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Has the 'market-driven' approach taken the front seat of 2018?

Over the years, companies have adapted their approach when developing new products to meet expectations from consumers. Rather than simply being shown and persuaded to purchase a new product, many individuals now expect greater levels of interaction with brands and welcome the chance to input into a product’s development. Consumers expect their voices will be listened to during the development process since they are the ones at the receiving end that can make or break a launch. In the past, brands have taken a much more ‘product driven’ mindset of designing a product and then trying to find a market for it. However, this lack of research into their market and what their consumers really want has resulted in a few almighty flops, never to see the light of day again.

Celery flavoured jelly, crisps with laxative side effects and colourless Pepsi….read more about the 10 biggest fails here.

These examples perfectly portray why engaging with your customers first to understand their wants and desires for new product or adaptations is vital for product success, I mean, ready-made salads enclosed in celery flavoured jelly… really?

An increasing desire to be involved with brands

The digital revolution and social media could be viewed as contributing factors for this increased expectation as it is now easier than ever for customers to communicate with brands directly. Some large-scale businesses have already used this desire for consumer engagement to their advantage. For example, Cadbury’s customers could competitively design potential new flavours of chocolate bars on their website and Walker’s left the decision of which crisp flavours took the dump down to an online poll.

pointThis new paradigm of increasing levels of customer engagement before development of products customers really want has been deemed the ‘market-driven’ approach*.

It is explained as follows: “Under this model, companies must take the time to really understand their consumers from the outset. Thus, instead of devising new products on your own, you should figure out exactly what your customers are looking for. And, of course, you should craft your goods according to those needs and desires[1]”.

Brands now take much more time in the research process to truly understanding their market, thus creating products and offering services based on their needs and desires. A framework that puts such focus on understanding the customer means that market research is integral for any organisation to stay ahead in their market and ensure they remain relevant to their consumers.

Parallels with the membership sector

RbD has been busy working with clients in the membership sector, recognising the importance of increasing an organisation’s member engagement, just like the consumer brands that are striving to increase engagement with their customers. Through our extensive research experience within the sector, we have created a member engagement model that consists of four components; behavioural, cognitive, emotional and social characteristics. Identifying and measuring these four areas can provide detailed insight into the minds of members, enabling the organisation to have a much clearer understanding of what motivates them and more informed focus when designing new products and services for their members. There are definite parallels that can be drawn versus the ‘market-driven’ approach which is growing in popularity with consumer brands as a way of ensuring that decision-making is accurately informed by those who they are trying to reach out to.


Read here to find out more about our member engagement model.

Member Engagement model




This entry was posted in Membership, Market research, tagged Membership, Communication, Market research tips and posted on October 15, 2018

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