Product research is the process of marketing research that is done to get information on the desired characteristics and specifications of a product expected by the potential customers mainly before the launch and availability of the product. Product research helps companies to understand what the customers really want, so that the product can be tailored to match the needs of the customer.
This research can help to refine new product ideas as well as improve the existing products in the market.
Product research is a very important activity in new product development – it can be carried out at several stages of new product development. Product research helps an organization make products which are expected by the customers. This helps have an competitive advantage and leadership position in the market.
A well researched product will meet the requirements of the customer in a much better way. Product research even more important when you are launching a product in the market where there are lot of competitors. Knowing the customer's feedback on the features, characteristics can really help make a product which solves the existing products' issues in the market.
There are various stages in the product research process:
In the initial stages, product research can be carried out to identify and screen new ideas. This testing will help reduce costs by avoiding product development costs in the discarded ideas.
In the later stages of product development, product research can help companies to identify which features are important and hence retain them and which features can be discarded.
A newly developed product is also tested with customers, to identify any changes to be made to packaging etc. Testing is very important when it comes to research. A well research but not well tested product may still end up failing. Testing can be done in-house or through actual customers through small groups, trials, offers etc.
Most of the products are soft launched before being launched across the target markets. The soft launch is used for gathering feedback from potential customers and making changes in the product which can benefit. Test marketing is done for small groups or areas and the response is validated. If the soft launch is not a success, then a product need to go through the research stage again and may be relook at the product.
Once everything is done, the product is launched in the market. Even though test marketing is done but when it is launched for a larger population, things may go different. Hence it is very important to see an understand the customer behavior and response to the newly launched product or its variant. Once the product is launched, consumer satisfaction with the product is tested. Most common techniques used in product research include focus group discussions, interviews and surveys. Based on this feedback, next steps can be planned for the product.
Many times we see that companies do test marketing for a new product through a promotion or an offer. They launch these products in small quantity in retail stores and see if the customers are liking it or buying. In trade events and exhibitions we see stalls for trying the product to gather feedback. All these activities are part of the product research.
Hence, this concludes the definition of Product Research along with its overview.
This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.
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