Question A: A product manager suggests development of a non tobacco cigarette blended from wheat, Cocoa, and citrus.
Answer: Concept Testing is a good method here within Exploratory Research. Concept Testing will allow this new idea to be presented in front of customers either by film or written and ask if they think it is new and different, if they would use it, and whether they like the idea. This will allow the product manager to get a feel for this product prior to doing any more research, development, and manufacturing. This could also be done via a Pilot Study. A Pilot Study will allow a non-biased view of how the consumer may react to a product such as this by obtaining primary data that will reflect the concerns, likes, and dislikes of the new product. An additional added value of a Pilot Study is that it is based on a smaller exploratory research product that uses sampling but does not require rigorous standards or costs associated to the research. Focus Group Interviews also could benefit here as this technique within exploratory research is very popular with discussions surrounding advertising. Focus Group Interviews are small in nature and can focus on the new-product concept. This idea focuses on concerns and group discussions more to document the outcome of the focus groups discussions final insight to the desired product change. I picture however within the focus groups a room filled with smoke and a bunch of smokers testing the new product and maybe comparing it to their more desired cigarette. Something that may happen later down the road before the development and manufacturing of the cigarette, however to be affective this should be tested as stated within the Concept Testing method so that users can actually taste the product to make up their minds.
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