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PostSubject: researching Products   Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:04 pm

What kinds of things do I need to research to make sure my product is successful?

Thank you Very Happy

Last edited by admin on Sat Jul 24, 2010 12:36 pm; edited 4 times in total
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former mentor

PostSubject: Re: researching Products   Fri May 01, 2009 12:06 am

What do I do for “Market Research” on my product?.

I get asked this question often from inventors who are just starting to develop their idea into a retail product. The answer is simple really – Go Shopping!

Look around at what’s on the store shelves and the internet – This IS your market because that’s where your product will be sold when it’s developed. Take a pen and paper (and even a digital camera) head out and collect some data.

These products are called “The Comparables” When you find a product (Comp) even remotely similar to yours simply make a chart and record the following data about it.

Name of the Product
Packaging type/style
Display (ie: Hook, Strip, Floor display….)

Differences between it and yours

Things it does better – Things it does worse (be honest)

When you take a look at your chart you quickly start to see the ‘Big Picture”. It will show you not only the competition, but also the price range the market will support, the solutions the market currently offers the consumer, and retailers that are likely to carry your product.
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Bill Goldblatt


PostSubject: Re: researching Products   Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:04 pm

Don't only look at competition. And when searching for competition, make use of the various resources on the internet, the data on the internet is far more extensive than anything you will find in a retail store, usually.

A quick word of wisdom: when you are conducting research you don't know what you are looking for until you find it (or else you wouldn't be looking for it). If for example you start out formally documenting "anything like" your invention, you might just end up finding that your list eventually starts to become really large and you have to do a better job of prioritizing. Generally this is why formal documentation/procedure might be best put on hold until your feet are at least sufficiently wet...

Anyways...when the goal is to try and determine overall market viability, there is a commonly used phrase called "SWOT analysis." SWOT=strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats. The strengths/weaknesses part is obviously a little easier than the opportunities threats part.

But again - go beyond looking at your competition. Look up industry data/trends/reports and brainstorm. Are there any new technologies on the horizon that could make your invention quickly obsolete? Liability issues? And don't just be concerned with "competing" products, but also "substitute" products - i.e. ranch dressing relative to ketchup.

For what its worth, on an industry specific level many relevant analytical methods/systems out there are based on "Porter's five forces." The five forces include: Buyer Power / Supplier Power / Barriers to Entry (i.e. threat of new entrants) / Threat of Substitutes / Existing Competitive Rivalry (everything ties into this).

Pay attention to what drives buyer power / market demand / etc, not just what currently exists in the marketplace. You can't rely on anybody to tell you what they want (or know what they want for that matter), but if you can get a good understanding of the underlying factors you can make educated predictions. And, while you often hear talk re: surveys/focus groups/primary research, there are often many studies/surveys/etc that have already been conducted by well backed firms that can provide you with relevant insight.

As far as locating such studies/surveys, Factiva is the one source that comes to mind (based on my experiences) which tends to be both relatively easy and effective (but its not free). There is of course a lot of stuff out there which you can find searching Google. For assistance there - you can try tr.im/surveys - which brings you to a Google custom search engine set up by Criterion Dynamics. It doesn't work perfectly but it's easy and does work.

Message boards and blogs can also be a good source of consumer opinions, but you must be careful when making conclusions based on them...

- Bill

Last edited by Tania Reynaert on Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:23 pm; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : minor clarification/corrections)
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