When bringing a new product to market, your head will be filled with ideas of prototyping, materials, methods and marketing strategies, wanting everything to move as quickly as your mind. Although it is wonderful to be enthusiastic, a great deal of groundwork needs to be conducted first.
Gethin Roberts, director of Welsh product design agency, ITERATE, says:
“Whatever type of product you are looking to develop; market research should never be underestimated. Whilst as a creator you may have faith with regards to market success, validating your predictions for the product is a must. This is why at ITERATE, through our New Product Development service we dig deep into product demand, competition in the product’s chosen market, feasibility and much more!”
If you are planning on developing a new product, below are a few reasons why defining a market should be your first step.
Save money – If you have ever created a product, you will know just how expensive the process can be. From materials and tools to design agency fees and patents; budgets begin to be stretched rather quickly. This is why rushing in without conducting solid market research should be avoided at all costs.
Reduce waste – Waste reduction is a national agenda topic that everyone is taking seriously, especially the world of product design and manufacturing. Rather than going in and creating a large run of products without conducting market research, it is advisable to define a market first to avoid waste of materials (and funds).
Learn how to communicate with your target market – Although a great deal of your market research will be centred on who you can sell the product to and competitors in the space, market research can also help you understand and communicate with your target market once you have defined one.
Having dug deep into demand and competition, it is now time to start thinking about your customers. This is where Customer Profiling can come in. This is basically building a portrait of your ideal customer to help you make decisions concerning your service. This is mainly for the purposes of marketing and advertising. The ‘profile’ will include their demographics, likes/dislikes, preferred media channels (i.e. Facebook, email, TV), and more.; allowing you to give your product the best chance of market success.
How can I define a market?
There are many different techniques and methods creators use when conducting market research. Just remember, the main objective is to define size of demand, usage habits, attitudes to products and the likelihood of up-take of the new product.
Below are just a few methods:
Focus group discussions – Starting with the basics can be a really effective way to gain intel into the market your product will serve. Whilst data and new technology will give you a great deal of assistance during your research, a good, old-fashioned discussion with humans can conjure up some pretty interesting points of view. Human-centered design is something that ITERATE are incredibly passionate about, believing such focuses to blend well with new technologies.
Competitor analysis – Where you may believe that your idea is completely unique, you may be wrong. However, you will only uncover rivals if you look for them. As a piece of the research puzzle that is particularly important, Gethin Roberts and his team incorporate competitor analysis into their new product development service.
Talking on this approach, Gethin says:
“We are able to carry out a competitor analysis that identifies key products within your proposed market. If your design idea is abstract and nothing remotely similar exists, it is important to question why this is the case – is it simply because no one has identified this opportunity before you or that the product is just not required? If this investigation identifies a product that performs a similar function to your own, you should not be discouraged as this validates the market opportunity you have highlighted. By understanding the competition in more detail, we are able to develop a solution that allows the user to perform a function more conveniently, more quickly or more accurately.”
Looking to launch a new product?
If you have an idea for a new product or wish to improve an existing one, be sure that ITERATE can help. With many years’ experience and a vast portfolio of clients, the team boasts the capability to help all types of clients with all types of product development requirements.