Putting the ‘Focus’ in FOCUS groups: What an experience!

Putting the ‘Focus’ in FOCUS groups: What an experience!

FOCUS GROUP 1                                                   DATE:            16/05/12

                                                                                 TIME:             12:00

PLACE:         Pneukleus Gap-year Academy, Somerset West

Number of Participants/ subjects:  8

Title: Charity Organization to charity brand-  Qualitative research into the importance of brand orientation in the charity sector


  1. Welcome – Introduction and short background on researcher
  2. Short summary on what study is about, their role in the research (assist the Institute in attracting a younger donor market  through successful use of brand management – thus need their input for this to be possible
  3. Please write name, age, previous donating experience on paper, will stay anon.
  4. Sign inform consent form
  5. Inform subjects that whole session will be tape-recorded and transcribed for research purposes


1.   Broader definition Questions:  Brands, branding, ‘brand-speak’


  • Defining the term ‘brand’:  How would you define the term in your own words and according to your own personal experience?
  • What do you understand under the concept of a ‘brand’ and ‘branding’?
  • How important would you regard an organization’s ‘brand’ to be today if it wants to survive in a competitive market environment?
  • In the commercial sector, how often do you choose to spend money on a branded product rather than an unbranded or ‘No Name’ one?
  • Do you feel the whole concept of branding are more important to your generation than to, lets say your parents? WHY?
  • For you, what are the most important elements a brand should have in order for you to either buy it or be interested in it. What should it have for you to stand out, to be recognized



–       what or which charity organizations (either international or local) are you most familiar with / know the most about (eg. WWF, Red cross, SPCA,)

–       Why these charities? What do you think are the reasons you know about them or are familiar with their practices?

–       How do you feel about charities which depends on the generosity and donations of others that spends money on Marketing or ‘branding’? do you feel its unethical or necessary for its survival?

–       As a young person, what do you want to know about a specific charity before you would consider to donate either time or money? what attracts you the most?

–       The institute for the Blind does not have any donors or donations made by people under the age of 40.  What do you think are the main reasons why donating to charities are reserved for ‘older people’? why do most charities greatly target the older generation for funds and volunteering?

–       What would you like to see a charity do or implement for you and your generation to actually think about donating? what are they lacking to make it easier for young people to donate in general?

2.   Specific application questions: Institute for the Blind in the Media (Kwela DVD)

–       As a young person, how did you experience the clip? Did it speak to you, did it capture your attention?

–       After watching the promotional dvd, what would you say does the institute for the blind stand for? For you, what are the main characteristics it portrays?


–       After striving to define the term ‘brand’, to what extent do you consider the organization to be a ‘charity brand’?

–       To what extent would you say does the organization have a certain ‘brand personality / image’? what is this personality?

–       Would you say this specific ‘image’ / personality appeals to your age group and generation which will convince them to donate money or time to the institute?

–       When you saw the logo (blue man walking with cane) of the Institute on the clip, did you immediately connect it with the Institute, did you recognize the logo at all after visiting the Institute earlier this year?

–           SHOW LOGO – do you feel that the logo has the characteristics of a striking brand image? How do you feel when you see the logo- is it strong enough?  do you think its an effective logo? what kind of logo’s do young       people find more ‘cool’ / attractive?

–       After exploring and visiting the Institute’s recently opened ‘Fossil Trail’ – do you think that defines and assists the Institute’s ‘brand’ at all?

–       Will this new branch of the institute attract a younger audience / donor segment?

  • After watching the clip, would you run to donate your pocket money to the Institute?  If not, what could they have done differently or more effectively to appeal more to YOU?
  • Do you feel that the organization’s ‘brand’ communicates a ‘limited picture’ and clear message of the organization’s mission / vision and what it stands for?
  • Do you feel that the organization would greatly benefit from a re-branding campaign with a definite and clear ‘brand’ at the center of the organization is created if the resources were available?  
  • Most crucial and fastest starting point at this moment in the organization to successfully move away from simply being a charity organization to becoming a charity brand to attract a younger donor base?

Any questions or recommendations to the Institute to help them build their brand?

Thank you for your time and effort!

Mia du Bois

082 9229 104


About kieks

Who am I...? well, firstly, at 22 it's still not so easy to answer this supposedly simple question. I'm a different person today than I was a year, or even 6 months ago. Maybe tomorrow I fall in love, meet a new friend, be part of a miracle, experience a tradegy or listen to an inspirational song and see things differently than I do today... But at this moment in time, in a nutshell I would say that I'm completely content. What can you say about yourself that would make you more special, or any different than the person sitting next to you, except for your height, hair colour and shoe size..what makes ME different? extraordinary? unusual? exceptional? The answer lies deep, deep down to the furthest and yet unreached bottom of my soul - a place still waiting to be fully discovered, explored and exploited... the quest to find that piece of extraodinariness is a long and tough yourney of its own, for some (better) days the answer floats up to the surface and glows for a while in the life's sunlight...other days that same glistering confidence of yesterday seems to sink away to a place where it's light is almost impossible to see...About myself? Who am I? I am the girl who, inspite of stormy seas, believes that, by letting your extraordinariness float on the surface you see the light reflect on the faces of those who look at you...

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