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New Product and Customer Expectations

It goes without saying that ideas for new products and services appear every day, however, without proper market research, the majority of them will never be introduced to the market successfully. In general, the main goal of this research is to ensure that a new product or service will meet customers’ expectations and address their unspoken and articulated desires. At the same time, the research should be carefully planned as the in-depth evaluation of the project’s expediency should be well-structured for the best results.

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The product under development by the marketing department is a new after-school snack for kids aged 7-12. This choice is determined by the tradition to provide children with healthy snacks to avoid hunger until dinner time. In other words, the majority of parents and children buy snacks on a daily basis – that is why, the introduction of a healthy, visually attractive, and delicious after-school snack to the market may be regarded as a successful marketing idea.

Therefore, the first step of a research plan implies understanding the general situation in the market and competitors. It is essential to understand how snacks are defined and presented in the market as this representation is formed by customers’ opinions and affects these opinions at the same time. For instance, if snacks are perceived as meal substitutes, more nutritious snacks, including biscuits, peanuts, and cereal, will be very well received. In addition, understanding the company’s competitors are essential for the project’s future success – the examination of their strengths and weaknesses will contribute to the development of a unique product. Taking into consideration a highly limited budget for research ($100), this step may be completed with the use of social networks, newspapers, competitors’ official sites, and the market’s analyses. In addition, it is possible to visit various supermarkets to examine what kind of snacks they have to form a general understanding of the market.

The next step is targeting customers – obviously, the product’s target audience is adults aged 25-65 with children and grandchildren and children aged 10-12 who can buy snacks by themselves. Thus, it is important to reach the target audience to understand its preferences and demands for a successful marketing campaign. This can be made by conducting surveys in supermarkets and on social media platforms. Subsequently, on the basis of the marketing analysis, competitors’ offers and strategies, and customers’ demands, it is necessary to understand what kind of snacks should be developed and what unique features it should have to be competitive and wanted by people.

Next, the company’s marketing strategy should be determined according to previously received information as well. In addition, successful projects traditionally include product testing. In general, a focus group is formed, and research participants try the product with subsequent fill out a survey related to its quality and attractiveness. However, as previously mentioned, the budget is small – thus, it is possible to create the product’s general description indicating its benefits and post this description on social media to evaluate customers’ feedback. Finally, it is essential to define the most efficient channels for advertising taking into consideration the target audience. For example, TV programs for children, banners in supermarkets, and social media platforms may be involved. In addition, potential risks, challenges, and limitations should be identified and evaluated in order to develop the best ways of their minimization.

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