Ten Marketing Research Ideas To Help Grow Your Business


Idea #5 - Do not assume that your customers know what they need.


This idea might seem to be totally contradictory coming from someone who is committed to staying in touch with customers through an ongoing program of market research. However, our research over the years has continually revealed the following fact about human nature: Consumers often do not know what they need or want until they know what they can have!


This fact was dramatized in the 1950's when a major appliance manufacturer asked over 1,000 housewives to give them new ideas and suggestions for developing new ranges for the future. While the women did make comments about offering new decorator colors or making the dials easier to read, not one woman had the gall to say: "Make me an oven that cleans itself!" Yet, when these same women were told months later about a new product idea called, the Self-Cleaning Oven, most of them screamed, "That's exactly what I need!"


Although most people have great difficulty in being creative as it relates to imagining new product ideas or anticipating future unmet needs, they are usually very good at explaining things they dislike or to talk about specific problems they currently have. In addition, our experience has shown that people tend to be much more effective in reacting to clear, concrete examples of a new idea than being asked to visualize and create one completely on their own. It is this lesson in human behavior that led to the development of the Future Vision Concept methodology. Simply stated, this is a research approach that allows companies to uncover and anticipate unmet customer needs by visualizing and evaluating new product ideas and marketing strategies for the future.