Market research methods for innovation development: an overview
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.