A brand’s growth is highly dependent on identifying market opportunities or white spaces that will meet consumer needs, and then creating the right new product or offering to meet those needs. A new product or offering should add more than just incremental value and sales to the portfolio, and it can’t cannibalize from the existing line-up. Advanced analytics approaches can help ensure both will happen.
Brand managers typically approach the search for new market opportunities in two ways: 1) build upon existing ideas; or 2) start with a blank sheet of paper by asking consumers what fundamental needs are lacking. In this second scenario, a brand team is looking to determine how satisfied consumers are with current choices in the market and if new choices can better solve their problems. These are complex and nuanced attitudes to uncover, and where the use of advanced analytics in the research design can make a significant contribution to the sales and profitability of a new product or offering.
A brand team is looking to determine how satisfied consumers are with current choices in the market and if new choices can better solve their problems.
The jeopardy of using a standard analytical solution such as a scale-based approach (where consumers range a choice on a scale of 1 to 10) is that all answers tend to end up in the same range of satisfaction or dissatisfaction—say for instance, the biggest problem ends up scoring 58% while the smallest problem ends up scoring 53%. These aren’t statistically different numbers, and a brand team can end up with thirty choices having relatively the same score.
In the early stages when market needs are still being identified, using a sophisticated priority scoring approach can better determine the features or benefits that will resonate with consumers. One of the elements in The Radius Priority Scoring approach is called MaxDiff, and is used to help brands across all categories evaluate the importance of needs. That importance is then combined with evaluations of satisfaction and frequency, and delivered through a single matrix that clearly indicates the relevant solutions that could meet consumer needs.
In Part 2 of this series, we’ll outline how to optimize the product and portfolio with an eye toward eliminating any cannibalization from new products.