Proposal:Voice of the Customer: Brand Review

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Every proposal should be tied to one of the strategic priorities below.

Edit this page to help identify the priorities related to this proposal!

  1. Achieve continued growth in readership
  2. Focus on quality content
  3. Increase Participation
  4. Stabilize and improve the infrastructure
  5. Encourage Innovation


Wikipedia must gain a firm understanding of what consumers think of the Wikipedia brand. Before any marketing or strategic planning can take place the organization must know where it currently stands as perceived by customers!


I propose Wikipedia divide its consumer base into broad segments (I assume Wikipedia knows who their market segments are) and then go on a focus group "road show". Conduct focus groups across the customer base. Get verbal and non verbal feedback. Wikipedia needs VOC, Voice of the Customer.

Face to Face focus groups must be used--Internet focus groups may be an option to collect follow up data.


Wikipedia has an opportunity to be a well respected source of information around the globe. However, consumers must believe and be able to rely on the brand. What does it mean now? What should it mean?

Key Questions

1. What do you think of when you think of Wikipedia? 2. What does Wikipedia mean to you? 3. How did you hear of Wikipedia? 4. Do you use Wikipedia? How? 5. Would you recommend Wikipedia to a friend? 6. Would you cite Wikipedia as your source of information (in conversation or in a report) 7. What do your friends think of Wikipedia?

Potential Costs

Focus groups are not inexpensive and should not be done 'ad hoc' to save money. The number of focus groups will depend on the number of segments Wikipedia identifies. Not less than three focus groups per segment is what I recommend. It is difficult to estimate the costs associated with each focus group without knowing more about the segments identified, scope of the study, etc. A very broad estimate ranges from $3000-$6,000 per FG.


  • Steve Richardson. Qualitative research offers marketers myriad options to get at customer truths B to B. Chicago:Sep 15, 2008. Vol. 93,Iss. 12,p.(1 pp.)
  • SPECIAL REPORT - MARKET RESEARCH: It's time to get personal. (2004, June). Marketing Week,P.43-P.44. Retrieved October 28, 2008, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 656023571).
  • Sujoy Bhattacharya, Deepali Singh. 2008. The Emergence of Hierarchy in Customer Perceived Value for Services: A Grounded Analysis. Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge 13, no. 1 (March 1): 65-71.
  • Madeleine Pullman, Kelly McGuire, Charles Cleveland. 2005. Let Me Count the Words: Quantifying Open-Ended Interactions with Guests. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly 46, no. 3.

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