By Ben Davies, founder of vypr
Consumer behaviour has changed significantly in the digital era and now more than ever, it’s time to change the approach we take when we conduct market research for FMCG products.
While traditional methods may have provided sufficient enough answers before, current market research tactics are lacking in foresight, real-time data and most importantly, context: sales data looks back on what has performed well in the past rather than what might be appealing in the future; results of focus groups are held in private rooms where people know they are being watched and are often coerced by other participants into forming an opinion about a product that might not reflect reality, especially when it comes to their behaviour and decision making when in store.
At vypr, we believe that brands and retailers need to step away from old ideas and start to innovate. By working in tandem with consumers throughout the product development cycle their NPD will stand a far greater chance of survival. Reducing the attrition rates of new products is just one of the many reasons why we developed vypr – a SaaS (software-as-a-service) platform and app that for both clients and consumers. With that in mind, here are our top 3 tips for getting the real-time foresight needed in market research to do just that.
1) Get smarter on spend: cut your costs on resource, packaging and marketing
There is an 80% attrition rate of new products in FMCG with tens of thousands of pounds wasted in time, money and energy each and every time. Why? Well, because brands and retailers look back and not forward relying heavily on retrospective sales data to support the creation of new products, using surveys and focus groups just before launch at a stage where it is often far too late to validate them.
To be smarter, you need to be gathering data on your products throughout their development cycle and be open minded to trying new technologies to test and learn, helping you reduce your costs by adapting and refining new products to best suit the market. With vypr we allow brands and retailers to do exactly this by testing ideas and designs with consumers through a client and consumer-facing app from conception to launch, in real time.
2) Use mobile technology and science to capture real-time foresight on NPD
As consumers voice their opinions and brands’ eagerness to please converge, it now is the time for role of market research insights to take a back seat and allow real-time foresights to take the lead.
The connected consumers of Generation C already have the freedom to comment, review and share their thoughts and feedback on social networks on a daily basis online to their peers and to brands. And brands are responding by using these platforms to gather feedback on new products asking which flavour variants sound more appealing. The fundamental problem with this approach however, is it’s lack of depth and understanding of the science behind actual consumer and shopper behaviour in-store.
vypr provides a channel for live feedback on products for food and drink companies, capturing the opinions and views of consumers which can be heard by the right people. This will permit changes to be made at any point in the product development cycle by listening to feedback in real-time. Market research can be conducted almost instantly in just a few taps from their desk or out in-store via the app by uploading different packaging designs of their own or competitors, coupled with a series of questions – also known as a ‘Steer’ – that have been composed using the science of behavioural economics. This approach ensures that we are tapping into not only the conscious, but also the unconscious decisions of consumers when they evaluate a product.
3) Move away from tradition and adopt the tech model for product development
The tech industry continuously tweak and adjust their products and apps to make sure they deliver what the customer needs.
As soon as FMCG companies begin to adopt this model, they will be able to be much more dynamic in their approach to getting new products to market in a more scientific and data-driven way. Carrying out market research at the final hurdle in the product-to-market process is just too late to see if a new product, design or packaging hits the right spot for consumers.
About the Author:
Ben Davies is a tech entrepreneur, CEO and founder of SaaS platform vypr. vypr works through both a consumer (http://www.vypr.it/) and client (http://www.vyprclients.com/) app. Brands and retailers can upload questions and images into ‘Steers’ within the app from the back end, that will pop up in the consumers’ app in real-time. Steers are a series of questions which invite users to tap on pictures of their favourite products or select the packaging they might like the best. The consumer’s incentive is collecting points which are redeemable for cash when they respond to the Steers. vypr is currently being used and tested by leading UK retailers and manufacturers.