I was called to do a focus group on rum and had to answer a ton of questions about my activity related to liquor products. At the end of the phone call, I was told that I would be contacted before the study to double check my answers. I passed that test as well and went to the study.
Okay. Now for the risk. I don’t really drink a lot of liquor. I have recently due to all my trips and travel, but in general I couldn’t really tell you the difference between different kinds and don’t normally buy it. I know, not cool. But I needed the money and while I don’t buy their product, I do have an understanding of merchandising and have an opinion so what really would it hurt right?
I went in and felt so nervous as I sat down at the table, seeing the double sided mirror that obviously held people judging everything we said and did. Naturally some questions were asked related to rum and rum brands and I stumbled a bit on my words, but made it through and finally settled in once we moved on to the actual ads.
I’m glad I padded my answers slightly because I realized once we started getting to the meat of the group that I had valid things to say and could honestly comment on those ads regardless of my purchasing power. It started out awkward, but eventually turned into something where I felt confident in my thoughts and opinions. I think I got more out of it than I thought I would.