one month. The community has been running smoothly with the high engagement of the members.

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