Online Forum Research

Online forums from The Brand Nursery are a research approach that has been extremely beneficial to brand owners to give them an overall better understanding of their brand.

We have used this approach extensively at The Brand Nursery as it delivers ‘real-time’ research insights that can help brand owners to better understand their marketplace, their competitors and the way in which their brands are perceived.

In these rapidly changing times, where consumer attitudes can quickly evolve, and new competitors can shift market dynamics, this research approach can be invaluable to brand owners to help them craft new opportunities.


Our belief is that a qualitative online forum is a methodology that offers a huge number of benefits over other more traditional research programmes;

30 respondents

It will typically involve about 30 respondents who are recruited against agreed criteria to ensure that they represent your target audience. There are no restrictions on geography, so they can be sourced from any part of the country. Within the sample we can include specific sub-groups (eg; consumers of specific brands or product variants, shoppers of specific stores etc) – it can therefore be tailored to meet your precise audience needs.

14 days

The forum can run for up to 14 days – this extended time period enables us to investigate a wide spectrum of research issues within a single study, effectively covering what would require 3-4 separate studies using a combination of more traditional focus groups, accompanied shop interviews and ethnographic research.

Understanding consumers

Typically, this means we can begin by understanding how consumers buy and use products within your category and their attitudes towards products, brands and retailers. We can understand their thought processes at the fixture and identify the key motivators for purchase. We can then prompt them with stimulus to reflect your brand proposition, product range, packaging and/or proposed communications platforms to understand the strength and nature of your brand’s appeal. We can even ship product out to respondents for them to try within their household environment during the course of the study.

React & adjust

Because of the extended period of the forum we are also able to react and adjust to the responses we receive – if any part of the brand offering isn’t working for consumers it can be amended and new stimulus can be introduced. If issues or questions arise during the course of the study then we can quickly introduce them into the research. The agenda for the forum is completely flexible.

We can use any visual stimulus that will help meet the study’s objectives – fixture images, packaging visuals, advertising concepts, video etc. We can also encourage respondents to post their own photos or videos to show how they use the products.

Client observation

As the client you will be able to log into the forum at any point to effectively ‘observe’ the study – it is a completely transparent methodology. This means that, from the comfort of your office or home, you can have immediate feedback on consumer responses, and the ability to (via the moderator) probe on any issues that emerge.

Significantly cheaper

Finally, but perhaps most importantly, the cost of undertaking this kind of study is significantly cheaper than combining more conventional methodologies. We estimate that this is around a third of the cost of delivering a similarly comprehensive market opportunity study via other separate methodologies that would be required to deliver a similar breadth and depth of insight.

If you’d like to know more or want to arrange an online forum, we’d love to hear from you.