If you want to conduct market research ahead of introducing a new cola in the market, this is what will happen. Your respondent will instantly compare that with regular cola when answering questions related to prices, acceptability and their willingness to buy it (ESOMAR, 2013). Your forecasts based on this research are more likely to resemble real life actions of your target consumers in an actual market. However, if your idea is a better alternative you will need a different approach.

Research your idea first

Before anything else, you need to research your out of the box idea itself - an idea that is not just an alternative option, rather adds value for consumers. Start with a three step research process: problem solving, design thinking and market priming. Simply said:

  1. Does this new idea solve problems for a target market?
  2. Did you apply best practices from other successful products / services in the market?
  3. Will our target market instantly understand our key selling point without you actively educating them?

At every stage, interact with a proper representation of your target market, analyse all verbal and non-verbal cues and improve further.

Practically apply the three step process

In 1966, Owen Maclaren first came up with the fold-able baby stroller. He identified the problem: existing strollers did not easily fit into car trunks. He used his experience as an aeronautics engineer to design a frame that folds like an aeroplane's landing gear. Plus, his use of visual cues resonated instantly with his target market: the stroller looked like something that folds - a deck chair (Wood & Ewing, 2016).

Breaking down your research process into these three steps will also help you launch commercially viable products / services.

In short

Your out of the box idea needs to solve a problem, draw in best practices from existing products and instantly create a mental reference for your target market. Once you have that sorted, build a prototype, survey your target market and make data driven decisions to fine tune your product, set the right price and communicate effectively.

About the author

Shahryar Khan is a Market Research and Customer Experience (CX) Management consultant. He worked as a Brand & Advertising consultant for Commonwealth Bank Australia served as a CX consultant for Toyota Finance, Lexus Automotive and Audi Australia and managed over 90 market research projects for top MNCs in Bangladesh.

References / Sources

  1. ESOMAR (2013), ed. Ray Poynter and Sue York, “Answers to contemporary market research questions”, ESOMAR Eurocentre 2, The Netherlands. Contributing Authors: Dr. Nasir Khan, Suz Allen, Sven Arn, Reg Baker, Susan Bell, Pete Cape, Alison Dexter, Dirk Huisman, Kathryn Korostoff, Phyllis Macfarlane, Omar Mahmoud, Bernie Malinoff, Katie O’Connor, Stephen Paton, Annie Pettit, Pravin Shekar, Anouk Willems and Tom Wilms. Curated by Finn Raben, Ray Poynter and Sue York.
  2. Wood, Orlando and Ewing, Tom (2016), “Fluent Innovation: Using Behavioural Science to Make Your Next Big Idea a Success”, System1 Group TV, available online at https://vimeo. com/171588627
  3. Platt, Nicholas Graham (2016), “Media Image”, Culfact, 13th February 2016, available online at 1dce1b6d648