What is it?
“They came on in the same old way and we defeated them in the same old way.”
The Duke of Wellington
The moral being that if keep doing the same old things; you’ll just get the same old results. Doing the same old things when they work and deliver good results is great but, sooner or later, the market moves on and competitors catch up. When that happen, business survival depends on innovation. But, for innovation to be successful it needs to appeal to customers.
Market Research can play a central role in any new product or service development project – helping marketers to understand what their customers want and what they are / are not, willing to pay for.
We can offer a range of services and techniques that can help marketers successfully develop and launch new products. These include:
- Administer internal workshops – we can design and run internal focus groups with key stakeholders in your organisation to explore the possibilities and options for new product development – canvasing the views of sales and marketing people to understand customer feedback/requests and design/technical people to understand technical constraints and practical new possibilities.
- Testing & researching new concepts and ideas in focus groups or face-to-face interviews with current/potential customers. These can help understand a broad range of issues – problems customers currently experience, desired changes, what new features and services they may desire etc.
- Quantifying the issues to understand precisely how appealing a proposed new development might be providing direction to the design and development team in terms of what features to prioritise and to the sales and marketing team in terms of how to promote the new offering and which customer groups to target with what messages.
- Application of advanced techniques such as Conjoint Modelling to design a new product that takes full account of consumer preferences.
How does Conjoint Modelling work?
Ask a customer what new features they would like to see on the next generation of your product and they will probably ask for everything (for no extra cost). But we all know real life does not work like that. In real life consumers make choices – do I go for the cheaper one or the more expensive one with the extra features? (We all know that there is rarely ever such a thing as “the cheaper one with the extra features” – otherwise the consumer’s choice would be a no-brainer).
To build a conjoint model, we construct a series of questions that presents customers with a series of realistic choices – where they have to choose which features they prefer, whether they would rather have more features and pay more or fewer features and get a cheaper product etc. The overall aim of a conjoint model is to devise an optimum offering – one that consists only of those new features that customers truly value. As a result, we are able to understand which features are key and which are ultimately identified as “nice to have” but which have no real value to customers.
What’s the benefit of it?
This type of research provides guidance for the product development process – ensuring that the end result is aligned to customer needs and will offer customers something that they are actually willing to pay for.
When you might use it?
Whenever, you are embarking on a new product or service development and/or looking to introduce a new idea to the market. In those situations, feedback from current and potential customers should play a key role in helping you decide what features to build in and how best to launch/promote your new offering.