Rheingold consumerClinic - Private Treatment to Better Understand Target Groups
Heinz Grüne describes one of rheingold's popular stakeholder workshops, the consumerClinic.

By Heinz Grüne

In order to get closer to consumers,increasing numbers of clients are demanding more creativity and ever more innovativeapproaches from the market research industry. In order to thoroughly understand your target audience and competitors, you needto be resourceful and prepared to try out new things.
With this in mind, rheingold has been providing consumer clinicsfor several years now. As a market research instrument, clinics allow us to getcloser to consumers, creating more intimacy and providing more authentic insightsand findings.

The Methodology
rheingold consumerClinics are essentiallyconclaves. Participants include consumers from the target groups (one orseveral brands from one product category), client and agency, as well as two orthree rheingold staff members. Totalling about 20people, clinics meet for a day and a half under relaxed, “work-remote”conditions. Activities are modular and involve: discussion groups, challenges,relaxing play-focused sessions, creative parts or simply “observed hanging out”.Roles are not completely fixed. Also clients and agency staff areinvolved in the program. The key is not primarily to achieve a 'good' or 'correct'result, but to witness the process: How do the respective respondents deal witha specific issue? What kind of solutions and suggestions do they come up with?And how does the group resolve conflicts etc.?

As in life generally,things that happen ‘between the lines’ or ‘behind the scenes’ often prove to bevery revealing. What goes wrong andwhy? What works completely unexpectedly? Dofactions form and who complains, praises, flirts or sabotages? And about what? Everyinterpersonal aspect is ‘harvested’ and evaluated from a market-focussed psychologicalperspective. The conclusions obtained can be used for various areas ofthe marketing mix. Product design, packaging, communication, above and belowthe line activities etc. can be related and adapted wonderfully to theseinsights and findings.

Therefore, the aim isto comprehensively identify at a very top level psychological profiles andfeatures thatare related to a particular market segment, target group and/or specific brandusage. Since we usually do not start from scratch we can employ existinghypotheses which get confirmed, rejected or modified during the course of theclinic or evaluation!
This being said, we strive to achieve comprehensive, psychologicalrepresentativeness!
This represents the most comprehensive psychologicalunderstanding of the target group’s actions, attitudes and preferences - bothin relation to its own structure as well as its use of products and brands.

The approach produceshigh validity: Resultsrepresent very robust learnings, statements and conclusions, and thus insightsinto the lived reality of the persons concerned and the target group theyrepresent.

© 2015 rheingold