Whether you are an organization looking to introduce a new concept to the market or a tenured business needing to improve upon an already existing product, product development research is the first step to a successful launch.
Many organizations rely on this type of market research to gain a competitive edge within their industry through informed decisions based on market opportunity and customer insights. While concept testing is necessary, it is even more so important to make sure your time and costs invested do not go to waste.
Here are three tips our product development research company uses with our clients who are looking to expand or introduce their service offerings.
Tip #1: Involve All Team Members
Whether it is your sales team, marketing team, accounting team, engineering team, front-line staff, or customer support – it is critical you involve all of your team members when conducting product development research.
Every employee, regardless of their role or position, will be able to provide a unique perspective and added value to your product development research. New concepts, additions to existing product lines, or modifications of existing products can all benefit from the opinion’s of those working most closely with the product.
With differing opinions comes a new way of looking at things. A simple brainstorm session can lead to minor and major improvements of a new concept or existing product before introducing it to the market.
Tip #2: Observe the User
Product development research or concept testing typically involves more than one methodology to obtain a full 360-degree view of where a product can improve. Product development research may include:
- Market analysis to identify key data and trends in the product or service industry.
- Competitive assessment to create an in-depth profile of competitor’s product offerings, pricing structure, marketing messages, and more.
- Market survey to understand the target consumer’s use of similar products, factors which influence choice, awareness, and more.
With many different approaches, it can be hard to choose which hybrid of research studies to choose from. Our product development research firm recommends always including observational or ethnography research when testing a new and existing concept. An ethnography study goes far beyond the typical question and answer repour, common in most market research studies. This type of research helps paint a broader picture of participants and their day-to-day lives.
Observational research for product development is important because organizations can physically see how their target customer uses their product or a competitor’s product in a natural setting. Doing so, researchers are able to analyze what the benefits are of the product, as well as the possible frustrations while using the product.
Tip #3: Ongoing Product Development Research
When conducting product development research, it is not a one and done study. To be most impactful, it is important to have a continuous research approach, even after the product is on the shelves. There are multiple steps to include through the product development research process.
In the initial stages of research for a new product, it is beneficial to conduct explanatory research as this is a good starting point for any business. In short, explanatory research, whether it be focus groups, online surveys, or Voice of Customer (VoC) research helps provide the general needs of the market and identify what opportunities are available for growth.
Once a more detailed concept is created, you will want to conduct prototype testing research. This is where your target audience will evaluate the product to test if it successfully met their needs and expectations. Again, prototype testing can be in the form of focus groups, in-home usage tests, in-depth interviews, etc.
Lastly, once the product is introduced to the market, it is important to keep testing the reception to capture customer feedback and reviews.
Need Help with New Product Development Market Research?
Drive Research is a product research company which partners with organizations to deliver insights to guide new product development.
Interested in learning more about our market research services? Reach out through any of the four ways below.