Getting feedback from your clients' customers?

I’m thinking in terms of logo / visual identity design but I suppose this could be asked about any kind of design project.

Part of me thinks it could be a good idea to involve my clients’ customers in the design process seeing as they are the target audience afterall, but I feel it could really complicate things and result in a ‘too many cooks’ kind of situation.

What does everyone else think?

Depends on the scope of the project.
Focus Groups are a thing. They can be helpful.
But they are often not in the budget.

And you should know who they are in every sense possible. It would be one thing to survey them in some way, but direct involvement “in the design process,” smells a bit unlikely to be a productive endeavor. Plus, while a client’s current customers are an important group to identify and analyze, it may be more important for brand-boosting measures to account for and target untapped market segments.

And sometimes the opposite!! Entirely depends on how they were selected.

On large projects, we’ve often contracted with companies that set up focus groups and did various kinds of surveys. It wasn’t cheap, though.

They were always enlightening and entertaining. Quite often clients would argue with us over the directions we wanted to go with various projects. I was always fun to have the company CEOs and VPs sit with us behind the two-way mirrors and listen while the anonymous participants made totally unguarded comments about the company and its products that made the CEOs cringe — especially when those comments backed up what we were already telling them.

Short of this kind of research, though, as contracted designers, we typically have distance from the company that those in the company don’t have. In other words, we should all be able to place ourselves in the position of the target audience and look at what we’re doing from their perspectives instead of from the eyes of those inside the company. It’s not a perfect substitute for getting relevant information directly from those people, but sometimes that and a bit of good, solid research is the best that the budget permits.

It also depends on the skill of the person conducting the sessions to get relevant and unbiased information from the participants without them even knowing what is being evaluated. I’ve really been impressed with the talent of those we used.

Focus groups reminds me of what happens round these parts ha ha

Thanks for the replies, I think I can happily leave out focus groups for the time being then until I get some bigger budgets :smile:

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