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Will That New Product Meet the Need?

Companies and manufacturers that deal in general merchandise, or popular services, have a certain amount of freedom regarding the development and launching of new products. They know what their target audience like based on past sales, feedback, and emerging trends. Companies that cater to specific markets do not have the same luxury. A failed product can make or break a business, so companies have to invest in marketing and research services before developing a new products or starting new branch of the business. An example is education marketing. That focuses on products and services for schools, districts, colleges, technical schools, universities, libraries, and training programs.

Illustration for article titled Will That New Product Meet the Need?

A successful company that makes private school uniforms, for example, is interested in expanding into another region or State. The company believes it can fill a need for high-quality and cost-effective uniforms made of a new synthetic material that will not fade, shrink, or stretch. The idea is to market the uniforms as ones that can be purchased for freshman students, and last until graduation. The target audience would be parents that do not want to purchase new uniforms each year. They would save money on uniforms and that would help offset other costs, such as tuition, bus transportation, and activity fees. Hiring the services of education industry consultants before purchasing a new plant, and setting up an office, would be a wise choice. They can help with education market research as a first step to determining if the product will fill a need.

Primary research, such as interviews, focus groups, and surveys can indicate if there is any interest in such a uniform. If so, secondary research can determine if there are proper distribution channels, what pricing should be, and if there is real sales potential. It will also determine if there are any competitive threats to the project. Perhaps, there is a company that already has a presence in the local market that is developing a similar material. Data analysis of the raw data will indicate that, and the marketing company can relay that to the client. If that is the case, the move into the region may be ill-advised. The company decides to abandon the new branch, and saves a lot of time and money.

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