Market research is essential before investing in innovation, a new business or before launching a new product. You need to be certain that your new service or product will be well received and will fit a gap in the market. It’s a vital piece of the research and development process and is one of the main priorities at the beginning of any products life.

For some new start-ups, the new product may be so innovative that a period of education to the target market is needed. In these cases, it’s important to adopt a very clear marketing strategy that educates and informs, and highlights how the product will enhance a buyer’s life. This can be quite expensive and can muddy the waters in terms of market research. The user needs to be aware of how to use the product and why such a product or service is needed.

In this case, it’s an idea to have an army of Beta testers throughout the whole development process, in order to ensure you stay connected to your target market.

In other cases, where the product or service needs little explanation, market research is split into several sections. These sections include primary market research and secondary market research. You may also consider local and national market research too, alongside online and offline research.

Using Friends and Family for Research and Development Market Research

Friends and family make great sounding boards when developing a product or service but they’re not the most reliable source for feedback. They will be absorbed in the product or service and will have greater insights than the general public will have. They may also be a little biased, as they will want to see you succeed. This can infiltrate the feedback you receive.

How to Protect Your Idea Throughout the Research and Development Process

Another concern when developing a new product or service is the concern over having your idea stolen by a third party. This is always a risk in the research and development industry, just how much do you reveal and when? An NDA can protect you and your business from leaks of information and will ensure secrecy between parties.

When conducting primary market research, try to keep your questions neutral. You don’t have to reveal details about a product in order to find out if it will be well received.

Building a trusted group of Beta Testers, is the best way to receive feedback throughout your project development.

What the Competition Can Teach You

You can also gain incredible insights by keeping an eye on the competition. See the problems they encounter with their customers, identify any sticking points they may have through viewing their reviews and feedback and see how their buyers interact on social media, like Facebook.

You have the advantage when using the competition for market research, as with R&D Tax Credits and research and development grants, you can ensure your product doesn’t face the same problems.

R&D tax credits can be claimed if you’re also enhancing an existing product or service on the market, which means you can beat the competition before you’ve even launched.


Jamie Smith