New Product Strategy- Discovering Unmet Needs in your Category

New Product Strategy- Discovering Unmet Needs in your Category

New Product Strategy

To stay ahead of the game, companies are always creating new products or optimizing their current products. Developing a new product strategy can be challenging and involves a delicate balance between risk and reward. The good news is that there are steps you can take to remove the “guess-work” out of your new product development. Let’s look at 3 steps you can take to discover unmet needs in your category.

Ask Questions

The beautiful thing about the social media explosion is that consumers are given a voice, a VERY loud voice. We are in the middle of a paradigm shift. Now when people have a thought, their first reaction is to share it with friends online. Along with that urge to share every single waking thought (whether you want to know or not), consumers are looking to answer questions, to give their opinion.

As Marketers, we need to use this paradigm shift to our advantage. Ask simple questions to your audience. For example, “What is the biggest problem with Product X (or category)?” People are willing and eager to voice their opinion on your category or product. Want to know what unmet needs your audience has?….ask them.

Look for weak signals

Successful new products often stem from obscurity. When conducting a focus group or asking a question to your social media network, pay special attention to the weak signals. These weak signals can be in the form of unanswered question and can sometimes represent opportunity.

Get Creative

Unmet needs are often solved by thinking “outside the box”. Sometimes all we need is a fresh perspective. Using focus groups and online idea generation/brainstorming tools can give you that new set of ideas. Don’t be afraid to try to different solution path. Get creative!

Identifying unmet needs in your category doesn’t have to be as hard as you think. We’re in an age where people are willing to voice their needs. All you need to do is ask the right questions and listen.

What tools have been most successful for your new product development?

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