Are Your Customers Telling You They Want ‘A Faster Horse?’ « Return On Focus --- http://returnonfocus.com --- Return On Focus

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    Are Your Customers Telling You They Want ‘A Faster Horse?’

    March 9, 2012

    The amazing thing about our industry is that every year we deliver new exciting products that have different mechanisms of action, biomarkers, tests, and endpoints that demonstrate the value our R&D provides. Unfortunately, most of the market research methodologies supporting the launch of these new products haven’t kept up with the spirit of innovation that our products are delivering.

    Faster Horse?Henry Ford is attributed with saying, “If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses.’”

    This encapsulates a lot of the market research I see being done recently, especially with truly innovative products. Phrases like ‘game changing’ and ‘paradigm shifting’ get thrown around, yet most market research methodologies continue to rely on doctors and/or patients telling the pharmaceutical or biotechnology company how to sell the product or craft the story. A host of messages (sometimes dozens) are put in front of the respondent and they are asked to construct a story for the brand.

    The result is ‘a faster horse’ platform and pharmaceutical companies wonder why these messages aren’t ‘game changing’ or ‘paradigm shifting’ once executed in the marketplace. If your new brand is truly innovative, it’s counterintuitive to rely on your target audience to take you to a place that they themselves have never been.

    You’re the marketer! Don’t punt the responsibility for crafting the optimal story for your brand to your market researcher and certainly not to your target audience.

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