Use of Qualitative and Quantitative Research in New Product Development

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There are many ways for the product manager (PM) to gather information on their way to creating a successful business plan to present to upper management to justify the funds and support for new product initiatives, projects and activities. The research methodologies of quantitative, qualitative and experimental research are important processes to assess, identify and refine the many variables which help define the path to decision-making for new product development, product lines and product portfolios.
Primary research can be conducted by me or a company I hire to gather data and information for a specific project via interviews, focus groups and experimentation. This quality of information is more regulated with a specific purpose in
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Topics are raised with questions involving an interchange of information between participants.
Focus groups are one way of obtain important information from customers about new products in the early phase of new product development to ensure inclusion optimal features (for benefits.) The results of the focus groups can assist with a decision whether or not to add a new product to a company’s existing offerings. Companies are able to test new products with potential new test markets through focus groups before introduction to the mass market, providing companies with critical information about acceptance in the marketplace.
In the documentary, “The Pizza Turnaround,” (http://pizzaturnaround.com/), Domino’s Pizza changed the recipe of their pizza “from the crust up” after conducting focus groups interviews with their customers. The feedback was consistent that the pizza was “like cardboard”. Domino’s listened to their consumers and took their comments to heart to diligently create a new pizza recipe with a new crust, new sauce and new cheese – a complete pizza makeover which garnered Domino’s a new position in the customers’ minds and palates.
The following is a list of the benefits of qualitative research:
• Learn about how customers’ perceptions about a product category
• Differentiate between various groups of customers on perceptions for products
• Understand what connects people to each other in category decision for
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