Organizations often depend on new product development to stay competitive within an industry. While the process can be challenging, and oftentimes lengthy, new products and services allow organizations to grow and further expand their market reach. In order to ensure the time and cost invested in new product development doesn’t go to waste, it is essential organizations make informed decisions based on actual market opportunity and customer insights. Market research provides project teams with these insights and guides each product development and design activity.
Research captures customer preferences, allows your organization to understand the end-user experience, and prioritizes the “wants” and “needs” of a target audience. Ultimately, conducting market research throughout the product development process is critical to gauging market demand and ensuring that the final product meets the demands of the user. While most market research is typically focused on the end-user, it’s important to note that other stakeholders need to be involved as well.
Exploratory research is a good starting point for any organization. It provides value, even if an organization is in the initial phases of concept testing.
This type of research gives an understanding of current customer satisfaction and provides direction for optimizing and marketing current product/service offerings.
However, the main goal of this research is to understand the general needs of the market and identify new product or service opportunities for your organization.
What questions does exploratory research answer?
– What is the awareness of products available on the market?
– Are customers satisfied with the products available?
– How could products on the market be improved?
– What new products/features is there interest in?
– What are the customer needs? What needs are not being met?
– What type of customer would be most interested in a new product?
– What does the decision-making process for buying the product look like?
After conducting exploratory research (formally or informally), an organization has identified a need within the market and is set to develop a new product that customers will be interested in.
The main goal of new product testing research is to have your target audiences evaluate the new product and ensure that the product meets their needs.
This research will provide insights on changes that must be made before a product is finalized and hits the market. It can also help guide the product launch through marketing insights.
Depending on the complexity of your product, this type of research may need to be re-visited at multiple points throughout the product development process.
Early in the process, you may have a basic concept and idea that you want to test before proceeding. Conduct new product research now!
In a few months, your brand may have more detailed product specifications with renderings or product mock-ups. Again, conduct market research!
Finally, near product design finalization, you may have an actual prototype or final product that the consumer can evaluate and provide feedback on. You guessed it – conduct prototype testing research!
What questions does new concept research answer?
– What do customers like about the concept/product?
– How could the product be improved?
– What would the customer use our product for?
– What features/specifications are the most important?
– How likely would customers be to purchase the product?
– How much would customers pay for this product?
There are a few factors to consider before hitting the ground running. Our new product development research firm outlines these below.
This first step is key. You’ll want to fully discuss and understand several items before you start your IHUTs.
Think about what you want to learn from the research? What are your expectations? What actions will you be taking?
Also, consider who you want to target for product testing? What are their characteristics and demographic information?
How long do you want the participants to test the product? These are all key items that help drive your recruitment screener and process.
The scope is determined by several factors and many of these overlaps with objectives.
Answer questions like…
– Who you want to target?
– How long will the test run?
– What are the steps and instructions involved in the test?
When it comes to product testing you will want to be as specific as possible, especially if you are sending your shipment to participants to test products act home.
For example, let’s say your company is sending a dish detergent to a client and you need them to download an app to log a diary of usage and feedback around the project for the course of 1-month.
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