21 Nov Understanding product research techniques
Product research is that golden thread that ties together every project that a business plans to undertake. Forming that invisible bridge between concept and viability, it can be the difference between the success and failure of a campaign, and help a company with its future planning.
Simply put, product research is a straightforward way to determine whether a product idea has legs and whether it could potentially succeed are not. It is also not a one-off process, but a consistent journey to keep on staying on top of product excellence.
However, product research can get tricky if you are unsure which techniques to follow to ensure that you get the data that you need. In today’s blog, we will unpack different product research techniques and how they benefit product development as a whole.
To start, let’s take a look together at the necessity of product research for design teams.
Why product research is needed
As mentioned above, projected success is a key driver for product development. If a product simply does not have the potential to succeed, scrape it immediately off the table and start over.
Also, if you find that there is already something too similar in the market when you do product research, be cautious to proceed – otherwise, you could end up trying to tap into a market that is already satisfied and that will not have buy-in from your ideal consumer market.
Your product research should also guide you on the development and distribution of your envisioned product, no matter the scale. Considering how the production will move through to marketing and taking your product to market is all part of ensuring you achieve the goals you have lined up.
Now, let’s review some methods that can benefit your product research.
Product research techniques to consider
1. Have a look at the market size of your planned product
A market that is already satiated will not have much room for new entrants, especially those that are very niche and speak to smaller groups.
Therefore, when you are at the beginning of your product research, ask yourself:
- Is there room to innovate a product to make it appealing to a larger audience?
- What are the barriers preventing your product from doing so?
- Will you need a complete redesign?
Asking these questions will ensure you have a clear idea of the market that you want to enter or how you want to enter an existing market segment that you are already operating in.
2. Do research about your competitors
Has a competitor recently launched a product that is similar to what you have in mind? Do not try to jump on the same bandwagon or ride their coattails with the same designs: consumers will notice if you try to piggyback on an idea just to be relevant.
Remember, in many cases, fads will fade fast from the product market, so rather analyse how your planned product can become a market mainstay rather than just another fly by night.
3. Take a deep dive into your ideal consumers’ needs
Are your target consumers looking for a solution that a current product is not solving? Do they have emerging demands due to changes in technologies and designs? All of these factors add up and need to be analysed during your product research, otherwise, you could end up going for a product that will not speak to your consumers or entice them to spend money on your designs.
Draw up personas, list what your consumers are looking for in the product segment that you are planning to enter and use that as your guide to creating a potentially viable product that will have mass appeal.
4. Pinpoint if your product will be durable and if will last beyond one season
Some items might be more popular during certain seasons; product research will help you test ideas on how you can bridge that gap of product usage to make it an all year long winner. The opportunity to reach out to global markets will help you address different markets throughout the course of the year, but do remember that this underpins the need to make a product with universal appeal.
5. Determine if there is room for improvement on one of your existing products
Have you been enjoying success with a certain product, but there has been some decline in usage too? Have you seen a drop in sales? This could be due to certain factors that need to be improved on – say, for instance, better materials, easier functionality or even a change in materials used.
If you are indeed able to improve a design, the opportunity is there to consider a product relaunch, which can create interest in the market where you function, and increase sales too, as consumers will be eager to get an even better output from a product that they already know and have used in the past.
6. Consider if your product will be able to generate a profit
In your product research, you need to factor in all elements concerning the item, including:
- Design costs
- Hiring costs if you are using external teams
- Material costs
- Manufacturing costs
- Distribution costs
- Marketing costs
Analysing the above, you will be able to determine whether you need to relook projected costings to ensure you will be able to make a profit – and how you can optimise your output.
Regular product research is the ideal way to ensure you stay ahead of your product competitors. You will have a better scope of how you can add value for your target audience and be more equipped to handle changes in the demands of your target market.
So, prioritise product research and you will have more than enough room to say relevant in your niche.
If you are a potential client and you are ready to experience an exceptional journey of design for your next project with amazing results, contact us today. We would love to hear from you and to provide the personal touch that we have become known and respected for as one of Melbourne’s leading industrial design teams!