Panels have become extremely popular recently and they can be very valuable, but you need to be careful to avoid their potential shortcomings: all those professional respondents making up answers, respondent fatigue, and so on.
There is a lot of faux science surrounding panels. At it’s simplest a panel is nothing more than a list of people who commit to answering questions relevant to them from time to time, usually, but not always, online.
In our view specialist panels are better than generalist ones (where an old fashioned Tracking Study, bespoke quant. or an Omnibus can often be better options.) Specialist panels can be recruited more precisely to avoid professional respondents (by, for example, using recruitment questions that require demonstration of specific subject knowledge) and respondents tire less quickly, as they are dealing with an interest.
Panels can vary in size. We run one with 140,000 respondents and ran another, short term panel with 240 respondents in Central London.
We have five syndicated specialist panels
- Luxury goods
- UK cultural consumers (Find out more here)
- International cultural consumers
- Investment products
We also create bespoke panels for clients. For example we have created a panel of opinion leading spirits drinkers for an international drinks company and a panel of people who play team sports for a confectionery manufacturer.
Our panels typically comprise three components
A core, continuous element: Regular online contact that allow attitudes and behaviours to be tracked over time.
A flexible element within the above questionnaire in which particular current issues can be investigated, e.g. response to planned promotions, product ideas, perception of current exhibitions, books recently released, investment funds recently launched, or awareness of a premium sponsorship.
A completely bespoke element, either quantitatively or, where a qualitative perspective is required. For instance people on the panel can be recruited into qualitative groups or participate in an online forum or a telephone interview.
Frequency and customisation
The five syndicated specialist panels run bi monthly as standard but the panel can be contacted on other occasions if required. For example a museum was recently running an exhibition and attendance numbers were disappointing. We contacted a cell of the panel and had the answer to the clients questions within 48 hours.
All our panels allow respondents to be identified into client’s segmentations and include broad lifestyle statements and also allow cross analysis.
For example, on the premium panel, if a respondent has an affinity for brands of one type in one category then the brand types they consume in other categories can be identified. (If they drink spirits brand X, we can identify which clothing brands they like, which media they consume, which cars they aspire to and so on) It provides more specific, more leading edge and more contemporary information than the more generalist, well known sources. For most clients we suggest our panels and generalist sources are used in combination.
You can buy into the panel on an annual basis, in which case there will be a monthly fee of a few hundred pounds, or you can buy in on an ad hoc basis, which will be costed depending on the task, but is likely to be single figure thousands of pounds.
To find out more go here
Examples of our work
(Click on the image to find out more)
Nestle impress us. Of the multinational FMCG businesses it is the most flexible and adaptable, maybe along with Pernod-Ricard.
We were appointed to identify portfolio priorities and define key brand propositions.
Stella Artois has long been one of Britain’s most successful beer brands. But it hasn’t always been plane sailing. It has gone through several periods of decline.
We got involved during the last one. A repositioning was planned. The ad agency wasn’t sure that was right. They suggested we have a look.
About the title image:
The French House pub at the bottom end of Dean St is a Soho institution. Originally called the York Minster it’s name was changed because after the fall of France in World War II, General Charles de Gaulle escaped to London where he formed the Free French Forces. His speech rallying the French people, “À tous les Français” was written here (if you can rally an occupied nation from the comfort and safety of a pub in another, unoccupied, nation!)
The French House has always been popular with writers and artists: Dylan Thomas left the manuscript for ‘Under Milk Wood’ under a chair and regulars have included Francis Bacon, Lucien Freud, Augustus John and John Mortimer.
It sells more Ricard than anywhere else in Britain and it only sells beer in halves, except on April 1st, when it has become a tradition that Suggs pulls the first pint.