Why Do Research? - Control Your Narrative


Most of our clients sell their products through retailers.  I have sat in and heard of meetings where the best laid plans for product introductions were shot down or reduced significantly because the buyer just didn’t like the product for whatever reason.  While that can always happen, we have seen that doing your homework – that is having invested in consumer research – can be a key way to control the narrative in that meeting and to gain the desired positioning.  In fact, some of the retailers that continually post strong performance REQUIRE consumer research from their vendors when developing new products.  Why?  Because they know products that have a solid research grounding have a stronger success rate and will sell significantly more than products that don't.



Here’s why controlling the narrative is imporant to the sell-in.  It’s a lot harder to argue against factual information from hundreds of consumers than it is to say I don’t believe in it or I don’t believe it offers enough, or is different enough from the competition.  If the research is well-constructed it will anticipate such objections, incorporating known competitive controls and it will demonstrate that the proposed new products/program are better than what exists for the following reasons at a 95% confidence level.  It becomes hard to say no to someone who has done the homework and comes prepared with facts.  And, if it doesn’t persuade this retailer, it will likely persuade the next one and a year from now when your product is flying off the shelves at retailer number two, retailer number one is likely to be more receptive to listening to your research results.