Companies use market research in a multitude of ways; product development, creating a competitive advantage and brand expansion to name a few. Important decisions made by leading companies would not be made without detailed research being carried out to support it. Months, sometimes years of extensive market research is sometimes behind one seemingly small decision to change a price or the colour of a logo. Businesses have to identify what consumers want and need, and then make sure they can deliver it to a satisfactory standard. Market research aids companies in making sure they satisfy customers, and has helped to shape many of the products we know and love and use in our everyday lives.
One example of a company who has utilised market research for its product development is the world’s leading cereal manufacturer, Kellogg’s. A company based in the heart of Manchester’s industrial region in Trafford, they have been producing their food products for over 100 years, and in 2003 decided to launch their new cereal Crunchy Nut Clusters. The Crunchy Nut brand is a brand extension, and was developed thanks to market research into what customers wanted now and in the future; customers were deemed to want a flavourful option that veered away from Corn Flakes and Bran Flakes. They wanted further textures and ingredients to vary their morning meal, and this was taken into account in the creation of the brand new product. Since then, the Crunchy Nut brand has added to their famed product list with Crunchy Nut bites, providing new flavours and textures for their customers.
Coca Cola are another global institution who have always relied on market research to help develop their products. The soft drinks giant are famed for buying up budding drinks companies and brand names and adding them to the Coca Cola roster; Dr Pepper, Kia-Ora, Malvern and Oasis have all been snapped up by the brand, with the Innocent smoothie company one of the more recent additions. When honing these brands and ensuring that they fit under the Coca Cola umbrella, market research is an imperative aspect of the process; the company must ensure that their loyal legions of fans will welcome the new product, and that there will be enough of a market for the product to succeed.
Many other famous brands and companies have reaped the advantages of market research; one of the reasons they are so successful is because they conduct the research to listen to the consumer. Without market research, Kellogg’s could have made a woeful misstep in creating their Crunchy Nut Cereals, and Coca Cola could have had another New Coke disaster. Getting to know your audience and gauging their opinion on every element of a new product or service is paramount to ensuring its success in the future.