Marketing and Market Research

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The key stages of market research and new product development

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Market research involves the systematic gathering, recording and analyzing of data about customers, competitors and the market. This links marketers to consumers by supplying essential information to solve marketing challenges and help with marketing decisions. Market research helps a company create and develop an up-to-date and relevant portfolio of products.

Creating new products

Beiersdorf's international Market Research team is based at company headquarters in Hamburg, Germany. The team's objective is to be the voice of the consumers within the organization. High-quality market research has helped secure the long-term future of the business. Analyzing and understanding the data gathered on consumers' behaviors, needs, attitudes and opinions minimizes the risks involved in making marketing decisions. Market research in a global organization needs the help and support of the company's overseas affiliate companies. Most affiliate companies (in the UK for example) have dedicated Market Research Managers. [pic]

They help the central research team in gathering and interpreting consumer views. These views provide information or insights that ultimately result in the development of new products suitable for a global market. This case study follows the development of a new NIVEA Deodorant called Pearl and Beauty aimed at young women. This case study will give you a clear picture of how market research has helped New Product Development (NPD).

Identifying consumer views and product needs – where to start?

Market research should start with the consumer and serves two purposes: 1) To inform companies about consumer needs and desires. What are the trends in the market? What do consumers want? 2) To give consumers the opportunity to talk to the providers of products and services so that their views are taken into account. [pic]

Businesses exist in a fast-moving world with increased consumer choice. It is essential that a company knows its market and its consumers before developing any new product. Lots of questions need answering. Consumer insights drive New Product Development. This information takes into account their behaviors, attitudes and beliefs. It is an expression of their wishes and desires. Businesses use consumer insights to create opportunities for their brands. It is the starting point that enables brands to fit meaningfully into consumers' lives. Across countries, consumers are different in terms of culture and lifestyle. NIVEA's challenge was to find similar insights from consumers across different countries. This was used to optimize product development.

Secondary research

In the deodorant category, NIVEA used many secondary research sources to discover consumers' views and their need for deodorants. These related to different markets and were supplied by local country market researchers. These included: i. A consumer Usage and Attitude study. This had been conducted a few years earlier across various markets (UK, France and USA). ii. An external study by Fragrance Houses. This covered the importance of scent and fragrance to people's well-being and mood.

Primary research

The research team felt therefore there was not enough recent knowledge about the consumer in the secondary research. They commissioned some primary qualitative research in key markets (Germany, France, UK and USA). This was aided by the local Market Research Manager. The aim was to understand the motivations for using deodorant amongst the female consumer. Primary research is used when there is no existing data available to answer your questions. The research involved small discussion groups of females. This helped researchers understand the beliefs and motivations of this group. There were several main findings: • There is steady growth in females shaving. They wanted to look after their underarms throughout all seasons (not just in summer). •...
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