Market Research. Do it.

What’s the deal with companies shortcutting their strategy and diving straight into “how can we make more money?” I don’t get it. What happened to long-term goals, social responsibility and ‘consumer over product’ behaviour? Why is Tesco on every street corner, tramping on small businesses? And they wonder why their profits are low.

Before investing significant time and money in actually starting your business or moving forward with a new initiative, understand your consumer. What do they want? Why do they choose your product over competitors? What do they value? Is it the unparralled service? Is it product quality or the association with consuming your product/service? Who influences their buying decision? What magazines do they read? What car do they drive? What websites do they visit? What do they enjoy doing?

I urge you to go out there, and conduct formal, accurate market research. Come face to face with your consumers and your competitors consumers. Let them interact with your brand. Let them influence the colour, shape and size of your new product, the design of your new website, the wording in your Christmas marketing campaign. This is the only way to move forward. Ask your friend, your family, your neighbour. Sure. You will stay on the same path. Ask your consumers, and you’ll go in the right direction.

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.
– Derek Bok