Consumer insight and consumer research

For a product to be successful, it has to meet the consumer and user requirements. Usually we refer to these as needs or desires. In any case, we need to meet and exceed them to succeed commercially.

The question is, How can we identify and evaluate those needs?

There are different methodologies that I use, and it all depends on the product, the market, the objectives and resources to define which methodology is most convenient. I will describe briefly some of them:

 


 

Outcome drive innovation (ODI)

This is my favourite and wherever possible most recommended approach. Its objective is to identify the highest level purpose or reason that a consumer has to use a product, and from there serve that purpose. The classic example is to look at a consumer buying a drill bit. We can assign many parameters to determine why a drill bit is better than another but most likely the consumer does not want to buy a drill bit, they just want a hole in a wall. And perhaps they don’t really want a hole, they just want to hang a picture, and to a highest emotional level they do not want to hang a picture, they want to show off their holidays. If we are in the drill bit business we can’t do anything about their need to show off their holidays, but we can make their life easier to hang a picture as soon as we know what they are trying to do.

So the important part of this methodology is to find what a consumer is trying to achieve and find ways to help them get there.  We do that by conducting interviews and then cross referencing the findings with surveys. The results allow us to find areas where we can innovate and even features that are redundant.

ODI Process

outcome driven innovations


ODI Definning opprtunities

ODI jobs around an outcome


Other Consumer reseach methodologies

 

Ethnographic Studies

In this studies we immerse ourselves into the life of the consumer and not only shadow them, but work with them in their activities to have a feel of how they go about using a product and achieving a task.  To best describe it I will use an example from a project:

When designing commercial refrigerators that are used by chefs, I decided to work one evening in a restaurant helping in preparing different dishes. This experience allowed me not only to see what the requirements were for storing food, but “feeling” where the problems were. With this information we were then able to develop breakthrough innovative solutions in the catering industry.

Observation studies

This is similar to the ethnographic study, but the difference is that sometimes is not possible to use the product or conduct the task and we have to limit ourselves to observe users. This is a common case in medical devices, as We can’t perform a surgery or don’t have a condition that requires a device.

Focus groups

In this methodology we discuss with a group of consumers how they use a product or conduct a task, the group helps the discussion as people feed between themselves insights and share opinions.

This is a good option to uncover how people might use a product and to compare concepts.


Design Thinking

This is a very common process used by most designers, the idea is to conduct quick iterations and create models and prototypes to test them as often as possible with users. Then conduct another design iteration, where the product is refined and model resolution is increased every time. This process is very important to follow as much as possible, as it allows to uncover unexpected user reactions, ways of using a product, which increase the likelihood of product success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©2018 Xorge Castro. All Rights Reserved. Using JoomShaper

Search