Market Research – Let the Market Decide?

Online Market Research

How many products do you hear of which sound like a no-brainer but don’t work?  And vice versa, products which you think will never fly only to become a runaway success?

The reason is that no one person or organisation or focus group knows exactly what will happen when a new product or service is launched into the marketplace.

This doesn’t mean that it’s useless to gain opinions on the merits of a particular product or service during the development process but it’s far from foolproof.  One of the reasons for this is the mindset of the person being asked for their opinion.  In a focus group for example, participants may be wary about the product or service they try because they know they are going to be sold to and although they have signed up to provide their opinon, they are there participating because they are being paid. Within a business, there maybe reluctance to admit that an idea that has been worked on and developed for a year is in fact a dud.

Compare this to the feedback gathered from customers who have entered your online or bricks and mortar store to enquire about whether you stock a particular product.  They have entered your store willingly, without compensation and told you exactly what they want.  How valuable and straight forward is that?

I read recently how kikkiK staff gather all customer suggestions from their retail outlets and place that data on an intranet and then use it to fuel their new product development.  This is a great strategy.

The same can be done online with data entered into the search box.  The keywords used in a site search indicate what a customer is looking for and what they can’t immediately find through your existing navigation.  So it not only provides feedback on what customers want but also highlights what isn’t working on your existing navigation setup.

How do you develop new products?