This study consisted of focus group discussions with users of a highly anticipated hand-held device that integrates mobile phone service with access to HTML Internet and music capabilities as well as e-mail, calendar and contact functionality. The primary goal of the study was to understand key purchase drivers for the device as well as to gain a detailed understanding of purchaser profiles and desires.

service: Qualitative
completion date: August 2007

the approach: Pre-screened participants took part in three, in-person focus group discussions over two days. The field of participants was segmented into a broad spectrum of customer categories in order to more accurately reflect a cross section of mobile phone users. Participants were screened to include those who had purchased the device when it became available to the public but were neither loyalists of the particular brand, nor had gone to extraordinary lengths to obtain the device studied.
the results: The study revealed as significant purchase drivers the pre-release media hype and advertising, recommendations from friends and family members, and hands-on access to the product in stores. The primary purchase motivation, however, was the product’s convergent functions of Internet access, e-mail, music and mobile telephony, although the study further clarified that the least motivating of these was the music feature, as many users continued carrying their previous music devices. Targeted discussions further yielded specific and in-depth feedback regarding the extent of brand loyalty, degree of willingness to change mobile service provider in order to use the device studied, degree of price consciousness, and the device features of most/least appeal as well as a detailed critique of all aspects of the device and comparison to similar products. Secondarily, the study highlighted customer perceptions, attributes and descriptors of all brands in the mobile phone market, and clear recommendations for future improvements of the device studied.