Do you know what your customers really want?

April 23, 2015By Behind the Shelf Blog, Brand Marketing

by Megan Moyer

The product development process is complex and there are plenty of risks along the way. We’ve always advocated for research to be a part of this cycle to mitigate those risks and ensure you’re going to market with a product that is meeting a need and/or filling a gap. Do you know what your customers really want?

It seems like a no-brainer that you would do your category, market, and Do you know what your customers really want?consumer research before investing significant dollars into product development. For startup companies it isn’t a choice – lenders or investors require it before they’ll contribute any funds.

It’s important to work with a reputable market research company that will provide unbiased recommendations and craft survey tools that will result in data that truly represents consumer opinion, beliefs, and desires. Trust in the company’s experience and expertise is a must. Ask for references, understand their methods and process, the work product you’ll receive, and how they complete their analysis of the information.

Don’t stop with research once the product has been launched. It’s important to remain in touch with consumers throughout the product lifecycle to understand if their needs have changed, their perception of your brand has been altered, or if they are engaging with any of your competitors for a like or complementary product. Conducting research throughout the product's lifecycle can verify whether consumer demands have or haven’t evolved, as well as point you to attributes or messaging you need to work on or what aspects you might capitalize on for further growth.

Research can be intimidating, but with the right partner, it’s much less scary. Ask your colleagues for recommendations, inquire with an industry organization to find out if there are firms that specialize in the health, beauty, and wellness consumer packaged goods industry, or ask us. With a trusted partner and sincere desire for the (perhaps) cold, hard, truth about your target market’s preferences, you will be best positioned to get the most out of your research investment and well on your way to success.

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