Hidden Demand Research
Market research for current demand is expected to show the organization’s current industry position and customer purchasing power. Rarely does any client want to know the potential of hidden demand – wrongly, because this is where real business opportunities are hidden.
Market research suggests that many CEOs and directors are looking for the growth of their companies in inappropriate places and in the wrong ways. In this way, they lose many opportunities or even opportunities to develop for the sake of new competition. Meanwhile, the secret of development lies not in the intensification of spending on research and marketing but in a different way of operating.
Enterprises employ four major business strategies, none of which are what business leaders really need:
- searching for large, profitable markets;
- taking care mainly of the best existing customers;
- dividing the market into sectors according to customer characteristics (e.g. demographics) or product characteristics (e.g. top, bottom);
- It is comparing the company’s progress with its competitors.
While the interest in each of these four strategies is perfectly understandable, keep in mind that they mostly suit existing companies or franchises of established market players. In other words, the current demand projection says nothing about latent demand, which is an essential fuel for innovation. As Steve Jobs noted, consumers can’t describe something they haven’t experienced.
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Market Research On The Way To Success
In order to understand the business conditions well, it is worth separating research initiatives related to the observation and improvement of business performance from those related to transformational innovations. The former results must be carefully analyzed in terms of the latent demand potential. Areas that may be particularly helpful in market research are:
Jobs-to-be-done by the consumer
Former P&G director AG Lafley called vague tasks “nuances” and urged his team to identify and address them. Breakthrough products such as Swiffer, Febreze and Crest Whitestrips (perfumed mop cloths and tooth whitening strips) provide solutions to this type of ‘nuance’. P&G is no exception to a similar approach. Many companies have already learned that the emphasis should be placed not so much on the product’s characteristics but on the consumer’s tasks.
Is it worth investigating if consumers cannot take advantage of your products due to wealth, lack of skills, inconvenience or poor availability? Often, reconfiguring a product helps to open up access to new markets and thus generate growth.
Customers are overwhelmed by technology.
It is also worth examining whether any potential customers would be satisfied with the simplification of certain products or services. As Apple has shown time and time again, sometimes making the best use of technology is about simplifying it. Too many options, functions and features cause embarrassment and often require more money. This is because companies must employ specialists who help clients handle overly complex settings or activities.
Products or services used in an unusual way
Even a single, versatile product (e.g. baking soda) can initiate dozens of innovations in various categories (toothpaste, deodorants, detergents, cat litter).
While no single, reliable way to organize research functions has been found over the years, it is no doubt easier to research when you know where and what you are looking for. And yet, despite this, it seems much more important to be able to identify what is missing in the areas of our exploration. Only researching market potentials, which are not obvious but hidden, helps create breakthrough innovations and achieve high profits.
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