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Market Research Methods for Innovation Development Overview npdresearch

Market Research Methods for Innovation Development Overview npdresearch

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Published by yiah
A wide variety of market research methods can be used for researching innovations.
The methods can be divided into four main groups, corresponding to the stages of
product development: methods for (1) understanding customers, (2) idea generation,
(3) concept testing, and (4) estimating market size, growth, and composition. This
grouping is somewhat artificial, as many of the methods can be used in several
different parts of the sequence.
The first two groups of methods tend to be more qualitative, imaginative, and open.
They require divergent thinking. The second two groups of methods are more
evaluative. However, many combinations and variations of methods are possible.
The following list covers most methods

Dennis List
School of Marketing / Centre for Innovation and Development
University of South Australia
dennis.list@unisa.edu.au
A wide variety of market research methods can be used for researching innovations.
The methods can be divided into four main groups, corresponding to the stages of
product development: methods for (1) understanding customers, (2) idea generation,
(3) concept testing, and (4) estimating market size, growth, and composition. This
grouping is somewhat artificial, as many of the methods can be used in several
different parts of the sequence.
The first two groups of methods tend to be more qualitative, imaginative, and open.
They require divergent thinking. The second two groups of methods are more
evaluative. However, many combinations and variations of methods are possible.
The following list covers most methods

Dennis List
School of Marketing / Centre for Innovation and Development
University of South Australia
dennis.list@unisa.edu.au

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Market research methods for innovation development: an overview
Dennis List
A wide variety of market research methods can be used for researching innovations.The methods can be divided into four main groups, corresponding to the stages ofproduct development: methods for (1) understanding customers, (2) idea generation,(3) concept testing, and (4) estimating market size, growth, and composition. Thisgrouping is somewhat artificial, as many of the methods can be used in severaldifferent parts of the sequence.The first two groups of methods tend to be more qualitative, imaginative, and open.They require divergent thinking. The second two groups of methods are moreevaluative. However, many combinations and variations of methods are possible.The following list covers most methods.
1. Methods for understanding customers
Empathic design ObservationCustomer visits EthnographyAlien interviewing ZMET (Metaphor Elicitation)Codiscovery conference Information acceleration
2. Methods for idea generation
Brainstorming and synectics Templates of product changeMorphological analysis TRIZNominal group technique (NGT) Scenario planningLead users Secondary researchLateral thinking Ignoring customers
3. Methods for concept testing 
Storyboarding Customer Idealized DesignCharrette Usability testingConsumer clinics A-B testing (formal experiments)Consensus groups House of Quality / QFD
4. Methods for estimating market size, growth, and composition
Test marketing Delphi methodExpeditionary marketing Tracking surveysSimulation ForecastingMonitoring, response techniquesEach of these methods is very briefly described below, with references to moredetailed publications.
 
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1. Methods for understanding customers
The purpose of these methods is to understand customers’ needs - even when notarticulated by them. They are also useful for understanding the needs and pressuresinside a large organization and possible blocks to creativity and innovation.
Empathic design –
which is derived from
Customer visits
 Principle: Direct transfer of tacit knowledge.Method: go into a user’s environment, for a day or more. Usually for industrialproducts rather than consumer products. Follow the user around, ask questions,observe relevant behaviour. Nothing very formal. Often done by engineering ordesign staff - not by external consultants. Alternatively, by staff together withconsultants. Need to be open-minded, not blame the user for lack of knowledge orskill.References: McQuarrie (1993), Leonard & Rayport (1997).
Alien interviewing 
Format of personal interview: interviewing designers, usually not customers.Interviewer acts if an alien (from another planet), asking dumb questions - as if anew user: “What’s this for?” - “Why does it do that?” - etc. Problem: some designersbecome quite hostile during such questioning - and they are the ones who mustaccept the thinking.No detailed reference found. Similar to Idealized Design (see below).
Voice of the Customer
One aspect of the House of Quality, within Quality Function Deployment (QFD): thetasks of identifying and structuring customer needs. A hierarchy of needs is created -ofen 200 to 400 of them - from which the primary/. strategic needs for a yet-to-be-designed product are extracted. There is strong evidence that this method workswell. It is not a unique research method, because it uses standard techniques ofpersonal interviews, focus groups, and mini-groups.References: Griffin and Hauser (1993), Burchill & Brodie (1997), Ulwick (2002).
Codiscovery conference
Principle: need for mutual understanding - consumers need to understandproducers’ constraints in order to make useful suggestions, and producers need tounderstand consumers’ needs.Method: Two groups (e.g. staff and customers, 20-40 people in total) meet for twohalf-day sessions, mostly working in rotating smaller groups. In the first session eachgroup comes to understand the other’s motivations. In the second session they work
 
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together to generate and partly develop mutually acceptable ideas. End with “ideasfair” where small groups present their new product ideas to each other.Example: Refocusing government radio in Indonesia to become public service radio.Producers had little detailed knowledge of their audiences, but after spending twohalf-days with typical audience members, producers felt able to create more relevantprograms, and audience members decided to set up a Listeners’ Club in Jakarta.Limitations: Findings easily forgotten by staff – need to be reinforced, but writtenreport doesn’t have enough impact, and videos don’t get watched.References: List (2002, chapter 15), List (2004). Derived from the search conference(Emery and Purser, 1996).
Observation
Watching how consumers use a type of product or service. Can be done in person ormechanically. Software can record all actions taken at computer while recordingvoice. “Unobtrusive measures” research - e.g. looking at surface wear to find most-used features.Limitations: ethical/privacy issues arise if users are not told what’s happening - butpossibly abnormal behaviour if they
are
told.Main reference: Spradley (1980).
Ethnography
What anthropologists used to do: go and live with an undiscovered tribe for a yearor two, understand their structure and customs, then write it up. A mixture ofobservation and in-depth interviewing. Nowadays, anthropologists go into largeorganizations to understand their purchasing processes - but usually only for a fewweeks.When to use: When broad details of customers’ lives (typically work lives, for NPD)are needed for understanding of how they might use a product or service. But notwhen a quick decision is (really) needed.Limitations: Very expensive if done the traditional way (a full year with a tribe), butoften abbreviated for market research. Still far from cheap!References: Spradley (1995), Ellen (1984).
ZMET (Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique)
Principle: tap underlying emotional connections.(1) Participants collect pictures that symbolize their thoughts and feelings.(2) Intense 2-hour personal interview with psychologist.

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