Focus groups are used in traditional market research to gather opinions and feedback from a target group about a product, service or concept. A focus group usually consists of 6-10 people that are representative of the target group.
A company may use a focus group to gather customer feedback on a new product or service before they decide to take the concept into development.
Focus groups have come under some criticism because of the risk of ‘group think’, where some participants will dominate the discussion and others will feel under pressure to conform.
Another risk: what people say they do is often very different from what people actually do, therefore reliance upon focus groups alone can be misleading when trying to uncover true customer behaviour.