ExxonMobil: People. Energy. Progress

I participated in a market research focus group, focusing on fuel and motor oil, as well as statements from ExxonMobil. The only other time I had been accepted to participte in a focus group, they told me that in the end, they didn’t need me, but compensated me with $50 cash.

This time, I was part of the focus group, along with 6 other people (total of 7 people; 4 females, 3 males; 6 Caucasians, 1 African-American). We started off with the usual introductions, yada yada. We then talked about what gas stations we used (just about everyone used all of them), which ones we used most (whichever was cheapest), and moved on to motor oil (whatever the guys in Jiffy Lube use.

Next, were then given a statement, which was supposed to be backed by additional statements, and were told to give our opinions on it. The whole group proceeded to rip it apart. The statement read something like…Lubricants are essential to human progress. Yeah right.

It’s amazing that a group can talk about statements about energy and fuel for over an hour and no one yawns. I guess we were all thinking about the $75 we’d be getting at te end.

Our last part of the discussion was talking about ExxonMobil and trying out different taglines that go with it, for example, “Making the World go Round,” “Moving Forward,” “Fueling Human Progress,” or “People. Energy. Progress.” We dissected all of the taglines, and I think most people agreed that “People. Energy. Progress.” was the best tagline. Finally, he asked us what was better, “People. Energy. Progress.” or “Taking on the World’s Toughest Energy Challenges.” My comment was that the second line sounded very negative, whereas the first line sounded a lot more positive. The other group members agreed. When I went online to type this up, I checked out ExxonMobil’s website, and saw that their current tagline is “Taking on the World’s Toughest Energy Challenges.” I guess they were checking to make sure that nobody knew their current tagline and wanted to know what we thought about it. Now I’m curious to know if they’re going to change it! 🙂

Anyway, what I thought would be a boring night turned out to be fun, as I got free soda (their sandwiches weren’t kosher, although they sure looked good) and $75 cash. Maybe that’ll pay for half the alcohol I just bought. Thanks AlanLaz for your input, time, and timeliness!


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