New Product Market Research

95% of New Products Fail

According to Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, there are over 30,000 new products introduced every year, and 95% fail.


Clayton Christensen World Economic Forum 2013 According to harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen there are over 30,000 new products introduced every year, and 95% fail. Market research

Why Most Product Launches Fail

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What is market research?

Businesses risk a lot when they introduce new products on the market. This is why market research is so critical. Market research allows businesses to better understand their potential target audience and whether their product will be bought by them.

Market research is the process of finding information about your business’s customers, target audience, and personas to figure out how valuable your product or service is to these people as well as how profitable your business can be.

Why do market research?

Research is to marketing as a compass is to a boat. It helps you sail in the right direction toward the right audience.

Digital marketing has changed everything – and there’s no going back. And in this day and age, marketers now have to deal with a constant influx of digital and analogue noise, which can make it extremely difficult to stay focused.

It all starts with understanding who your buyer is and what motivates them. We work to understand your target buyer through an exploratory creative process.

When you really “get” your buyer, you’re listening closely to their problems, pain points, and desired solutions… And you can create a product or service that naturally solves those problems.

Market research sounds a little stodgy and boring, but there’s actually more excitement than you think. Once you see what all your competitors are up to, you’ll understand why market research is necessary for every business:

  • It will tell you where your target audience and current customers drink—figuratively.  Where do they go to work out what they want to buy?
  • Who is your target audience connecting with today? Which of your competitors are they working with?  Where do they find the information they need to make a purchase?
  • It gives you insight into the industry trends; what’s new, what’s hot, and even what’s cool. It reflects the social and cultural atmosphere of your buyer like nobody else.
  • It will tell you what personas make up your market and what their challenges are. It will enable you to identify the buyer persona that will lead to the highest profits for your business.
  • Most people don’t enjoy buying toilet paper, soap, and toothpaste. However, we make it easy to understand what influences these purchases, and which brands are the most effective in converting to a sale.

Primary or Secondary Research?

As you begin honing in on your market research, you’ll likely hear about primary and secondary market research.

Primary research means that it’s original. It’s from you – your world. Secondary research means it’s been found before – or at least it’s already out there. Don’t re-invent the wheel, unless your goal is a square wheel.

Original Data was collected...


(or someone you hire)




Focus Groups




N/A - the act of looking for existing data IS secondary research

Qualitative or Quantitative?

Can be either

Can be either

Key Benefits

Specific to your needs & you control the quality

Usually cheap and quick

Key Disadvantages

Usually costs more and takes longer

Data can be too old and/or not specific enough for your needs

Primary Research

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Primary market research is like putting your ear to the ground and listening to see what your customers are saying.  Primary market research is useful when segmenting your market and identifying buyers. The easiest way to learn about the people who buy from you is to ask them – politely, of course!

Primary market research is often like a mixed salad – you have the crisp greens of exploratory research and the juicy chunks of specific research.

Exploratory Primary Research

Exploratory primary research is the fun stuff. It’s pure discovery and learning. You might find out why something isn’t working, or you might just have a conversation with one of your customers that leads to a new idea.

While exploratory market research is not as concerned with measurable customer trends or bottom-line profits, it’s still very important to the success of a business.  It’s great for identifying potential problems that would be worth the team tackling together.

Never underestimate the power of an unscientific survey.

Specific Primary Research

Specific primary market research normally follows the exploratory phase and is used as a deep dive into issues or opportunities you’ve already identified as important.

In specific research, the business can take a smaller, more focused, and targeted segment of their audience and ask questions aimed at solving a suspected problem.

Secondary Research

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Data? We got plenty. So bring your big-boy pants.

We just need to find it.

Secondary research is all the information you have at your disposal to draw conclusions from and could include trend reports, market statistics, industry content, and sales data you already have on your business.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to find information on your competitors; they’ve done a great job at covering their tracks.  This is where secondary research is particularly useful in uncovering.

The main areas your secondary market research will fall into include:

Public Sources

They’re free, they’re everywhere, and you probably ignored most of them during your undergrad years. But now that you’re a business professional, it’s time to start leveraging public sources for market research to pad out your strategy.

Public sources are your first and most accessible layer of material when carrying out secondary market research. They’re free to find, cheap to buy, and, as we all know, you can find more than you bargained for when you start digging around.

Government statistics aren’t necessarily known for being easy to understand. They’re often long and complicated, but they’re also valuable additions to our knowledge.

Commercial Sources

Commercially available market reports with industry insights are normally compiled by agencies like Gartner, Forrester, and Pew.

Internal Sources

Internal data is like a secret weapon.

Organizations underestimate its potential to support decision-making, but it can give you the insight you just can’t get elsewhere. Look inside your own desk drawer to see what we mean.

Do you have a goal of increasing the average revenue per sale? Are you looking for a way to grow your customer base? You might be surprised to learn that the answers to these questions are sitting in your CRM – in hundreds of thousands of pages of old reports and endless spreadsheets. OK, not really sitting in there. But you can find it with some clever sleuthing.

Our Market Research Services

Analytical Services

Harness the power of Innovolo's Innovation-as-a-Service to stay ahead of the competition. With our blend of proactive and responsive research capabilities, we help you succeed at innovating through strategy and analysis.

Consulting Services

We help our clients to understand how best to innovate and bring their innovations to market. We have real, direct experience with innovation in the largest and smallest organizations. Our clients have trusted us to solve complex problems, identify opportunities, educate them about market research, provide them with intuitive consulting services and deliver real results in developing their businesses.

Data Collection / Field Services

Simply asking customers for opinions is no longer enough. Companies need the right insights at the right time so they can gain or lose competitive advantage and stay ahead of their industry. In the search for relevant knowledge, we set out to bring together powerful solutions for market research projects – from consulting to business process improvement – and make them readily available to businesses

International Market Research Services

We offer quick, easy-to-understand research and analysis of international markets. We help clients make informed decisions by providing a unique combination of data, analysis, and insight that is tailored to meet the specific needs of individual organizations.

Qualitative Research Consultancy

Our ability to help clients navigate a rapidly changing market is a key differentiator in the development of ideas and innovation. At Innovolo, our consulting practice combines expertise in marketing research, strategy development, and implementation with research design, analysis, and reporting to translate the insights gained from research into tangible business results.

Let's get you ready for launch

Just some quick questions to discover your thoughts and needs, then we schedule a call at your convenience.

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7 Main Steps in a Market Research Process

Marketing research is a process that helps us understand people. Here are some steps we take toward understanding others:

  1. Work out what your problem is
  2. Statement of Research Objectives
  3. Planning the Research Design or Designing the Research Study
  4. Planning the Sample
  5. Data Collection
  6. Data Processing and Analysis
  7. Formulating Conclusion, Preparing, and Presenting the Report.

Research lies at the heart of it. Marketing is a scientific discipline. One might even go so far as to call it ‘market sciences’! Being systematic, we plan things out in advance.

Market research can be a bit of a challenge, but with a little help from us, you’ll find it’s just like dancing – there are a few steps involved, but they can be broken down into manageable chunks.

The market research process has many steps. First, you get a big rock and beat it against your head for about eight hours. Then the market research will slowly begin to trickle in in the following drops:

1. Work out what your problem is:

A problem well defined is a problem half solved. The market research process starts with the identification and definition of your problem; it’s a crucial step towards finding a solution.

The statement of the problem may be close to impossible at the beginning of the research process. Without a clear understanding of the problem, the data you collect will be pointless. Data by itself can’t fix problems. That’s why good market research requires insight into your prospects.

A clear problem definition is the cornerstone of any research effort. It keeps you on the right track and saves time and effort.

The methods of explanatory research most commonly in use are the survey of secondary data, experience survey, or pilot studies, that is, studies of a small initial sample. All this is also known as ‘preliminary investigation’, but no one really calls it that.

2. Statement of Research Objectives:

Research objectives are the why. Without them, you’re just taking a stroll through the research park.

Such objectives may be stated in qualitative or quantitative terms and expressed as research questions, statements, or hypotheses. For example, the research objective, “To find out the extent to which sales promotion schemes affected the sales volume” is a research objective expressed as a statement.

A hypothesis is like a wild guess. It’s more of an idea than a theory and can be thrown out or made better at any moment. The same research objective could be stated as, “To test the proposition that sales are positively affected by the sales promotion schemes undertaken this winter.”

An example of another hypothesis may be: “The new packaging pattern has resulted in an increase in sales and profits.” 

Once your objectives are set and hypotheses are written, you’re ready to design your research.

3. Planning the Research Design or Designing the Research Study:

After defining the research problem and deciding the objectives, the research design must be developed. A research design is a master plan specifying the procedure for collecting and analysing the needed information. It represents a framework for the research plan of action.

The objectives of the study are included in the research design to ensure that the data collected are relevant to the objectives. At this stage, the researcher should also determine the type of sources of information needed, the data collection method (e.g., survey or interview), the sampling, methodology, and the timing and possible costs of research.

4. Planning the Sample:

Sampling involves procedures that use a small number of items or parts of the ‘population’ (total items) to make a conclusion regarding the ‘population’. Important questions in this regard are— who is to be sampled as a rightly representative lot? Which is the target ‘population’? What should be the sample size—how large or how small? How to select the various units to make up the sample?

5. Data Collection:

The collection of data relates to the gathering of facts to be used in solving the problem. Hence, methods of market research are essentially methods of data collection. Data can be secondary, i.e., collected from concerned reports, magazines, and other periodicals, especially written articles, government publications, company publications, books, etc.

Data can be primary, i.e., collected from the original base through empirical research by means of various tools.

There can be broadly two types of sources

(i) Internal sources—existing within the firm itself, such as accounting data, salesmen’s reports, etc.

(ii) External sources—outside the firm.

6. Data Processing and Analysis:

Once data have been collected, these have to be converted into a format that will suggest answers to the initially identified and defined problem. Data processing begins with the editing of data and its coding. Editing involves inspecting the data-collection forms for omission, legibility, and consistency in classification. Before tabulation, responses need to be classified into meaningful categories.

The rules for categorizing, recording, and transferring the data to ‘data storage media’ are called codes. This coding process facilitates manual or computer tabulation. If computer analysis is being used, the data can be key-punched and verified.

Analysis of data represents the application of logic to the understanding of data collected about the subject. In its simplest form analysis may involve the determination of consistent patterns and summarising of appropriate details.

The appropriate analytical techniques chosen would depend upon informational requirements of the problem, characteristics of the research designs, and the nature of the data gathered. The statistical analysis may range from simple immediate analysis to very complex multivariate analysis.

7. Formulating Conclusion, Preparing and Presenting the Report:

The final stage in the marketing research process is that of interpreting the information and drawing conclusions for use in managerial decisions. The research report should clearly and effectively communicate the research findings and need not include complicated statements about the technical aspect of the study and research methods.

Often the management is not interested in details of research design and statistical analysis, but instead, in the concrete findings of the research. If need be, the researcher may bring out his appropriate recommendations or suggestions in the matter. Researchers always want to make sure their work is understandable and useful. If not, it’s just a waste of time.

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8 Main Types of Market Research

Brand Research

A brand is like a person. It’s considered you from the outside. But underneath that lies identity, personality, and sometimes wit. We help you create that brand presence by discovering your market’s perception of you.

The brand of a company is a composite of its identity, personality, values, reputation, and public perception. Did you know that the brand of a company is actually an iceberg?

Brand research is one of the best-kept secrets in your company’s toolkit. It’s an opportunity for growth that you have on a shelf at your office—but no one knows it exists.

There are at least seven types of brand research:

  • Brand advocacy. How many of your customers are always willing to give you a big thumbs up?
  • Brand awareness. We’ve all heard that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. We disagree. If you’re not clear about your brand’s positioning, it doesn’t matter how far your marketing message travels. It won’t be noticed, and it won’t break through the clutter to reach the client you want to reach. Does your target market know who you are and consider you a serious option?
  • Brand loyalty. Are you retaining customers?
  • Brand penetration. What is the proportion of your target market using your brand?
  • Brand perception. What do people think of as your company’s identity or differentiating qualities?
  • Brand positioning. What is the best way to differentiate your brand from others in the consumer’s mind and articulate it in a way that resonates?
  • Brand value. How much are people willing to pay for an experience with your brand over another?

A researcher will use several types of market research methods to assess your and your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. Generally, they will conduct competitor research to get a picture of the overall marketplace. Focus groups and interviews can be used to learn about their emotions and associations with certain brands.

Market research surveys are useful to determine features and benefits that differentiate you from competitors. These are then translated into emotionally compelling consumer language.

Campaign Effectiveness

This type of market research is designed to evaluate whether your advertising messages are reaching the right people and delivering the desired results. Successful campaign effectiveness research can help you sell more and reduce customer acquisition costs.

If the folks at market research firm Yankelovich, Inc. are correct, people see up to 5,000 advertising messages each day. That means attention is a scarce resource, so campaign effectiveness research should be used when you need to spend your advertising dollars effectively.

Campaign effectiveness research depends on which stage of the campaign you use it in (ideally, it’s all of them!). Quantitative research can be conducted to provide a picture of how your target market views advertising and address weaknesses in the advertising campaign.

Competitive Analysis

Competitive analysis allows you to assess your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses in the marketplace, providing you with fuel to drive a competitive advantage.

No business exists in a vacuum—competitive analysis is an integral part of any business and market plan. Whether you’re just getting started, moving into a new market, or doing a health check of your business, a competitive analysis will be invaluable.

A researcher will typically choose a few of your main competitors and analyze things like their marketing strategy, customer perceptions, revenue or sales volume, and so on.

Secondary sources such as articles, references, and advertising are excellent sources of competitive information; however, primary research, such as mystery shopping and focus groups can offer valuable information on customer service and current consumer opinions.

Consumer Insights

Consumer insights research does more than tell you about who your customers are and what they do. It reveals why customers behave in certain ways and helps you leverage that to meet your business goals.

Knowing your customers deeply is integral to creating a strategic marketing plan. This type of market research can help you anticipate consumer needs, spark innovation, personalize your marketing, solve business challenges, and more.

Consumer insights research should be specific to your business—it’s about getting to know your customers and your target market. Various market research methods can be used, such as interviews, ethnography, survey research, social monitoring, and customer journey research.

Here are some of the characteristics you should understand through consumer insights research:

  • Purchase habits
  • Interests, hobbies, passions
  • Personal and professional information
  • How they consume media and advertising

Customer Segmentation Research

Customer segmentation studies aim to divide markets or customers into smaller groups or personas with similar characteristics to enable targeted marketing. By understanding how people in each category behave, you can understand how each influences revenue.

As soon as you’re ready to start giving customers individualized experiences. Not every customer in your target market is the same. The more you understand each specific persona, the easier it is to focus on delivering personalized marketing, build loyal relations, price products effectively, and forecast how new products and services will perform in each segment.

Market researchers use four characteristics to segment customers.

  • Demographics. Demographic information such as age, gender, family status, education, household income, occupation, and so on.
  • Geography. Where people live, from cities and countries to whether they are city dwellers or suburbanites.
  • Psychographics. Socioeconomic status, class, lifestyle, personality traits, generation, interests, hobbies, etc.
  • Behaviour. Brand affinity, consumption and shopping habits, spending, etc.

A researcher will identify your current customers and collect data about them through various market research methods, such as surveys, database research, website analytics, interviews, and focus groups. The aim is to gather as much information as possible.

Customer Satisfaction Research

Customer satisfaction research is a type of market research that measures customers’ experiences with products or services, specifically looking at how those meet, exceed, or fail to live up to their expectations.

Customer satisfaction is a strong indicator of customer retention and overall business performance. Successful customer satisfaction research should help you understand what your customers like, dislike, and feel needs improvement. You can use this type of market research to look at quality and design of products; speed and timeliness of delivery; staff and service reliability, knowledge, friendliness; market price; and value for money.

There are several ways to measure customer satisfaction, most commonly using surveys. An NPS or Voice of the Customer Survey can help you measure customer loyalty. Customer Effort Scoring measures how satisfied people are with customer service or problem resolution. CSAT is any survethat measures customer satisfaction, typically measured using Likert Scale surveys. They can be conducted at different points in the customer experience, allowing deeper insight into that moment.

Product Development

Market research for product development involves using customer knowledge to inform the entire process of creating or improving a product, service, or app, and bringing it to market.

Innovation is hard work. A quick Google will tell you that 80 – 95% of new products fail every year. Conducting market research for product and app development helps minimize the risk of a new product or change going bust as it enters the market. There are four stages where you can use market research:

  • Conception. The moment you’re thinking about adding something new, market research can find market opportunities and provide insights into customer challenges or their jobs-to-be-done, so you can find a way to fill the gap.
  • Formation. Once you have an idea, market researchers can help you turn it into a concept that can be tested. You can learn more about strategizing pricing, testing advertising and packaging, value proposition, and so on.
  • Introduction. Market research can help you gauge attitudes towards the product once it’s in the market and adapt your messaging as it rolls out.
  • Keep making the product better or find opportunities to introduce it to new markets.

Product development research will utilize different market research methods, depending on the goal of the research. A researcher could present focus groups with product concepts and listen to their opinions, conduct interviews to learn more about their pain points, or perform user testing to see how they interact with an app or website.

Usability Testing

Usability testing is concerned with understanding how customers use your products in real time. It can involve physical products, like a new blender, or digital products like a website or app.

Usability testing is helpful when you need to detect problems or bugs in early prototypes or beta versions before launching them. It typically costs far less to test a product or service beforehand than to pull a flawed product off the shelves or lose sales because of poor functionality.

There are several types of usability tests, which vary based on whether you’re testing a physical or digital product.

  • Journey testing involves observing the customer experience on an app or website and monitoring how they perform. This type of study can be done online.
  • Eye tracking studies monitor where people’s eyes are drawn. Generally, they are conducted on websites and apps, but can also be done in stores to analyze where people look while shopping.
  • Learnability studies quantify the learning curve over time to see which problems people encounter after repeating the same task.
  • Click tracking follows users’ activity on websites to evaluate the linking structure of a website.
  • Checklist testing involves giving users tasks to perform and recording or asking them to review their experience.

Let's get you ready for launch

Just some quick questions to discover your thoughts and needs, then we schedule a call at your convenience.