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I totally agree that consumer research is critical to new product development. Customer needs and wants are the logical place to start the search. Companies are increasingly turning to "crowd sourcing" to generate new ideas. Crowd sourcing means inviting the internet community to help create content or soft-ware, often with prize money or a moment of glory as an incentive (Keller & Kotler, 2012). There are other approaches that can be profitable, our textbook also listed - Ten Ways to Find Great New Product Ideas, the following included customers:
1. Run informal sessions where groups of customers meet with company engineers and designers to discuss problems and needs and brain-storm potential solutions.
2. Make a customer brainstorming session a standard feature of plant tours.
3. Survey your customers: Find out what they like and dislike in your and competitors' products.
4. Use iterative rounds: a group of customers in one room, focusing on identifying problems, and a group of your technical people in the next room, listening and brainstorming solutions. Immediately test proposed solutions with the group of customers.
Crowd sourcing is a good way to integrate 21st century technology into the marketing research and consumer ...
This response discusses the importance of consumer research when developing a new product.