01 October 2018
Market research for product testing

Developing new products, or trying to improve existing ones, is vital if you want to take your business to the next level. But how do you know that people will actually buy your new offering?

Gut instinct just won’t cut it. New products and services fail for many reasons, and one of those is if businesses fail to do any up-front research. It’s the only way to get proper insights into your target market and whether they’ll actually buy a new product or service.

From spotting any glaring issues in the seeds of an initial idea right the way through to honing your offering for launch, market research gives your business a systematic process to boost the likelihood of success.

And crucially, because new product and service development is costly in terms of time and resources, it’ll also help you avoid wasting time and money if the evidence suggests your new offering isn’t as good as it could be or, worst of all, won’t cut it in the marketplace.

Let’s look at the two key phases in new product development and testing market research is vital for.

Identifying new opportunities

Exploratory research can help your business generate ideas for new products or services that could be viable in the market.

You can use it to get an understanding on what your target audience is looking for, for answers to questions including:

  • How satisfied are customers with products already available?
  • How could products on the market be improved?
  • Are customers interested in any new products or features?
  • What do customers need?
  • Are any customer needs not being met?
  • Who would be most interested in a new product?
  • How do customers decide to buy a new product?

 
Testing new products

Baking market research into your product development means that you should have identified and solved any upfront issues before you get close to launch. But at the very least, it’s key to test your product on some intended target customers before it goes to market.

It doesn’t matter what you’re launching - whether it’s a piece of software, a consumable like food or toiletries, or a service - what counts is giving it to a small selection of your target audience – your future customers - to find out what they think.

Insights you get from product testing market research will help you make informed decisions on any changes you should make before you push the button.

Research can provide answers to these questions:

  • How do customers react to the product?
  • Does it meet their needs?
  • What types of customers are most likely to buy it (ie demographics as well as psychographic information - their habits, spending tendencies and values)?
  • Which features and benefits do different potential customers respond to most (and vice versa)?
  • How likely are people to buy it?
  • How much are they willing to pay?
  • How do they view it compared to a competitor product/s?

Market research insights can also help you uncover the best way to communicate to potential consumers about your new offering. From marketing and branding to technical messages you use to describe the product, connecting with the buyer is crucial if you want to succeed in a competitive marketplace.

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