Not everybody believes that market research helps with product development:
‘If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, “A faster horse!”’ – Henry Ford
‘Customers don’t know what they want until we’ve shown them.’ – Steve Jobs
Time to look for a new job then. Except:
- Very few people have the exceptional vision and flair of Steve Jobs and Henry Ford, a lot of us are mere mortals
- 90% of product developments aren’t totally new they’re improvements on what already exists
- Effective market research for product development doesn’t ask customers what they want because in all likelihood they won’t know or will struggle to explain it.
To be effective and help with product development and introduction market research needs to do two key things:
1. It has to get into the DNA of customers (either businesses or consumers) and really understand: habits, beliefs, preferences, motivations and the unmet needs that exist. Once you have these insights you can start to develop your existing proposition or come up with something completely new and you can use both qualitative and quantitative research to do this.
2. The second thing product development research has to do is convey the insight led innovations being considered to customers in a way they will understand and be able to feedback on. As Jobs said, customers probably can’t tell us what they want but, they can provide feedback on our ideas and our interpretation of their needs.
At Sapio Research we understand how market research supports innovation. We run co-creation sessions, develop new product propositions based on grounded insight, use price testing to understand commercial viability and are methodology agnostic. What makes us different however is that we understand that insight is just part of the product introduction journey - in fact it’s probably just the start of the journey. To help ensure our clients make the right decision and where appropriate to take the product to market we use a process called “Design Thinking” that helps to solve complex innovation challenges. By drawing on logic, imagination, intuition, and systemic reasoning it enables organisations to develop and take products to market – it makes us different.
We enjoy product development research so why not give us a call, we like to chat and are very happy to share our experiences.