Innovation Services

Online Research Communities

What are Online Research Communities

Online Research Communities (ORCs) or Market Research Online Communities (MROCs) are closed platforms where selected users meet to discuss topics and take part in various research-related tasks. The activities are moderated by researchers and the platform enables these researchers to use a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods to uncover insights from users. These users are recruited to fit certain target criteria. If you’ve ever wished that you could go back to a participant and ask more of them a few days later, ORCs are the right tool for you.

Explore Opportunities

Test Ideas

Understand customers

Collect Feedback

Throughout your online research community project, you will learn plenty about your customers needs and wants. Therefore, this is the perfect playground to explore innovation opportunities by identifying consumer insights, needs, wishes and concerns.

Benefits of an Online Research Community

Crowdsourcing and open innovation community

24/7 access to participants and their comments

Users can log in day and night, from different time zones and geographies

Activities are left open for several days

Observer accounts allow clients to access the community 24/7

Ideation process

Larger number of participants than in-person methods

Number of active participants per community range from 30 to 150

Enable one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-many interactions

Direct feedback channel for innovation projects

Explore needs at the start of your project

Gather ideas from participants

Test concepts & prototypes with online users

Ideal in a HYVE Lab context

Reflected feedback over longer periods of time

Daily, weekly, monthly contact with users

Content shared by users include personal stories & anecdotes, impressions on trying out new products & services, and reflections on images and thoughts they have previously shared with us

How does an Online Research Community work?

Research Design

~ 3 weeks

  • Deriving research questions from your brief
  • Developing an activity plan and discussion guidelines, including stimulus design and translation (if required)
  • Setting a vision for your community

Product development sprints


~ 3 weeks

  • Finding motivated, creative consumers who meet your selection criteria
  • Selecting and inviting participants to join
  • Creating an incentive strategy to reward their participation

Communication clipart

ORC Setup

~ 1 week

  • Conceptualizing and developing the look and feel of your community
  • Selecting and implementing research and co-creation modules
  • Setting up and testing the site before launch

Finding use cases for existing technologies through crowdsourcing

Live Phase

Minimum 1 week

  • Activating and building relationships with participants
  • Expertly moderating the online activities
  • Encouraging consumers’ continuous feedback and documentation of their experiences

Stakeholder Management

Insight Generation

~ 2 weeks

  • Qualitative and quantitative analysis of multiple sources of data
  • Aggregation and interpretation of findings
  • Combination of insights to derive actionable recommendations

Community Management

Choose from different formats of Online Research Communities

Research Sprint

5-10 days

Best for short ideation, concept testing, backing up assumptions

Short time frame best suited to busy target groups

But mostly quick reads, scratching the surface, checking assumptions

Project-based Research Community

1-5 months

Best for one specific part of your project (e.g. exploration, concept testing, idea refinement)

Medium time frame best suited to diary tasks, tracking journeys

But no continuity throughout the innovation process or your firm’s project

Multi-topic Research Community

6+ months

Best for online innovation projects (from start to finish), taking the pulse of consumers on various topics, quick checks, and deeper dives

Longer time frame best suited to ongoing research, brand tracking, or advisory boards

But requires longer-term commitment from your team

Why HYVE is the right partner for you

We are an innovation agency so we can use your online research community to fuel or support larger innovation projects within your company, or a HYVE Innovation Lab.

We have a wide range of research methods that can complement your community (and again, we do them all in-house). Our experienced and multi-lingual moderators take care of research design, moderation & analysis.

We can adapt the look & feel of the community to your company CI, design unique stimulus to engage participants, and create impactful outputs to share within your organisation & get internal buy-in.

We are platform-agnostic: we host your community on the platform that best suits your needs. Each platform comes with a wide range of activity types and new modules can be developed upon request. Tech support is provided.

Aurelie Jamard von HYVE über ORCs

These companies trust HYVE when it comes to Online Research Communities

BMW logo
Unilever logo
Beiersdorf logo
abbvie logo

Are you interested in Online Research Communities?