Market Research For New Product Development

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’s essential organizations make informed decisions based off actual market opportunity and customer insights. Market research provides project teams with these insights and guides each product development and design activity.

Learn more about the two major phases of market research we conduct with clients who are looking to expand product or service offerings.

Market Research For New Product Development

Conducting research is critical to the success of new products and services.

Phase 1: New Product Idea Generation (Exploratory Research)

Exploratory research is a good starting point for any organization. It provides value, even if an organization isn’t hard set on developing a new product.

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.

Key Objectives:

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 aren’t 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?

Common Research Approaches:

Phase 2: New Product Concept or Prototype Testing Research​

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 the that the product meets their needs. This research will provide insights on changes that must to 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. While later on, you may have more detailed product specifications with renderings or product mock-ups. Finally, near product design finalization, you may have an actual prototype or final product that the consumer can evaluate and provide feedback on.

Key Objectives:

  • 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?

Common Research Approaches:

  • Voice of the Customer (VoC)
  • IHUTs (In-Home Usage Testing)
  • In-Depth Interviews
  • Focus Groups
  • Online Surveys

Wrapping it all up...

The final research approach chosen for each component depends on a variety of factors, including the accessibility of your potential market, the type of product your organization is developing, as well as the overall budget. The point is market research for new product development offers incredible ROI.

With that said, new product research typically includes both quantitative research (which provides statistically reliable findings), and qualitative (which provides detailed feedback).

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 (i.e., sales representatives, customer support teams, distributors, engineers, etc.) These audiences should be included in the research through one of the methodologies listed above, or at a minimum be represented in some other way during the product design meetings.

Research captures customer preferences, allows your organization to understand end-user experience, and prioritizes the “wants” and “needs” of a target audiences. 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.

Need Help with New Product Development Market Research?

Drive Research is a new product research company which partners with organizations to deliver insights to guide new product development.

If you’re interested in teaming up with Drive Research for new product research project, contact us by e-mail at, by phone at 315-303-2040.

New Product Development