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A Guide to the Right Research for Your Innovation Process

We often find  that there are knowledge and process gaps when it comes to driving innovation forward. Most companies have the desire to be innovative, but don’t necessarily have a concrete approach for making  it happen. This is where research comes into play.

Using the right research approach, at the right time, will enhance your ability to successfully guide the innovation process. This includes key goals like exploring the market for whitespace opportunities, translating opportunity areas into priority products or line extensions, refining go-to-market materials like packaging and advertising, and predicting in-market success. Myriad tools and approaches are available to uncover deep insights and enable your team to make informed decisions.

The key is identifying which approaches will work best for your brand so that marketing and R&D can get the most out of the research. Below are core research approaches to leverage at different phases of the innovation pathway:

Identifying New Opportunities

  • Ethnographies yielding a deep perspective of behaviors and emotions through discussion and observation. Whether leveraging a Jobs To Be Done framework or simply observing, this approach provides rich stories and unexpected insights to help identify new opportunities.
  • Opportunity Scoring, a quantifiable approach to identifying pain points and understanding current satisfaction to prioritize potential opportunities.
  • Market Structure, using quantitative research to organize the market, with a focus on identifying opportunities for innovation. Understand and prioritize unmet needs in order to identify the strongest growth areas based on white space.

Prioritization of Opportunities

  • Discrete Choice approach to optimize the ideal combination of packages, benefits, and prices for your products.
  • Line Assortment Optimization to Identify optimal product assortment, including current and competitive SKUs, and where innovations fit in. Understand which products are incremental to each other and should continue to live together and which products are cannibalistic to others in your line.
  • Real Time Concept Optimization enables the team to enhance and optimize concepts to maximize success and determine best fit.

Launch Preparation

  • Product Testing and Home Use Tests to predict how the product or suite of products will perform in the market.
  • Price Testing via Choice modeling to test promotions, offers, rewards and discounts to maximize adoption and revenue.
  • Using Virtual Reality to explore the impact of different package designs in the context of the shelf. Virtual Reality is realistic, fast and a cost-effective way to validate packaging, shelf design, and in-store communication.

Predicting In-Market Success

  • RetailLive, to evaluate how real shoppers view your innovation in a real store context. This approach is a behavioral based solution that integrates observation and intercept, leveraging naturally occurring shoppers to holistically understand human behavior in a real store environment.
  • Via concept test, incorporate a market forecasting exercise to predict potential sales volume and source.

Want to learn more about these approaches for your innovation process? Contact us.