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Expressive Techniques


Respondents here are asked to project their inner feelings and express them outwards by translating them into another modality like paper, 3d models, acting, etc. Usage of such techniques is time consuming but can be quite stimulating.

Examples of these would include Role-Play, Clay modeling, Court room drama, Split personality, Market plays, Life on a camera, Visual technique (mood boards, collage making, etc), psycho drawings etc

Role play: As the name suggests it is a projective technique wherein the respondents are assigned roles and asked to play someone else (that could either be a brand or someone related to it) while enacting a relevant/ provocative situation that is weaved by our researcher. Role play is worth introducing into focus groups for several reasons. Valuable insights can be gleaned from studying the specific language used by respondents as they re-enact relevant situations and moments of truth. It allows the ‘role players’ to express opinions, but one can derive maximum value only is the other members of the group also react and respond to the role-play.

Courtroom drama: The ‘courtroom drama’ projective technique is often used by us when using focus groups to conduct concept testing and creative development projects. Respondents are asked to break into teams and form a ‘case for’ or ‘case against’ the client preceding with one or more concepts or service improvements. Various interesting twists can be added. For example, taking respondents and asking them to ‘defend the indefensible’ by arguing the case for concepts that they were initially critical of. Teams can be constructed to balance the views of respondents that are more opinionated and vociferous in their views.

Split Personality: Participants in a group are divided into two teams, wherein each team uses collage making to expresses nuances (about a schizophrenic person, who has split personality).

Especially useful in bringing out contrasts in brand personalities, when the brands in the category are very similar to each other. Through semiotic decoding, one takes out stark points of differences between two ‘close’ brands. It is a superior technique than a simple personification exercise.

Market-plays technique is used to demonstrate and better understand dynamics of: