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The Importance of Objectives

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Written by: Jonah Berg, Associate Vice President

Introducing a new product, or making changes to an existing one, can be a long and arduous process. In order to find success, it is important to understand your research objectives and the relevant business questions at hand.  Making sure you have the appropriate action standards, benchmark/comparative products, and base of respondents is as important as the results of the test itself.

Before embarking on your product test, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this a new product introduction?
  • Will this product serve as a replacement for an existing product or as an addition to our portfolio?
  • If we are making a formulation/recipe change, why?
    • Will this decrease our costs?
    • Will it improve our customers’ experience?
    • Do we want our customers, both existing and prospective, to know that we are making a change?

The answers to the above will inform your research objectives, creating clear and more actionable results.

Plus, they inform study design… How, you ask?

  • For a new product launch…
    • “Who are we trying to attract?” becomes “Who should we be interviewing?”
    • “Who is/are our key competitor(s)?” becomes “What product(s) should we use as benchmarks?”
  • For a product reformulation…
    • “How will this change affect my current customers?” becomes “Do I need to worry about alienation? Is there an acceptable level of erosion to my business?”
    • “Do we want our customers, both existing and prospective, to know that we are making a change?” becomes “Do we need to show a concept? Should our products be branded or unbranded during the test? Should I be interviewing more than just my brand’s current users?”

In addition to being able to design and execute a product test for any of your research objectives, FRC can also help develop clear objectives or clarify and simplify existing ones. All good research starts with asking the right questions to the right people. FRC believes that process starts long before talking to consumers.