Market research can play a big part in growing your business and is often the key to creating products and services that meet the needs of the consumer. Further, it can help organizations solve problems and reduce the risk of making important business decisions. Every organization has its problems and challenges. In this edition of the Market Research blog series, we will bring out some of these challenges and how research can identify the right path.
The table shows broadly, how some of the business goals can be translated to research objectives.
|The business Goal
|What are the current market trends?
|Understand which direction is the market and customer heading to? Identify new opportunities for revenue and also cater to the evolving requirements of the customer.
|How to find the target customer base?
|Identify customer demographics and psychographics to target them better.
|How should the product/service pricing be like?
|How much is the customer willing to pay? What is the feature they like and what they don’t?
Some of the most common procedures and methodologies used to analyse the data collected are as follows.
Customer Research: This type of research is generally used to capture the needs, values, attitudes, and behaviors of the target customers helping organizations to craft a product or service which is very much accepted.
Product Testing: This type of research offers companies a better understanding of how the products or services meet customer needs. This provides crucial insights to both the product development and marketing teams. Product testing research can further identify which product features are most important to the target audience and which products have better revenue potential. It also provides inputs on what improvements or changes are needed before launching the product.
Satisfaction and Loyalty Analysis: This type of research is used to identify key drivers of satisfaction and also measure the likelihood of customers to continue using a company’s products and services. It gives valuable inputs on gaps emerging in product or service performance and customer service that might lead to customer defection. Satisfaction and loyalty research is also used to discover the factors which influence loyalty, advocacy, and repeat purchases. Some of the most common frameworks used in customer satisfaction and loyalty studies are CSAT and NPS (Net Promoter Scores).
Brand Awareness and Reach: Organisations spend huge money on advertisements and promotions and it is very important to measure the effectiveness of the marketing campaigns. Brand Awareness research identifies various factors like brand recall, brand recognition, brand identity and brand image among the target audience.
Pricing Research: Pricing research is the way to go when companies want to understand how much the target customers are willing to pay for their products or services. It also can identify what features are most valuable to the audience and which are not. Some of the most common frameworks used in pricing research are conjoint analysis and price sensitivity meter.
Now, let us look at some interesting case studies where Market Research has helped global brands.
Brand Research for UPS
UPS, one of the world’s largest package delivery company had become a synonym for ground transportation business even though the company offers other services such as consulting, air cargo, financial services. People had little awareness about these offerings and in this context, the company wanted to understand its brand attributes before going for a unified brand strategy across its various businesses and realign the UPS brand and it’s offering. The company conducted exhaustive qualitative brand research in various geographies and came up with a solution in the form of the “Brown” strategy. The brown color we see today in UPS branding stands for reliability, trustworthy, practically wise, friendly and approachable. After launching this “Brown” campaign, UPS was successful in reaching a much larger customer base for its offerings.
The business objective was to increase the awareness of other service offerings and a larger customer base. The research methodology used in this case was brand research to make the brand appeal to a wider audience.
Product Research for Kellogg’s.
Kellogg’s, world’s leading producers of cereals wanted to diversify and launch a new product ‘Crunchy Nut bites’ along with their current offerings. They wanted to understand the current market trends and customer needs to reduce the risk of new product development. In this case, qualitative research followed by quantitative research to validate the hypothesis was used. The qualitative focus groups were used to discover which are some of the most like cereal food prototypes and also to discard the least liked ones. At the end of the qualitative stage, Kellogg’s had several new food ideas that were appealing to their target consumers. The quantitative stage was focussed on identifying the most liked ones and also to measure their likeliness to purchase the same.
The business objective here was to extend their share in the market by launching a new line of cereals. A mix of qualitative and quantitative product market research was used to identify the most liked product.
New Market Entry for McDonald’s
The US based fast-food chain McDonald’s wanted to enter the Chinese market. The larger number of local fast food outlets and Chinese people’s preference for local food was one of the toughest challenges for McDonald which they had to tackle. As a part of their entry strategy, before entering the market, McDonald’s wanted to completely understand the spending habits of consumers, the influence of western brands and the preference of quality food. The research explored in-depth the eating habits, fragrance, flavour, and variety of their palette. Further, it also gave the brand insights on the best locations and types of outlets to be launched. In a nutshell, the research helped the brand to adopt an innovative localization strategy which made China the number one growth market for McDonald’s outside the USA.
In today’s business context, research to understand the customers and the market is simply unavoidable for better growth prospects. The first step is to convert your business objectives to research goals and then execute the research for strategic insights. Market Research experts at Adam Consulting can help you win customer confidence and capture a better market share. Let’s discuss.
Get in touch with us for more information on how we can assist you with Market Research as a tool to grow your business. We can run a diagnostic on your firm to establish what type of research you would need.