The Importance of Market Research in Product Development

At BrandRefinery, we’re often asked why market research is so crucial in the development of the product. Particularly when the person asking us usually considers themselves an experts in their field and they have often sold very successfully within their marketplace for a number of years.

In truth, market research is perhaps one of the pivotal factors when trying to develop a product or service – and here’s why.

What is market research?

First of all, let’s take a quick look at what market research actually is. Market research gathers a number of people from a target demographic and collects valuable information from them to discover their opinions on certain topics. For example – if a company was looking to launch a new product aimed at new mothers, they would gather a group of new mothers together to assess their feelings and thoughts on certain principles or ideas. This information then shapes future decisions about any branding, packaging or advertising that product might need, and may generate a customer insight that all subsequent marketing rationale could be based on.

Why do I need to do market research?

If you’re creating a brand new product or service, you need to comprehend how your target market feel about it. The success of your product is often hugely dependent on the needs of this target market – and if you’re not meeting them with your product, they’re sure to go elsewhere. Companies that simply hazard a guess as to what their target users want (on gut instinct) are much more likely to develop something that will at best not maximise their potential opportunity or at worst develop something that is not wanted or needed.

What are the benefits of market research for product development?

There are plenty of benefits of thorough and comprehensive market research. At first glance it helps you understand what your target audience is looking for – but it can go so much further than that. It can help to establish how you communicate with potential customers, it can help you identify new opportunities in the marketplace, and it can also minimise the risk of any potential product launch. Businesses can measure their reputation using market research, as well as identifying any problems with their service, branding, packaging, website or other influential feature of the product. Planning ahead is crucial in today’s unpredictable markets, and market research can help with that too, as well as providing useful insight into future trends and the direction a market might be heading in. With effective market research, you can also keep your nose ahead of competitors – crucial in today’s saturated markets.

It’s all about delivering value

At the end of the day, developing a product is all about offering value to a certain demographic. And in order to gauge whether your product will do this, you have to factor in the thoughts and feelings of that demographic. After all – how can you be expected to market things to people if you can’t understand what motivates them, what they’re looking for in a product, what kind of purchase decisions they’re likely to make, or how much they’re willing to pay? Market research offers this invaluable insight – and it’s not the kind of insight you’ll find anywhere else.