The Importance of Ongoing Research Through Pre and Post-Product Development

There is often more to a story than what you initially read. The same could be said for conducting market research on a new product. 

An initial market research study can provide excellent insights for your product, however, consumer attitudes and preferences change rapidly over time. 

Therefore, investing in ongoing market research studies throughout the pre and post-product development phases will help you better plan for your product’s future.   

The Importance of Ongoing Research Through Pre and Post-Product Development

Market Research for Pre-Development Phase 

1. Exploratory Research

Exploratory research is done before the product is introduced to the market.

It can tell you where the need for the product is (if there is one) and what type of customer would be most interested in the product. 

An exploratory research study would ask questions such as, “how often do you shop for x product/service?” or “what do you think could be improved about x product/service?”

The data collected from the study can be used to help you design or revise your product to fit what the market is looking for.  

The most commonly used study for exploratory research is a VoC survey but other research options could also be implemented depending on the nature and scope of the study. 

2. Product Development Research

Product development research can be used to test your product in the hands of consumers.

This is a critical step in your product’s development because it allows you to gauge how consumers feel about the product before ordering a large number of units. 

The most common studies for product testing and research are in-home usage tests (IHUTS), focus groups, and in-depth interviews. 

In-Home Usage Tests (IHUTs)

IHUTs can also be used at any phase in the product development process.

Your product is shipped to participants who would use the product for an extended period of time. 

Data can be collected in real-time through periodic surveys that participants are required to complete as part of the study.

The results can tell you if your product was easy to use, tasted good, among several others.

To learn more, read our Ultimate Guide to In-Home Usage Tests.

Focus Groups

Focus groups are also a great way to receive product feedback. A moderator would ask 6-12 participants to provide initial feedback on the product.

The product would be present in the focus group room and participants would be asked to interact with it.

For example, if you have a new food product, samples would be offered for participants to try.

Also, participants could offer feedback on the packaging, price, size, etc. 

focus group room at drive research

In-Depth Interviews

IDIs or in-depth interviews are between a participant and a market researcher.

While similar in some ways to standard phone surveys or focus groups, IDIs are unique in the sense that they are individual conversations, framed around a survey, that is more focused on the depth of responses. 

IDIs are usually between 20 and 45 minutes and only a small number of them are required for the study.

The data gathered from IDIs is very similar to IHUTs and focus groups while maintaining the same level of quality. 

Choosing which one is best suited for your product depends on its details and the focus of the study. 

Market Research for Post-Development Phase

1. Consumer-Packaged Goods Research

Product research in the post-development phase happens when your product is out in the market.

Various types of research studies can be used including consumer-packaged-goods (CPG) studies and product positioning surveys.  

CPG studies analyze consumer preferences when they’re viewing products, whether in the store or online.

Here are some CPG market research options worth considering for your next post-product development study.

Brand Equity Surveys

Brand equity studies are intended to collect consumer insights about brand awareness, perception, product factors, etc.

The data collected can be used as a benchmark for future studies to compare how metrics have changed over time.  

Mobile Ethnography

Mobile ethnography studies are designed for consumers to tell you in their own words or actions (via video or photos) about their shopping habits.

For example, a shopper in a grocery store records themselves using their smartphone and answer questions as they shop.

Here are four benefits of using mobile ethnography.

User Experience (UX) Research

The rise in e-commerce has moved store shelves online.

Fortunately, user experience (UX) research can identify how consumers navigate a website similarly to how in-store shoppers navigate aisles and shelves. 

Shelf Testing/Eye-Tracking

Shelf testing studies analyze what consumers see on a shelf.

Questions such as what did they notice first and where on the shelf did they stare the longest are part of most shelf testing studies.

This data is collected through special eyeglasses that are equipped with eye-tracking software.


Comparable to mobile ethnography studies, shop-alongs also capture consumer habits while shopping. A shopper is followed by an interviewer who asks them questions as they shop.

2. Product Positioning

Another valuable option for new post-development products is product positioning surveys.

Product positioning surveys can compare your product’s brand against competitors using several key performance indicators (KPIs) such as perception and attributes.    

3. Customer Satisfaction Research

Lastly, customer satisfaction surveys are a great way to measure not only how satisfied customers are with your product but where improvements could be made.

Having ongoing customer satisfaction surveys is tremendously beneficial for your product because it gives you the opportunity to rectify concerns immediately. 

Conduct Product Development Market Research with Our Team

Conducting ongoing research across all phases in your product’s development will help you understand the full picture, including the micro and macro changes that are needed in order for your product to be successful.     

Drive Research is a full-service market research firm that offers various qualitative and quantitative research services for all stages of product development. 

To learn how we can help, contact our team today.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040


Justin Eisenhauer

As a Research Assistant, Justin works directly with all team members on client projects. He knows how to approach market data from a client perspective and provides valuable insights to help them be successful.

Learn more about Justin, here.


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