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  • Strategies for Overcoming 5 Common Market Research Challenges

    Navigating the intricacies of market research can often feel like devising a game-winning sports strategy. Each challenge presents itself as a player to be outmaneuvered on the field, requiring careful planning and precision to uncover the valuable insights waiting at the end zone. Just as a well-drawn play on a coach's clipboard can lead to victory, employing the right tactics in market research transforms the daunting maze into a clear route to success. Check out five challenges you might face and the strategies to tackle them successfully. Challenge # 1: Defining the Research Scope Setting off on a market research project without a clear scope is like embarking on a journey without a destination. A broad or vague research scope can lead to irrelevant data and inefficient use of resources. Strategy: Specify your research objectives from the outset. Instead of a broad target like "understanding consumer behavior," hone in on specifics such as "analyzing consumer attitude towards eco-friendly products in the 18-25 age group." Challenge # 2: Gathering Quality Data Collecting data without a strategic approach can result in information gaps, much like a sieve that lets valuable content slip through. Strategy: Combine qualitative and quantitative research methods. Complement the numerical data from surveys with rich, detailed data from in-depth interviews or focus groups for a thorough understanding of your market. Challenge # 3: Analyzing Data Analyzing data can be daunting when faced with vast amounts of information. It can be challenging to discern meaningful patterns or trends. Strategy: Utilize advanced data analysis tools and techniques. Software applications like SPSS or Tableau can sift through complex data sets and present findings in an easily digestible format. Challenge # 4: Keeping Up with Market Changes The market is constantly evolving, making it difficult to stay updated with industry news, trends, and competitor activities. Strategy:  Regular market research and constant monitoring are essential. Subscriptions to industry newsletters, attending webinars, and setting up Google Alerts can help you stay on top of changes. Challenge # 5: Budget Constraints Budget constraints can limit the extent and depth of your market research. Strategy: Prioritize your research needs and distribute resources accordingly. Consider utilizing cost-effective methods like online surveys or social media polls to gather data. Working with proven market research professionals is akin to having a compass, a roadmap, and an experienced navigator by your side as you traverse the terrain of market research. Why take on the challenge alone when you can have a trusted partner, like Driven to Succeed, LLC, by your side?  We can help turn these challenges into opportunities for growth and success. Contact us and we’ll tell you how. *** Driven to Succeed is an award-winning market research and consulting firm that connects the dots to unleash growth for mid-market companies and Fortune 500 brands. We are powered by a team with multiple zones of genius who use empathy, intuition and insights to help brands grow, and people thrive. Our expertise includes research, analytics, brand management, and marketing in Consumer Packaged Goods, Healthcare Biopharma, Food & Beverage, Financial Services and beyond. Learn more at

  • Why 90 Percent of New Products Fail & 6 Steps to Increase the Odds of Success

    In the fast-moving world of business, launching a new product is as exhilarating as it is risky. The potential for revenue growth and market expansion can be vast, but so too is the potential for failure. While most of us are familiar with stories of game-changing successes like the iPhone or Netflix, we don't often hear about the myriad of products that quietly fade from memory. According to several business publications, a staggering 85-95% of new products fail within the first two years of being introduced. So, why does this pattern of failure persist? And, more importantly, how can we increase the odds of innovative products and services not just surviving, but thriving? In this blog, we’ll delve into the root causes of new product failure, explore real-world examples of such failures, and provide a comprehensive five-step process for businesses aiming to successfully innovate and launch new products. The Graveyard of Good Intentions: Real-World Examples of New Product Failures For businesses, innovating new products is akin to exploring uncharted territories. There are no guarantees of success, but the rewards can be substantial. Let's take a look at several products that failed to gain traction in the market and dissect where things went wrong. Case Study 1: The Nokia N-Gage In the mid-2000s, Nokia's N-Gage was an ambitious attempt to integrate a handheld gaming console with a mobile phone, ahead of its time by today's standards. But it faced design flaws, including a cumbersome process for voice calls, and an awkward, taco-shaped design which made it impractical for everyday use as a phone or a gaming device. Case Study 2: Google Glass Launched with much fanfare, Google Glass promised to revolutionize the way we interact with technology. However, concerns over privacy, a steep price point, and a lack of clear practical application for the average consumer, stymied widespread adoption. Case Study 3: Cosmopolitan Yogurt After a successful launch, a split-packaging design introduced to differentiate flavors led to consumer confusion and declining sales. It’s a reminder that even small packaging changes can have major impacts. Case Study 4: Juicero Juicero was a startup that aimed to revolutionize home juicing with its high-tech juicer and proprietary juice packets. Despite securing significant investments and creating buzz in the health and tech communities, the product failed spectacularly. The Juicero machine was prohibitively expensive, and the revelation that the juice packets could be squeezed by hand made the device seem unnecessary. Consumers balked at the price and perceived lack of value, quickly leading to the company's demise. This case study is a stark reminder of the need for market research and understanding consumer behavior before launching a product. Learning from the Legends While these products may have disappeared from the shelves, many products have withstood the test of time and evolved into industry bellwethers. For instance, the iPhone revolutionized personal communication, challenging the status quo and setting new standards for usability and design. What separates successes like the iPhone from the failures? The 6 Essential Steps to Product Launch Success After examining real-world examples, it becomes clear that product failure is often avoidable. By implementing a structured approach to innovation and launch, companies can significantly increase their chances of success. Here are six essential steps to turn your product launch into a story of triumph. Step 1: Analyze the Market Before launching any new product, it's essential to understand the market and the needs of your customers. Market analysis involves: Identifying the unmet needs in the market Ensuring the product offers unique value or is significantly better than current offerings Understanding the competitive landscape To illustrate the importance of market analysis, let's consider the failure of the Segway. Launched with much hype, it failed to meet market needs as it was positioned as a personal transportation device when it should have been marketed as an industrial tool for fulfillment centers and warehouses. Understanding that the original consumer-focused strategy was not resonating, Segway adjusted its business approach to target niche commercial markets. This strategic pivot involved: Partnering with businesses that could utilize the Segway as an operational tool, such as tour companies, law enforcement agencies, and corporate campuses Redesigning the product for durability and convenience in commercial settings Developing new models such as the Segway i2 SE and x2 SE that catered to the specific needs of these professional environments By reassessing their product's placement, Segway found a new customer base that valued the efficiency and agility the device offered in high-mobility work environments. This pivot not only saved the Segway from being another casualty of innovation but also established it as a mainstay in sectors where its utility is unparalleled, demonstrating the critical nature of flexibility and responsiveness in product strategy. Step 2: Conduct Thorough Market Research The role of effective market research cannot be overstated when preparing for a product launch. It’s a process that digs deeper into potential customer behaviors, preferences, and trends. Conducting robust market research involves several key areas: Gathering data through surveys, interviews, focus groups, and consumer testing to get a clearer picture of customer demands and expectations Analyzing competitor products and identifying any gaps in the market that your product could fill Assessing the potential for market growth and the overall sustainability of the product niche Determining optimal pricing strategies by evaluating what customers are willing to pay and what the market can bear The tale of Crystal Pepsi stands as a cautionary example where market research might have foretold a different outcome. Launched in the early 1990s, Crystal Pepsi's clear cola was based on the 'purity' trend but failed to connect with consumers' taste expectations for a cola product. Extensive market research could have revealed these consumer insights earlier, perhaps steering the product toward a niche market or preventing a costly flop. Step 3: Write, Test and Validate a Solid Product Concept Validating a solid product concept through market research serves as the foundation for successful product development. This involves: Clear articulation of the product's features, benefits, and value proposition to the customer Defining the target market and the potential user personas Ensuring that the product can be manufactured at a cost that allows for a competitive price A prime example of a solid product concept is the Nest Thermostat. It perfectly blends form and function, boasting energy-saving benefits and an intuitive user experience—not to mention a sales model designed around user data analytics. The Nest Thermostat's success as a product concept lies in its focus on customer needs and seamless integration of technology into everyday life. Its learning ability to adapt to the user's schedule, temperature preferences, and even the weather, provides real, tangible benefits like reducing energy consumption and lowering utility bills. As a 'smart' device, it connects with other home automation systems and can be controlled remotely via smartphone apps, making it incredibly user-friendly. Moreover, its sleek, minimalist design not only complements modern home aesthetics but also simplifies user interaction, effectively removing the complexity often associated with programmable thermostats. By addressing functionality, ease of use, and energy efficiency, the Nest Thermostat epitomizes a product concept that prioritizes user experience while delivering on its promise of innovation and sustainability. Step 4: Test and Iterate Prototypswiffes The testing and iteration phase is crucial for refining the product and ensuring it meets customer needs. This step involves: Seeking feedback from potential users and stakeholders through consumer research and usage tests Making adjustments to the design, features, or functionality based on the feedback Engaging in rapid prototyping to test and verify the product concept A company that has successfully employed this step is Procter & Gamble. They frequently test new products and concepts through ethnography to gain real-world insights and tweak their approach accordingly. One notable example of Procter & Gamble using the test and iterate strategy is with their Swiffer product line. Initially introduced as a new cleaning system, P&G rigorously tested the Swiffer's unique disposable cloth concept with consumers, gathering their feedback on the product's efficacy and usability. The insights obtained from this real-world testing led to several iterations of the product, including the development of wet cleaning cloths and the Swiffer WetJet, which further satisfied the customers' desire for quick, easy, and thorough cleaning solutions. By continuously iterating on the design to better meet consumer needs, Swiffer has become a household name synonymous with convenient and effective cleaning. Step 5: Implement Strong Marketing and Sales Strategies Even the best product can fail without strong marketing and sales strategies. The key aspects of this step include: Creating a marketing message that resonates with the target audience Developing a comprehensive go-to-market plan Training sales teams to effectively communicate the product's value A stellar example of strategic marketing and sales execution is the launch of Airbnb's Experiences. They created a new category and built demand through compelling storytelling, influencer engagement, and community-driven marketing. Airbnb's Experiences platform extended its reach beyond accommodations by providing travelers with unique activities hosted by locals. To market these experiences, Airbnb capitalized on user-generated content and real-life stories, which showcased the authenticity and diversity of the activities available. Furthermore, they utilized targeted email campaigns that highlighted attractive experiences based on the user's previous searches and bookings, which increased personalization. They also employed an influencer marketing strategy, engaging with travel bloggers and social media influencers to share their personal experiences with Airbnb Experiences. This created aspirational content that resonated with the audience's desire for adventure and cultural immersion. Moreover, Airbnb's marketing campaigns focused on the emotional aspect of travel, emphasizing the connections and memories that could be made through their offerings. Lastly, Airbnb took advantage of content marketing strategies by creating travel guides and articles that provided users with insights into various destinations, subtly promoting their experiences within this content. This not only served as a resource for travelers but also improved their SEO, driving organic traffic to the site. By combining these marketing strategies with a robust digital platform and a community-centric approach, Airbnb successfully communicated the value proposition of Experiences, resulting in a significant expansion of their brand and services. Step 6: Monitor Performance and Adapt Once a new product or service is launched, it's not time to sit back. Continuous monitoring and adaptation are necessary to: Collect and analyze performance data Address any unforeseen issues Adapt the product or the marketing approach to changing market conditions One product that has done this exceptionally well is Amazon Echo. They have consistently updated the device's software and features, ensuring it remains relevant and valuable to customers. The Amazon Echo's trajectory showcases the company's commitment to evolution and customer satisfaction. Through a combination of software updates, hardware revisions, and expanded skill sets, the Echo has retained its position as a leader in the smart home market. Noteworthy developments include the incorporation of new languages, enabling broader global accessibility, and the integration of machine learning capabilities to enhance its voice recognition and personalization. Regular software updates have allowed the Echo to support a proliferating number of third-party skills, ensuring that it can perform a wide variety of tasks and integrate with an ever-growing ecosystem of smart home devices. Amazon has also released newer versions of the Echo with improved sound quality, aesthetically pleasing designs, and adaptive features like the Echo Show's display screen, which provide visual accompaniments to voice commands. Complementing these hardware upgrades, Amazon has been proactive in forging partnerships with other companies, further extending the Echo's functionality. These iterative improvements are a testament to Amazon's approach to product innovation. They continually solicit customer feedback and rigorously analyze user interaction data to inform their updates. This data-driven strategy ensures that the Amazon Echo not only meets the current needs of consumers but is also well-positioned to adapt to future demands and technological advances. New Products That Stand the Test of Time While failures can be instructive, it's equally valuable to examine products that have thrived in the market for an extended period. Let's highlight some products that showcase long-term success and what the companies did right. Example 1: Electric Cars The electric car market has seen a surge in success with companies like Tesla leading the charge. Their focus on cutting-edge technology, strong branding, and environmental benefits has resonated with consumers. Example 2: Streaming Services The advent of streaming services like Netflix has forever changed the way we consume media. By recognizing the shift towards digital and offering a superior user experience, they've formed a new media landscape. Example 3: Health Tracking Devices Wearable health tracking devices like Fitbit have become ubiquitous. By tapping into the growing consumer trend of proactive health management, they've secured a place in the market for the long term. Example 4: Smartphones One of the most profound examples of a consumer product that has stood the test of time is the smartphone. Since Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007, the smartphone has become an indispensable part of daily life for billions of people worldwide. Manufacturers like Apple and Samsung have continued to innovate, adding features like high-resolution cameras, fingerprint sensors, and facial recognition technology, while also integrating a continuously growing ecosystem of apps and services. Consequently, smartphones have remained relevant by constantly evolving, becoming more powerful, and replacing a multitude of standalone devices, such as cameras, GPS units, and music players. They cater to a wide range of consumer needs, from communication and entertainment to health monitoring and smart home control, ensuring their long-term place in the market. Example 5: Scented Candles Another classic example of a consumer product that has endured the changing tides of the market is the scented candle. Brands like Yankee Candle have capitalized on the multi-sensory appeal of these products, combining craftsmanship with a wide variety of fragrances to match every mood and season. These candles not only add warmth and ambiance to a home but also provide an avenue for personal expression through scent. As a result, scented candles have managed to maintain their position as a beloved item in households across the globe, becoming synonymous with comfort, self-care, and interior decor. Despite the advent of electric lighting and air fresheners, the nostalgia and traditional appeal of scented candles have allowed them to persist as a staple within consumer packaged goods. Conclusion: Innovate or Fail—The Choice Is Yours The expanse of failed products serves as a cautionary tale, reminding us that launching a new product without careful planning and understanding the customer's needs can lead to disaster. However, by learning from these examples and strategically building innovative steps into our new product launch process, we not only mitigate the risks but increase the potential for growth and success. The five-step methodology outlined in this blog, if implemented effectively, can serve as a robust framework from which to launch products that endure and make a meaningful impact. In the end, it's clear that the path to product launch success is not about avoiding risk altogether—it's about increasing our understanding of risk and reward. And by doing so, we can turn the odds in our favor and create products that resonate with customers for years to come. If you’re looking for a market research partner with proven innovation experience, contact our team at Driven to Succeed. *** Driven to Succeed is an award-winning market research and consulting firm that connects the dots to unleash growth for mid-market companies and Fortune 500 brands. We are powered by a team with multiple zones of genius who use empathy, intuition and insights to help brands grow, and people thrive. Our expertise includes research, analytics, brand management, and marketing in Consumer Packaged Goods, Healthcare Biopharma, Food & Beverage, Financial Services and beyond. Learn more at

  • The 10 Signs it's Time to Diversify Your Market Research Vendors

    Market research is the heartbeat of any strategic business initiative, a magnetic compass that guides product development, sales, and customer service. But what happens when that compass begins to show the wrong direction? It might be time to diversify your market research vendors. Thinking about a market research vendor diversification can feel unsettling, right? It's akin to stopping a train mid-journey to check for a better track elsewhere. After all, your relationship with your current vendor is familiar and established. However, becoming comfortable can lead to complacency. In this comprehensive guide, we dissect the ten telltale signs that it's time to break out of your comfort zone and find new market research vendors. 1. The Data is Becoming Predictable When you find that the data received from your market research vendor is consistently in line with your expectations, it’s a red flag. The entire point of market research is to uncover insights that challenge and inform strategic decisions. Predictable data signifies that you're not exploring fresh markets or engaging with diverse consumer segments. This static nature can create a false sense of security, resulting in missed opportunities and an ill-informed go-to-market strategy. 2. A Lack of Customization Every brand is unique, often requiring tailor-made approaches to research that reflect their individual differences. If your vendor's "off-the-shelf" solutions often mean bending your brand's puzzle piece to fit their template, it's a sign of a mismatch. A lack of customization can lead to cookie-cutter strategies that don’t leverage your brand’s distinct values and offerings, ultimately leading to dull market communication and strategies that fall flat. 3. Slow Adaptation to New Technology Technology is rapidly changing the landscape of market research. From advanced analytics to artificial intelligence, staying ahead of the curve is crucial. If your vendor is lagging behind in tech adoption, it impacts the quality and speed of vital insights. Innovations in data collection, analysis, and communication are not just ‘nice to have’; they are essential tools in today’s fast-paced business environment. 4. Too Close for Comfort While a good relationship with your vendor is important, there's a fine line between partnership and plain old complacency-induced friendliness. If your vendor consistently agrees with your ideas without challenging them, it's a detriment to the strategic brilliance you seek. Healthy friction in the form of bold, reality-checked market insights is what can transform good strategies into great ones. 5. Innovation Fatigue Leading on from the previous sign, if your vendor's fresh ideas seem recycled, this spells innovation fatigue. It's a problem when you find yourself thinking, "I've heard this before." You need a vendor that constantly searches for new methods to gather data and new ways to interpret it, even when the customer base has remained static. 6. Insights are Based on Outdated Assumptions Insights based on outdated or incorrect data can seriously affect your brand strategy. If your vendor is relying on treatments and paradigms that are no longer relevant to your market or product category, the resulting insights are like looking at reflections in a tarnished mirror—distorted and unreliable. 7. Inability to Deliver Integration Market research is most impactful when it’s integrated with all aspects of your business, from product development to sales. If your vendor's insights don’t play well with your CRM system, your marketing plans, or your product experiences, it's a missed opportunity for synergistic brand growth. Seamless integration is key for any vendor who is truly part of your team. 8. Stagnation in Strategic Advice A seasoned market research vendor should not just provide data but also strategic advice. When you start to feel that the consultative nature of your vendor's output is losing steam, it's time to rethink your partnership. Strategic stagnation is often a symptom of a vendor who has grown complacent in their role or methodology. 9. Surprise Fees or Costs Outside the Scope Market research should be a transparent process, especially regarding financials. If you're suddenly hit with surprise fees or find costs creeping up from the original quote, it suggests a lack of financial transparency or project management on the vendor's side. While scope changes happen, a sudden lack of clarity about costs warrants a closer look at the vendor's practices. 10. Tensions are on the Rise A harmonious vendor-client relationship is not one without disagreements, but one where tensions are managed and resolved constructively. If you’re experiencing recurrent conflicts over the quality of their work, deadlines, or even the direction of the research, it can point to deeper systemic issues. Frequent or unresolved tensions can impact the quality and timeliness of the research output, and ultimately, the value you derive from the relationship. The Cost of Inaction Market research is a dynamic realm, and your vendor should be your tour guide, showing you new landscapes and sights. Settling for a vendor that no longer innovates is like hiring a guide who shows you the same brochure for every trip. The cost of not acting when faced with the signs mentioned above is a strategic and competitive disadvantage. Your competitors are likely not sitting idly with their market research strategies. By overlooking warning signs, you delay pivots in your businesses that can result in losing market share, alienating your customer base, or launching products at sub-optimal times. Change comes with perceived risk, but inaction comes with a cost. Be it a change in market focus, the introduction of a new product line or a refreshed brand look, every strategic move should be fueled by meaningful insights that are only as good as the research that underpins them. How to Transition to New Vendors Transitioning to new vendors is a process that should be approached with care and diligence. It’s not just about seeking the right vendor; it’s also about leaving the current one with minimal disruption to your business. Here’s how to do it right: Clarity in Communication Be absolutely clear on the reasons for the change. It's not only fair to your existing vendor but it also sets the stage for clear expectations with the new one. Knowledge Transfer Document the insights and knowledge that your existing vendor possesses. This information is invaluable and ensures that the transition doesn’t negate the insights gathered so far. Overlap Consider having a period of overlap between the old and new vendors. This helps in a smoother transition and ensures a seamless continuation of your research initiatives. The Bright Side of Vendor Diversification Changing market research vendors can seem daunting, yet the benefits often outweigh the initial discomfort of the transition. Engaging new perspectives and methods can invigorate your market research program. A fresh set of eyes might unlock insights that before seemed elusive or that in-house blindness barred you from seeing. The right vendor can become a keystone in your strategic edifice, adding value through their capabilities, beyond just data collection and analysis. Conclusion Recognizing the signs mentioned in this article is an opportunity for growth and a step toward ensuring that market research remains your strategic anchor. The market landscape is never static, and neither should be your approach to understanding and engaging with it. Diversifying your market research vendors ensures a constant flow of new ideas, fresh perspectives, and a flexible approach tailored to the dynamic business environment. This isn’t change for change’s sake; it’s a strategic imperative. When you witness these signs within your current partnership, it’s a clarion call for a reassessment and exploration of the vast, and potentially rewarding, market research landscape. After all, the richness of that landscape is often a reflection of the richness in your market research; and a diverse portfolio of vendors contributes significantly to that. *** Driven to Succeed is an award-winning market research and consulting firm that connects the dots to unleash growth for mid-market companies and Fortune 500 brands. We are powered by a team with multiple zones of genius who use empathy, intuition and insights to help brands grow, and people thrive. Our expertise includes research, analytics, brand management, and marketing in Consumer Packaged Goods, Healthcare Biopharma, Food & Beverage, Financial Services and beyond. Learn more at

  • Recognizing Herta Herzog: A Pioneer in Market Research

    In the world of market research, few names stand as tall as Herta Herzog. Born in 1910, Herzog was a psychologist and market researcher who revolutionized the way we understand consumer behavior. She is widely recognized for her pivotal role in introducing qualitative market research methods to Madison Avenue advertising agency McCann Erickson, now known as McCann Worldgroup. Herzog's innovative approach to market research, particularly her development of focus groups and other qualitative research techniques, broke new ground in the mid-20th century. These methods allowed companies to delve deeper into the minds of consumers, uncovering motivations, preferences, and behaviors that quantitative data alone could not reveal. Her work, specifically her uses and gratifications approach to the study of radio broadcast programs, paved the way for modern marketing methods. She examined how consumers borrowed experiences from media, providing invaluable insights into audience engagement. Herzog's legacy continues to shape the field of market research. Her pioneering methods are still widely used today, helping businesses around the globe understand their audiences better and create more effective marketing strategies. As Driven to Succeed continues to deliver top-notch market research services, we draw inspiration from Herta Herzog's groundbreaking work. Our team, composed predominantly of women, is committed to continuing her legacy by using innovative research methods to provide our clients with deep, actionable insights into their target markets. Contact us to find out how we can help your company. *** Driven to Succeed is an award-winning market research and consulting firm that connects the dots to unleash growth for mid-market companies and Fortune 500 brands. We are powered by a team with multiple zones of genius who use empathy, intuition, and insights to help brands grow, and people thrive. Our expertise includes research, analytics, brand management, and marketing in Consumer Packaged Goods, Healthcare Biopharma, Food & Beverage, Financial Services, and beyond. Learn more at and schedule a time to connect.

  • 5 Reasons Why Your Business Can't Afford to Skip Market Research

    In the ever-evolving arena of business, knowledge reigns supreme. For any venture to flourish, it must first comprehend the landscape of its industry and its standing within it. Enter market research: The backbone of strategic business decisions and the beacon that guides companies toward success. Without a doubt, a market research endeavor is a significant investment, both in terms of effort and resources, and often, it's undervalued or overlooked. Yet, forsaking this critical step can be the downfall of even the most promising initiatives. The failure to leverage market research has led companies astray, spawning legendary blunders that serve as cautionary tales. Products that missed the mark, ad campaigns that flopped, and businesses that crumbled under the weight of unforeseen market shifts—all could have been avoided or mitigated with the insights market research provides. But why is market research so vital? Below, we delve into five substantial reasons why skimping on this foundational pillar is a grave mistake. 1. Ignoring Your Customer's Needs and Wants Market research is to consumer insight, what a compass is to a hiker in a dense forest—it points the way, ensuring you never lose your direction. By diving deep into the preferences, dislikes, and behavior patterns of your audience, market research enables you to tailor your products, services, and marketing campaigns to meet specific consumer needs. Understanding where your customers are coming from, why they choose your brand, or why they don't, is non-negotiable. The Cost of Ignorance The tragic and historic story of the Ford Edsel serves as a prime example. Launched in the late 1950s, the Edsel was a high-profile failure, mainly due to a lack of market research. With a design and features that were out of touch with the public's taste, the car was a financial disaster for Ford, costing them a staggering $250 million. 2. Failing to Uncover Competitive Advantages It's an understatement to say that competition in business is fierce. Market research allows you to stay one step ahead by identifying gaps in the market or underutilized opportunities where you can excel. By examining the strategies and shortcomings of your competitors, you can craft your approach to emphasize your strengths. A Walmart Tale Walmart's growth and dominance were fueled by extensive market research among other retail competitors. The company leveraged data analytics even before it became a household term. Walmart used market research to understand consumer behavior and preferences, leading to the establishment of a massive retail presence and the "Everyday low prices" concept that revolutionized the industry. 3. Crafting a Generic Value Proposition How do you make your product or service stand out in a crowded marketplace? The answer lies in crafting an irresistible value proposition. A well-defined value proposition is the lifeblood of your sales and marketing strategies, influencing the messaging that resonates with your customers. Market research helps you articulate your value proposition by identifying the unique selling points that matter most to your audience. Apple: The Master of Perception Apple's "Think Different" campaign is a classic case in point. By employing market research to understand the aspirations and attitudes of its target market, Apple created a compelling narrative that elevated its brand above mere product features. 4. Insufficient Market Research Marketing is as much science as it is art, and provides the statistical backbone you need to fine-tune your marketing endeavors. From selecting the right channels to expanding into adjacent categories, data-driven insights and conducting sufficient market research at every step of the innovation journey enables you to implement strategies that are more likely to resonate with your brand audience and yield a higher return on investment. Unilever’s Pond’s Toothpaste Misstep Pond’s is one of America’s oldest cosmetics brands, and when the team expanded the brand into the toothpaste category, its customers couldn’t get on board. They so strongly associated Pond’s with beauty and skincare products that they didn’t accept this line extension. The toothpaste was eventually pulled off the shelves. 5. Resting on Your Laurels Businesses do not operate in a vacuum. The market is dynamic, with twists and turns that can make or break a company's fortunes. Market research acts as your risk management tool, providing valuable insights into consumer trends, economic forecasts, and competitive landscapes. Armed with this knowledge, your business can make informed decisions, reducing the impact of unforeseen market shifts. Blockbuster's Misreading of Market Trends Blockbuster's failure to adapt to the rise of digital media is a classic case of market research negligence. Focused on its lucrative late fee model, Blockbuster ignored customer dissatisfaction and the rising popularity of digital streaming services. By the time the company attempted to make the shift, it was too late, and the once-dominant video rental chain filed for bankruptcy. Market research is more than just statistics and analytics; it's a cornerstone of business acumen. In a world where markets are increasingly volatile and consumer preferences ever-changing, the companies that will thrive are those that embrace the power of knowledge. They understand that market research is not a luxury—it's a lifeline, guiding their every move toward stability and success. Without market research, companies gamble with their future. Yet, for those who recognize and harness the power of market research, the outcome is far more certain. They map out the route, anticipate the obstacles, and arrive at their destination not by chance, but by design. In this modern business landscape, it's clear that the adage "know your market" holds truer than ever. So, to the businesses teetering on the edge of whether to invest in market research: understand that the risk is not in conducting this vital task but in neglecting to do so. Your competitors may be reading the market data as we speak. The question is, will you join them at the forefront of industry innovation, or be left behind to ponder what went wrong? Ten Tips to Select a Market Research Company To ensure that the insights gained from market research are actionable and reliable, decision-makers need to carefully select a market research company that embodies a combination of critical attributes: Expertise and Experience: Look for a company with a proven track record in your specific industry, understanding the challenges and dynamics of your market. Quality and Depth of Data: A market research firm must offer access to comprehensive and high-quality data sources to inform accurate insights. Analytical Rigor: The ability to not only collect but also interpret data effectively, offering meaningful analysis and recommendations is essential. Advanced Methodologies: Cutting-edge research methodologies and tools that provide a competitive edge in gathering and analyzing data should be a priority. Customization and Flexibility: The firm should be willing to tailor research methodologies to fit your unique business needs and be adaptable to changing market conditions. Clear Communication: Ensure the company communicates findings and data in a clear, understandable manner without overcomplicated jargon. Integrity and Transparency: Transparency about research processes and integrity in delivering unbiased findings are non-negotiable to make informed decisions. Timeliness: The ability to deliver valuable insights within a reasonable timeframe is crucial, enabling businesses to act on the information while it's most relevant. Client Focus: A customer-centric approach that focuses on your specific outcomes and goals will ensure the research aligns with your strategic objectives. Strategic Partnership: Ideally, the market research company should function as a strategic partner, offering not just data, but guidance in applying insights to drive business growth. *** Driven to Succeed is an award-winning market research and consulting firm that connects the dots to unleash growth for mid-market companies and Fortune 500 brands. We are powered by a team with multiple zones of genius who use empathy, intuition, and insights to help brands grow, and people thrive. Our expertise includes research, analytics, brand management, and marketing in Consumer Packaged Goods, Healthcare Biopharma, Food & Beverage, Financial Services, and beyond. Learn more at and schedule a time to connect.

  • The Critical Difference Between Market Research Insights and Findings

    Understanding your brand’s consumer is the cornerstone of successful marketing, but it's a nuanced process that requires a deep dive into not just what they say, but what they mean. Too often, market research findings are mistaken for insights, leading to campaigns and product launches that miss the mark. In this blog post, we're diving into the critical differences between market research insights and findings and how brands can leverage these distinctions to create truly customer-centric strategies. The Essence of Market Research Findings Market research findings are the facts, the quantitative data, or the results of a survey or study. They are the 'what' of your market research. For instance, finding that 80% of your customer base prefers product A over product B is a finding. It is crucial that market research findings are robust, accurate, and specific to a particular question or objective. However, findings alone don't offer strategic direction. They are statistically correct observations waiting to be contextualized and turned into actionable insights. On the other hand, market research insights are the interpretations and implications of findings. They answer the 'so what' question. Insights are the deep truths about consumers that can lead to informed business decisions. An insight might be that the preference for product A is driven by a subconscious desire for convenience. It's essential that insights are not just guesses or opinions, but are based on research findings and are of strategic importance to a business. For example, Procter & Gamble discovered that “laundry is a mundane, time-consuming and a complicated task,” said Alexandra Keith, Vice President, P&G Fabric Care North America. Many consumers were disengaged with the laundry process, which led to dissatisfaction with the category. After 8 years, 75 technical resources, 6,000 consumers involved in research and over 450 packaging and product sketches, Tide Pods was launched. Procter & Gamble scientists developed a product that saves people time, simplifies the laundry routine, and makes laundry less of a chore. Five Distinct Differences You Can't Ignore Let's get granular with the main differences between market research insights and findings. 1. Data versus Story Findings are the data points, the numbers and statistics, but insights turn those data points into a narrative. They craft the story behind the 'what'. For instance, a finding might show an increase in app engagement, while the insight might reveal that users were drawn in by a new gamified interface that offered rewards and recognition. 2. Intellectual versus Emotional Impact While findings might intellectually inform, insights often have an emotional impact. They can surprise, delight, or captivate an audience. When Netflix discovered through market research that there was a significant number of users who watched the entire season of a show on the first day it was available, that was an insight, which subsequently led to the release of its 'binge-watchable' series. 3. Current Status versus Future Direction Market research findings provide an understanding of the current situation, while insights guide the future, determining where to invest time, money, and resources to drive success. Facebook's 'On This Day' feature was born out of an insight that memories and nostalgia strongly drive user engagement, a trend that could shape the platform's interaction model in the future. 4. Obvious Results versus Surprising Realities Some findings are quite plain and expected, while insights often reveal surprising or previously unseen aspects of your market. Google launched Project Aristotle, a quest designed to build the perfect team. What they uncovered is that a team's intelligence had little to do with the IQs of its individual members but more to do with how well they worked together, a startling insight that directed conference strategies and workspace designs. 5. Quantity versus Quality Lastly, findings are often a matter of quantity, while insights are a matter of quality. A finding that highlights a large group of users in a certain demographic is a quantity-based result. However, the insight that this demographic engages with your brand based on their personal preferences led Spotify to introduce a Discover Weekly playlist. This feature is rooted in an insight gleaned from market research findings that indicated listeners not only wanted to enjoy their favorite tracks but also wanted an effortless way to discover new music tailored to their taste. This insight revolutionized user experience on the platform by delivering personalized playlists, which led to increased user engagement and subscription rates. How to Foster Market Research Insights Market research insights don't just magically appear; they need cultivation. Here are several strategies to foster a culture that consistently turns findings into actionable insights. Hold dedicated brainstorming sessions: Once the findings are in, gather a team to explore their implications. Look for the 'so what' in every piece of data. Diverge to explore wild and wacky ideas, then converge on the best ideas. Collaborate across departments: The more diverse the team, the better. Sometimes, the most profound insights come from an interdisciplinary collaboration. Consider perspectives from marketing, sales, customer service, and product development, to name a few. Utilize the right market research partners: If you want to streamline the journey from finding to insight, engage a trusted vendor partner who is experienced in your industry, can quickly understand your business situation and desired outcome, and can probe below the surface with consumers to uncover meaningful insights. BONUS: Engage a trusted firm like Driven to Succeed who has the first hand experience managing brands, new product innovation, and P&Ls. Listen to the voice of the consumer: Market research isn't just about numbers; it's about people. Listen to customer feedback, social media mentions, and online reviews to uncover qualitative data that can support your quantitative findings. Use these insights to probe deeper with primary qualitative market research. Stay curious: Insights can arise at any time, often when you least expect them. Stay curious, ask questions, and be open to the possibility that your most significant insight might come from an unexpected place. Be careful, though. A base size should be validated with a larger sample. Addressing Common Misunderstandings and Pitfalls Despite the significant differences, the line between a finding and an insight can often become blurred. Here are some common misunderstandings and pitfalls to avoid. Misinterpreting Correlation as Causation: This classic mistake can lead to misinformed insights. For instance, a finding that taller users click more often on a website doesn't mean that 'height' is the cause of 'clicking behavior.' DIY Research: It’s tempting to save money by having an employee lead the research. Sometimes, knowing “too much” can erode objectivity and result in leading questions that are specific but not inspiring, insightful, or innovative. Overlooking Contradictions in Data: Not all findings support a single, definitive insight. Sometimes, the path to understanding a market requires acknowledging and exploring contradictory data. Ignoring Qualitative Aspects: Focusing solely on quantitative findings can lead to missing out on valuable, human-centered insights that drive emotional connections with your brand. Assuming All the Answers Come from a Single Source: This can be the most dangerous pitfall of all. No single department, software, or report has a monopoly on insights. It's a collective effort, and an ongoing process. The Future of Market Research: Insights-Driven Innovation The future of market research is undoubtedly insights-driven. As brands continue to innovate and differentiate, mere findings will not suffice. Only by delving deep into the heart of customer data and pulling out actionable insights can businesses truly weather the uncertainties of the market and maintain a competitive edge. By understanding the distinctions laid out in this blog and adopting a proactive approach to gathering and interpreting market research, brands can ensure that their marketing strategies are attuned to the subtle nuances of their consumer base, driving not just sales, but also loyalty and advocacy. As we navigate the ever-changing landscape of consumer behavior and preferences, the ability to transform market research findings into actionable, consumer-driven insights will be the hallmark of the most effective and valuable brands in the market. In summary, distinguishing mere findings from valuable insights in market research can drive innovation, customer experience, and targeted marketing. Insights, which are actionable and derived from a thorough analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data, are crucial for achieving a competitive edge and resonating with consumers on a deeper level. If you're looking for a partner to uncover insights for your brand, let’s schedule time to connect. *** Driven to Succeed is an award-winning market research and consulting firm that connects the dots to unleash growth for mid-market companies and Fortune 500 brands. We are powered by a team with multiple zones of genius who use empathy, intuition and insights to help brands grow, and people thrive. Our expertise includes research, analytics, brand management, and marketing in Consumer Packaged Goods, Healthcare Biopharma, Food & Beverage, Financial Services and beyond. Learn more at

  • 5 Benefits of Hiring a Boutique Market Research Firm

    Driven to Succeed team accepts Conway Family Business Award In a crowded marketplace, it's crucial for businesses to have a deep understanding of their target consumers, market trends, and potential opportunities for growth. Market research is the compass that guides many major brand and product decisions. Some of the world’s most iconic brands use global giants like Kantar, Ipsos, Gartner, and Nielsen to conduct market research. However, with the ever-growing demand for unique insights and personalized services, these behemoth companies might not always be the best fit. Over-reliance on the same market research vendor for an extended period can inadvertently expose businesses to certain risks. A homogeneous perspective may occur, stifling innovation and insights that often comes from fresh eyes and diverse methodologies. There's also the potential of becoming complacent with the level of data and analysis received, potentially overlooking evolving market dynamics or disruptive trends. Additionally, dependency on a single vendor might lead to a lack of competitive pricing, reduced leverage in negotiating terms, and a diminished understanding of different data collection and analysis techniques available in the market. This scenario might leave companies vulnerable and anchored to outdated practices and status quo performance, hindering their ability to make agile, strategic decisions. Boutique market research firms, with tailored services and a keen focus on client needs, often prove to be the secret weapon of insights and marketing professionals. Here are five reasons why boutique firms offer a compelling edge over their larger counterparts. 1. Personalized Approach and Custom Solutions When you choose a boutique market research firm, you opt for a partner that is dedicated to understanding your needs on a granular level. In an era where personalization is key, a cookie-cutter approach simply won't do. Large firms may have the resources, but often lack the flexibility to tailor their services to the unique needs of your company. Conversely, boutique firms offer highly personalized service, often establishing a working relationship that feels likprovene an extension of your team. Through a custom approach, they can dig deeper into your business challenges and provide unique solutions that make a distinct impact. Rather than working through layers of corporate hierarchy, clients of boutique firms typically have direct access to senior staff who can steer strategies -- and personally conduct market research -- with agility, acute insights, and deep first-hand brand experience. 2. Niche Expertise and Specialized Knowledge Boutique market research firms are often founded by industry experts who have honed their craft within a specific niche. This expertise allows boutique firms to offer specialized knowledge that can't be found in a standard service package from large agencies. For example, Kristin Harper founded Driven to Succeed after a 20-year career that started as a college intern and ended as a Global Vice President of Marketing. A classically trained brand manager, she has worked at Procter & Gamble, The Hershey Company, and Cardinal Health, and have led global iconic B2C and B2B brands including Crest®, Oral-B®, Hershey’s KISSES®, among others. This first-hand experience is invaluable for businesses who want not only a vendor, but a thought partner who understands the demands of running a profitable brand. Working with a boutique market research firm that understands industry challenges and has a proven track record is an invaluable asset. The insights are not only more relevant, but often more predictive, giving your business a competitive edge in the market. Specialized knowledge also fosters a deeper understanding of the market landscape. This can translate into services that are more finely-tuned to identify and exploit opportunities unique to your business, something generalized market research often falls short of. 3. Flexibility and Responsiveness The pace of business is accelerating, and the ability to pivot quickly in response to new information and market changes is increasingly important. Boutique market research firms are designed to be more responsive to such shifts, as they are typically smaller and less encumbered by bureaucracy or maintaining the status quo. When you need to push a new product to market rapidly or capitalize on a fleeting trend, a boutique firm is more likely to deliver the data and insights you need within the tight timeframes required. Their nimbleness allows them to adopt the latest technologies and methodologies swiftly, ensuring that they are at the forefront of research trends. This agility is often mirrored in the communication and interaction with the client. Decision-makers in organizations that work with boutique firms usually enjoy a more collaborative relationship, engaging in open dialogues and having more influence on the research process than with larger corporations who are often spread thin among many clients, leaving you to compete for their attention. 4. Cost-Effective Research Models Cost is an ever-present factor in business decision-making, and market research is no exception. While it's true that larger firms can sometimes offer economies of scale, boutique firms often counter with more transparent and cost-effective pricing models, where clients only pay for the services they actually need. Furthermore, boutique firms often have less overhead, leading to greater efficiency that translates to more competitive prices. With the flexibility to select research components a la carte, businesses can avoid the 'package deals' that may include services they don't require. This not only saves money, but ensures that the research is focused squarely on addressing the business’s specific needs. Moreover, the value-for-money proposition from boutique firms can be augmented by a partnership mindset, with many firms willing to tie their success to the success of their clients through performance-based pricing models. 5. Innovation and Creativity Larger market research corporations tend to be more risk-averse, relying on tried-and-tested methodologies and leading to a sense of stagnation in innovation. In contrast, boutique firms are eager to differentiate themselves through innovative approaches, and hence, are more likely to take calculated risks that can lead to groundbreaking insights. Innovation in this context does not solely refer to the application of new technologies or tools, but also the development of unconventional strategies to tackle unique research challenges. This creativity can uncover perspectives and opportunities that might otherwise be overlooked, ensuring that the research doesn't just provide data, but also sparks ideas and initiatives. The entrepreneurial spirit which often thrives within boutique firms can also lead to partnerships with clients that go beyond mere transactional relationships. Instead, they become collaborative platforms for shared learning and growth. Beyond Traditional Research: The Boutique Advantage In conclusion, the benefits of engaging a boutique market research firm are substantial. Their personalized approach, niche expertise, responsiveness, cost-effectiveness, and innovative methods can provide tremendous value, particularly to businesses that require tailored insights and swift action. By recognizing the unique strengths of boutique firms, insights, marketing, and product innovation leaders can solidify their competitive position in a rapidly changing landscape. In the quest for actionable market intelligence, the boutique market research firm emerges as a strategic partner that can drive a brand’s vision and growth. If you’re looking for fresh insights from a market research team that’s walked a mile in your shoes and will give you the time and attention you deserve, let’s schedule time to connect. . *** Driven to Succeed is an award-winning market research and consulting firm that connects the dots to unleash growth for mid-market companies and Fortune 500 brands. We are powered by a team with multiple zones of genius who use empathy, intuition and insights to help brands grow, and people thrive. Our expertise includes research, analytics, brand management, and marketing in Consumer Packaged Goods, Healthcare Biopharma, Food & Beverage, Financial Services and beyond. Learn more at

  • 5 Types of Innovation and How to Decide Which Is Right for Your Brand

    In the fiercely competitive business landscape, innovation isn't just a buzzword—it's an imperative. As a marketer, product manager, or market researcher, understanding the various types of innovation is crucial in propelling your brand forward. This blog will walk you through the five types of innovation and provide insights into selecting the right one for your brand ensuring your brand stays ahead. 1. Product Innovation Product innovation involves developing new products or significantly improving existing ones. It's about creating value for customers through unique features, and cutting-edge or even incremental technology. This type of innovation can position your brand as a leader in your industry, appealing to a consumer base that constantly seeks the next best thing. An excellent example of product innovation in 2023 is the adoption of foldable screen technology by smartphone manufacturers. This technology revolutionizes the user experience by combining the convenience of a smaller, pocket-sized smartphone with the benefits of a larger screen. Brands like Samsung have taken the lead with their Galaxy Z Fold series, by not only enhancing the display but also integrating unique software features that leverage the folding capability, thereby offering consumers a novel and versatile device. This innovation reflects how understanding and anticipating consumer needs can drive product development and differentiate a brand in a crowded market. To determine if product innovation is right for your brand: Assess market needs and consumer trends to identify gaps your product could fill. Analyze your company's resources and capabilities to meet development demands. Consider the potential return on investment and the product's life cycle. 2. Brand Positioning Innovation This type of innovation involves repositioning a product in the market or finding new demographics. It's not about changing your offering, but about changing how customers perceive it. By combining social listening, consumer segmentation, and market research, brands can tap into new markets or refresh their appeal in current segments. A notable example of position innovation is Starbucks' repositioning through its "third place" concept. Originally, coffee shops were viewed merely as places to get coffee on the go. However, Starbucks revolutionized this perception by positioning its cafes as a "third place" between home and work where people could relax, meet, or work on their laptops. This innovative positioning attracted a diverse range of customers beyond just coffee lovers, expanding its market reach and solidifying its brand as an integral part of daily life for millions globally. The introduction of comfortable seating, free Wi-Fi, and a welcoming atmosphere shifted the consumer perception of what a coffee shop could offer. Consider brand positioning innovation when: Your product has untapped potential in unexplored market segments. Changes in market dynamics have shifted consumer behavior. You look to revive or rebrand an existing product to align with emerging trends. 3. Paradigm Innovation Paradigm innovation overhauls the underlying business models and shifts the company's approach to its market. This often requires a cultural shift and can lead to significant changes in how a company operates and how value is delivered. Paradigm innovation involves a fundamental change in how a business operates or defines itself. It's when a company shifts its entire business model to adapt to market changes or create new opportunities. A prime illustration of paradigm innovation is Netflix's shift from DVD rentals to a streaming service model. When the company started, its primary business was mailing DVDs to customers—a service that competed with traditional video rental stores. However, as technology advanced and high-speed internet became widely available, Netflix underwent a transformative change in its business model. They bet on streaming video content directly to consumers, tapping into the unexplored market segment of on-demand internet entertainment. This move not only disrupted traditional media consumption models but also propelled Netflix into a leading position in the emerging online streaming space, effectively creating a whole new industry that's now crowded with competitors like Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Disney+. To leverage paradigm innovation, consider: The potential to disrupt or create a new market through a shift in business model. The adaptability of your company to substantial changes in operations and strategic direction. The ability to foresee and react to fundamental shifts in consumer behavior and technology. Opt for paradigm innovation if: The market landscape is changing rapidly, and your current business model isn't sustainable. Your brand needs a radical shift to remain relevant. There's an opportunity to redefine an existing market or create a new one. 4. Platform Innovation Platform innovation is about leveraging a foundation of existing products, technologies, or services to expand into new offerings. Effective platform innovation allows for scalability and can lead to diverse revenue streams. One prominent example of a food and beverage brand that has effectively used its technology to expand into new products and engage with new consumer audiences is The Coca-Cola Company. Their innovative Freestyle machines, which enable customers to mix their own personalized drinks from a variety of Coca-Cola products, leveraged touch screen technology and real-time data collection to provide unique value to both consumers and the brand. These machines not only offered a novel, interactive beverage experience but also gathered valuable consumer preference data. This data has been employed by Coca-Cola to analyze trends and develop new flavors and products that align with consumer desires, such as the Coca-Cola Cherry Vanilla. Plus, by using unique digital marketing campaigns and consumer interaction tools, Coca-Cola has been able to expand its audience, tapping into the desire for individualized products while growing its market intelligence. The latest innovation, Coca-Cola Freestyle 8100, sets out to not only “deliver a revolutionary beverage experience for diners, but also to make the job of foodservice crews easier,” said Ren Powell, Director, Platform Innovation, Coca‑Cola Freestyle. Its features solve common drive-thru challenges, including speed, order accuracy, and ease of use and maintenance for crews. Platform innovation might be suitable if: Your brand has strong foundational elements that can be built upon. You aim to broaden your reach and create an ecosystem around your brand. You observe a need for interconnected products or services within your market. 5. Process Innovation Process innovation refines the ways in which products or services are created and delivered, aiming to enhance efficiency, quality, and customer service. By optimizing operational processes, companies can reduce costs, increase speed, and maintain or improve quality. For example, Tesla implemented manufacturing automation in its factory in Fremont, California, using advanced robotics and automated machinery to streamline the production of electric vehicles. This automation not only accelerates the assembly line but also ensures precision and uniform quality. As a result, Tesla has significantly reduced labor costs, minimized human error, and increased production output, solidifying their status as a leader in the automotive industry. In addition, Lean Six Sigma experts, integrating fresh new thinking and approaches through processes like Better Ideaz brainstorming from Driven to Succeed can lead to unique approaches to solving real-world problems. Decide on process innovation if: You want to cut costs and improve margins without altering the product itself. Your operations landscape has room for improvement through technology or methodology enhancements. You are looking to streamline the customer journey for better satisfaction. Building Credibility Through Innovation Choosing the right type of innovation for your brand hinges on a robust understanding of your market, resources, and business goals. As a market research company specializing in delivering profound insights, then Translating Insights into ‘So What’ and ‘Now What’™  our role is to partner with you in making data-driven decisions. We provide robust analysis and strategic recommendations to navigate the complex weave of innovation possibilities. Our expertise lies in uncovering market opportunities, inspiring insights, and collaborating with your team to position your brand for future success. Innovation is not one-size-fits-all. Your brand's unique circumstances dictate which innovation path to take. By considering the types of innovation outlined here and their relevance to your brand's context, you can select a strategy that aligns with your company's vision and market position. Remember, the market landscape is never static, just as the quest for innovation is never-ending. There's no better time to quest for the new, the improved, and the undiscovered—with the right knowledge and the right partner, your brand can reach unprecedented heights. To explore how to unlock in-depth, personalized insights for your brand, contact our team at Driven to Succeed —we're dedicated to powering your brand's next innovation journey. *** Driven to Succeed is an award-winning market research and consulting firm that connects the dots to unleash growth for mid-market companies and Fortune 500 brands. We are powered by a team with multiple zones of genius who use empathy, intuition and insights to help brands grow, and people thrive. Our expertise includes research, analytics, brand management, and marketing in Consumer Packaged Goods, Healthcare Biopharma, Food & Beverage, Financial Services and beyond. Learn more at

  • How Market Research is Shaping the Future of Business

    In a world where commerce shifts at lightning speed, market research is the secret compass guiding companies through uncharted territory. Market research doesn't just predict trends; it shapes them, sparking innovation and fueling growth. It's the key to making decisions that aren't just informed, but insightful. One of our favorite examples of how market research shapes innovation was over twenty years at Procter & Gamble. One of our market researchers, Kaylie Dugan, was leading in-home consumer ethnographies. The brand team thought the benefits of the new product were for health. It turns out that it was really a beauty product. Crest White Strips changed the industry. Netflix provides an excellent example of a company harnessing the power of primary data, according to an article by Forbes. By analyzing viewer data, Netflix identified a demand for original content. This led to the creation of popular shows like "Stranger Things" and "The Crown," which have significantly contributed to Netflix's success. Another powerful example is Spotify. The music streaming giant uses data analysis to understand user behavior and preferences. This has enabled Spotify to offer personalized playlists, a feature that sets it apart from competitors and has greatly enhanced user engagement. In conclusion, market research is more than just a tool for understanding the present state of the market. It's a crystal ball that can reveal future trends, guide business strategy, and inspire innovation. By leading with data, businesses can not only survive but thrive in the face of change. These dynamic shifts in market research underscore the importance of having a well-informed strategic partner to navigate these changes effectively. This is where Driven to Succeed, LLC can make a difference. Our team of experts is at the forefront of these trends, ready to help your business leverage these insights to your advantage. Contact us now. *** Driven to Succeed is an award-winning global market research and consulting firm that compliments data (the “what”) with empathetic research and conversations (the “why”) to uncover actionable insights so mid-market companies and Fortune 500 brands can innovate and grow. Our team has walked a mile in your shoes with over 100 years of experience in Market Research, Marketing, and P&L Management for global iconic brands and startup companies across diverse B2B and B2C industries. Learn more at

  • Lessons from the Past: Madam C.J. Walker and the Power of Inclusive Market Research

    Photo by Scurlock Studio (Washington, D.C.) (photographers) Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History: Archives Center In the spirit of Black History Month, we turn our attention to an inspiring figure in American history whose story offers valuable insights for today's businesses: Madam C.J. Walker, one of the first self-made female millionaires in the U.S. Born Sarah Breedlove, Madam C.J. Walker was an African American entrepreneur who built a successful beauty product empire in the early 20th century. According to, at a time when most beauty products were not designed with Black consumers in mind, Walker recognized an untapped market: hair care products specifically for African American women. Walker's success didn't just stem from her innovative products; it was her deep understanding of her target market that truly set her apart. After experimenting with her own ingredients, says the National Museum of African American History & Culture, she began marketing her products across the country. She conducted what we would now call market research, gaining insights into the needs and wants of African American women, and then developed products to meet those specific unmet needs. One popular product was the Wonderful Hair Grower. Over a century later, the MADAM by Madam C.J. Walker brand of hair care products now honors her legacy. The lesson here for modern businesses is clear: inclusive market research can uncover significant opportunities. By seeking to understand and cater to diverse consumer groups, businesses can tap into markets that may have been overlooked or underserved. In today's increasingly diverse consumer landscape, this principle is more relevant than ever. It reminds us that market research should not only be about understanding broad general market trends but also about recognizing the unique needs and preferences of different consumer groups. We have led numerous market research projects with ethnically diverse audiences. While many findings are consistent with “gen pop,” the nuances are important to uncover, understand, and address. After all, the riches are in the niches. As we honor the achievements of African American trailblazers like Madam C.J. Walker, let's also be inspired to strive for inclusive market research that recognizes the value and potential of every consumer. *** Driven to Succeed is an award-winning global market research and consulting firm that compliments data (the “what”) with empathetic research and conversations (the “why”) to uncover actionable insights so mid-market companies and Fortune 500 brands can innovate and grow. Our team has walked a mile in your shoes with over 100 years of experience in Market Research, Marketing, and P&L Management for global iconic brands and startup companies across diverse B2B and B2C industries. Learn more at

  • Exploring the Power of Data: A Dive into Consumer Trends in 2024

    Step boldly into the brave new world of 2024, where businesses are not just driven by data, but sculpted by it. As we navigate this transformative era, one seismic shift stands out - consumers' growing reliance on Artificial Intelligence (AI). Salsify, a leading name in Product Experience Management (PXM), tells us that AI has evolved from being a fascinating novelty to an indispensable life companion. It's now steering our shopping decisions, influencing our entertainment selections, and permeating every corner of our everyday lives. Another significant trend, Salsify says, is the permanent establishment of social media in commerce. Businesses that leverage these platforms for marketing, customer engagement, and sales are gaining a competitive edge. Consumer patterns are also shifting towards experiences over material possessions. The quest for adventure and recreation is influencing purchasing decisions, reflecting a change in lifestyle priorities. Moreover, the global wellness market, valued at $1.8 trillion, is experiencing transformative trends, says strategy and management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. Health at home and biomonitoring are becoming increasingly important as consumers prioritize wellbeing. As consumers increasingly seek to incorporate wellness practices into their daily routines at home, companies are responding by developing products and services that facilitate physical exercise, mental health practices, and nutritional wellness at home. And with the rise of biomonitoring, consumers are increasingly using wearable devices and health-tracking apps to monitor their health metrics, indicating a shift towards preventative healthcare and enabling individuals to make informed decisions based on real-time data. Lastly, the 'just enough' trend reveals a shift in societal norms, says a whitepaper on consumer trends from WGSN, a trend forecasting company. Consumers are earning just enough to cover essentials, stepping away from traditional life milestones like marriage and children. This change is creating new opportunities for businesses to cater to these evolving lifestyles. As we navigate through 2024, understanding and capitalizing on consumer trends is essential for businesses to stay relevant and succeed. Recognizing these shifts in consumer behavior and adapting accordingly ensures your business remains competitive in this rapidly evolving landscape. This is where Driven to Succeed, LLC can assist. Ethnographies are one of our favorite types of market research. Observing people in their native environments can uncover so many gems that lead to more relevant marketing, innovation, and actionable strategies to spark brand growth. Let’s connect to see how we can help you achieve your 2024 goals. *** Driven to Succeed is an award-winning global market research and consulting firm that compliments data (the “what”) with empathetic research and conversations (the “why”) to uncover actionable insights so mid-market companies and Fortune 500 brands can innovate and grow. Our team has walked a mile in your shoes with over 100 years of experience in Market Research, Marketing, and P&L Management for global iconic brands and startup companies across diverse B2B and B2C industries. Learn more at

  • 3 Common Marketing Messaging Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Business's Sales and Growth

    The right marketing message, communicated at the right time, to the right customer can make all the difference to your business's success. Yet so many businesses struggle to get their messaging right. In the world of advertising, you can't afford to miss the mark or try multiple messages to see what sticks. The power of a well-crafted marketing message is immeasurable. It acts as your business's voice, telling your potential customers who you are, what you can offer, and why they should choose you over your competitors. However, crafting the 'right' marketing message is more of an art than a science. It requires a deep understanding of your customer's needs, desires, and pain points. It calls for a clear vision of your brand and its unique selling propositions. Despite its importance, many businesses stumble in this area. They either oversimplify their messaging, making it vague and indistinct, or over-complicate it, causing confusion and misunderstanding among their target audience. Both pitfalls can lead to missed opportunities and stunted business growth. Here are three common messaging mistakes that can hurt your business's sales and growth. 1. Lack of Clear Value Proposition One of the most common mistakes is not clearly communicating the unique value your product or service offers to customers. Your value proposition is what sets you apart from your competition and gives customers a reason to choose you. If your messaging lacks a clear value proposition, customers may struggle to understand what you offer and why they should choose you over your competitors. To further elaborate, a clear value proposition is the cornerstone of effective marketing messaging. This statement succinctly summarizes why a customer should buy your product or service, explicitly detailing the unique benefits and advantages you offer. However, it's surprising how many businesses fail to articulate a compelling value proposition. They often focus on features rather than benefits, neglecting to explain the tangible results or improvements customers can expect. For example, a software company might dwell on its innovative technical features, but what customers genuinely want to know is how the software can save them time, reduce errors, or enhance productivity. A value proposition should answer these questions, spelling out the practical benefits in a way that is easy to grasp and resonates with the customer's needs and desires. Without it, customers can easily turn to competitors who can convincingly articulate the value they offer. 2. Targeting the Wrong Audience Your marketing message may be stellar, but if it's not reaching the right audience, it’s all in vain. Knowing your target audience is crucial to any marketing strategy. If you don’t understand who your audience is, you can’t effectively communicate with them. What resonates with one demographic may not resonate with another, so it’s essential to tailor your messaging to the specific needs and wants of your target audience. Understanding your target audience is not merely about identifying a broad demographic group. It involves recognizing specific segments within this group, understanding their unique needs, preferences, and behavior, and tailoring your messaging accordingly. However, businesses often make the mistake of casting their net too wide, aiming to appeal to everyone. This approach tends to dilute the message, rendering it less effective. For instance, a beauty product company may offer a range of products catering to different age groups. A message emphasizing the anti-aging benefits of a product may resonate with older customers but is likely to miss the mark with younger customers who are more interested in acne prevention or sun protection. In such cases, a one-size-fits-all approach to messaging can result in a diluted message that doesn't connect with or motivate a particular group. Therefore, it is crucial to define your target audience precisely and adapt your message to address their specific needs and aspirations. This practice not only makes your message more compelling but also increases its efficiency by focusing resources on sectors most likely to respond. 3. Inconsistency Across Platforms In today's digital age, consumers engage with your brand through a myriad of platforms. This includes traditional channels like your company's website and extends to the numerous social media platforms available such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Other modes of interaction include email newsletters, blog posts, podcasts, and even YouTube videos. The issue arises when your messaging is inconsistent across these diverse channels. Imagine a customer who encounters your brand on Instagram where you showcase a casual and fun-loving persona, but then receives an email from you that is formal and corporate. This can lead to confusion, and even worse, it can deter potential customers as they might perceive your brand as untrustworthy or disorganized. They might question whether they are engaging with the same business or if the communication is genuine. Consistency is key in marketing messaging. It doesn't mean you have to use the exact same words every time, but the core message, tone, and voice should align. Your audience should be able to recognize your brand no matter the platform they encounter it on. Consistency not only strengthens your brand identity, making it more memorable in the crowded marketplace, but it also cultivates trust with your audience. Trust is a powerful tool in a marketer's arsenal. When customers trust your brand, they're more likely to remain loyal, recommend your products or services to others, and make repeat purchases. Therefore, maintaining consistency across all platforms is not just about avoiding confusion; it's about building a strong, trustworthy brand that can ultimately drive sales and growth. Conclusion A clear value proposition, knowing your target audience and messaging consistency are key to effective marketing messaging. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your marketing messaging hits the mark every time, driving increased sales and growth for your business. Hiring a thought partner, like Driven to Succeed LLC, to help develop marketing messages for your customers is beneficial because they bring expertise that is crucial to personalized marketing. As classically trained brand managers and market research experts, they understand how to analyze your customer base and create tailored messages that resonate with each group, enhancing engagement and conversion rates. Furthermore, professionals have the experience and tools to monitor and adjust strategies based on market trends and customer feedback, ensuring that your marketing efforts remain effective and relevant. By investing in professional help, you can maximize the impact of your marketing campaigns and foster stronger relationships with your customers. Ready to target your marketing messages for your customers? Visit our Sales & Marketing Message Consulting page to learn more about our services. Contact us today to get started on your journey to more effective marketing. *** Driven to Succeed is an award-winning global market research and consulting firm that compliments data (the “what”) with empathetic research and conversations (the “why”) to uncover actionable insights so mid-market companies and Fortune 500 brands can innovate and grow. Our team has walked a mile in your shoes with over 100 years of experience in Market Research, Marketing, and P&L Management for global iconic brands and startup companies across diverse B2B and B2C industries. Learn more at

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