Raise the Woof: Online Focus Group’s for Fido

As we slip into the final weeks of 2020, and prepare for the holiday season once again, one thing has become clear. Digital qualitative research has become all the rage this year. In a time when the pandemic has changed the way we live and work, market researchers have had to find alternatives to in-person focus groups. The answer… online focus groups. Digital research has become so popular this year that even dogs are getting in on it.

Wait…. Did that just say dogs?

Yup. It did. You read that right.

Just in time for the 2020 holiday season, Tails.com, a dog food company, has released a Christmas song for our canine best friends. The song was reportedly created based on scientific research into the ways dogs interact with and react to sound. Animal behaviorists also weighed in to make sure the sounds included in the song elicit positive reactions.

Now comes the part that caught my attention most, as a qualitative researcher. According to Tails.com, the song was created with the help of 25 dogs through a digital focus group. These dogs were played more than 500 sounds, and their responses were analyzed to identify the sounds that elicited the best responses.

“Signs that dogs are enjoying the track include alertness, trying to discover where the sounds are coming from, head cocking, or moving their ears to get a better listen, as well as tails wagging,” the company said in a press release.

While market research with dog owners – both in person and digital – is common, market research with the dogs themselves is quite unprecedented. Taking this a step further, Tails.com actually created a song that considers dogs’ preferences and behaviors, and dare I say it…. needs. This is not just reactive research, but an example of proactive a co-creation initiative. With dogs. In a digital environment. Now, recall that my company, KLC, specializes in online insights communities and co-creation. My head is spinning!

My 2021 New Year’s resolution is to land us a co-creation community for dogs.