Consumer Research for Product Marketing

We have been conducting a user test for two new products created by our client. One is a malt product with butter cookies flavour and the second one is a lager beer with ginger extracts.
Before we were engaged as their brand marketing consultants several months ago, we were given a task to develop a brand marketing and penetration strategy for a new product they developed. It was a faux product, not the actual product. The MD, a former boss at Coca-Cola Nigeria, loved our presentation and passion, so we got a nod.
While we moved on with other activities surrounding our engagement, the product development team went to work to develop the actual product. The two products are great but conducting the user test brought to mind some important lessons in marketing that we have always emphasized at Mapemond Brand Consulting:
1. Marketing should begin from the ideation stage. The moment you conceive the idea, you should also start considering how to shape the idea in a way that will make the final product more acceptable to the market. Imagine if the feedback from the user test isn’t good enough, thousands of bottles have been produced already, what happens to them? This is why smart companies conduct feasibility studies. We go out there and gather data to analyze the idea objectively even if you are operating with “gut feeling”.
2. Marketing should be part of your product development stage. That is when you consider things like user experience. When you make a product loveable, that’s the beginning of an awesome marketing journey. This is why prototypes and samples are created for preliminary testing before the final product creation.
3. A great product needs great packaging. When your product is new to the market, two things aid your marketing efforts – word-of-mouth recommendations and visual appeal (packaging). On this, our client can do better and we are hoping to convince them before the product is launched even though monies have been spent on the present packaging. Don’t proceed to work with a graphic designer without involving your marketing consultant/agency (or adviser/mentor if you are a small business).
Already, work has started on marketing communications. We can’t wait to get to the distribution and sales aspects of the project. This client is on the Nigerian Stock Exchange by the way.
You don’t need all the money in the world to get your marketing right, you just need a smart plan with the right tactics and a realistic implementation guide.

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