Studies show that most products that enter the market do not succeed, and remain ignored by customers. While this may due to poor marketing and sales techniques, it is mostly because the product does not solve a market need at the time of its launch. If it did fill a market need or demand when it was launched, it probably stopped being important or relevant for customers after a while. This is why, entrepreneurs should engage in product research before they finalize a product idea or decide to improve the features of an existing product. Product research uses various market research techniques to help you understand what customers and the market in general want and need. You can carry out product research before an idea is conceived, or even during a product’s last stages of its lifecycle.
In this article, we list 6 quick tips for entrepreneurs to conduct product research easily and successfully.
1. Make sure that there is consistent demand
Only 22% of businesses are happy with their conversion rates, and this is mostly because they have not tried to fill the gaps in their markets. The success of a product or its feature greatly depends on how consistent the demand is going to be. If a product seems to be greatly in demand now, but if it wanes after a few months, it probably isn’t worth investing in. Similarly, customers may demand certain features only to later criticism it after a while. In intensive product research strategy helps you uncover how consistent demand is going to be, and if your product idea or product feature is worth investing in.
2. Focus on building a product that has limited competition
Thousands of products are released everyday across the world, and most of them fail because there are much better or more recognizable brands out there. Given a choice, people would buy a brand that is recognized easily than trusting a new product or brand. This is why, build a product that does not have a lot of competition or constantly recognizable brands out there. This way, you will create a product. That stands on its own and can fare well without having to fight the competition.
3. Identify what makes your product unique
If you already have a product idea, engage in product research to identify if it is unique in any way. Unique features of a product help you differentiate yourself from others and make your brand instantly recognizable. Product research techniques can quickly identify what makes your product idea or a feature of a product unique, and corroborate it with market demand. Unless it passes all the tests of uniqueness, you probably don’t want to go ahead and release it.
4. Assess if the product helps improve your margins
A major part of product research is determining if a certain product idea will help you improve your profit margins. Even if you are conducting product research to improve upon its existing features, you need to ensure that the proposed changes to its specifications or features translate to improve bottomline figures. Unless the changes help you improve your profit margins, clinging to a product idea or a new feature idea is not advisable.
5. Analyze if the product is going to be sustainable
Even if a product passes uniqueness and market demand tests, it is important to ensure that it is going to be sustainable in the long term. Just because a product will fetch consistently high margins does not mean it is a great product idea. A well-conceived product research strategy helps you assess if all the raw materials are going to be available consistently. It also helps identify if market trends do not suddenly change, rendering market demand assessment an error.
6. Seek feedback from customers
Customer feedback and opinion are important right from the beginning of product conception. This is done via email questionnaires, social media quizzes and in-person interviews. 91% of adults aged between 35 and 44 agreed that would provide honest feedback if they were asked directly. Customer feedback helps you understand what they truly want, instead of depending on automated tools that may miss important variables easily. As part of product research, you should continuously seek customer feedback and assess it right from the outset until the last stages of a product’s lifecycle.
Implement product research consistently
Product research greatly helps entrepreneurs to identify what the market needs, and help you fill the gap in a way that helps you increase your profit margins. To begin with, make sure that there are an actual need and demand in the market for your product idea or its features. Next, ensure that your product or its features do not have a lot of competition to face. For this to happen, you may have to focus on a product or feature that is unique.
Subsequently, conduct a thorough research to identify if the finalized product or product feature will help you improve your margins. Use analytical tools to predict if it is going to be a sustainable venture at least for a few years. Finally, seek customer feedback at various stages of a product’s lifecycle, starting with product concept to its later stages, when customers start feeling there is a need for improved features.
If at any time you feel all this is difficult, an experienced vendor can support you with product research right from the outset or even at later stages.