Founded in 2009, Kickstarter is a crowdfunding website that helps people to raise money for creative projects. These range from films and photography exhibitions right through to gadgets like the Pebble Smartwatch. But what does Kickstarter have to do with market research?
Kickstarter could provide a direct route to assessing the market for new products as it effectively asks people to declare purchase intent. Brands could use this as a means of predetermining demand for a new product, thus avoiding ploughing millions into an idea that ultimately fails to resonate with customers.
To date, only a few brands have taken to Kickstarter, so whether consumers would want to fund a global brand to bring products to market through the platform remains to be seen.
Amazon is not exactly new. In fact, the retail giant celebrates its 20th birthday this July. So why are we mentioning it?
Like Kickstarter, Amazon has huge potential to enrich the product development process. But while Kickstarter could provide a means of assessing the market for new ideas, Amazon offers a route for gaining feedback on existing products.
Analysing product and competitor reviews on Amazon and other review sites can give rich insights into product appeal and reveal which specific features have scope for improvement. These reviews will, however, need to be triangulated with other data sources to build a full picture of consumers needs.
This article was first published in InBrief magazine, August 2014
Copyright © Association for Qualitative Research, 2014