Idea Generation and Conceptualisation
New product ideas are seldom revolutionary, they are mostly evolutionary. Many develop from the products of the past, making improvements in quality; convenience, cost or variety. The truly innovative product starts a new sequence of these evolutionary products.
Idea generation is knowledgeable, creative and systematic. It develops from knowledge of the consumer, the market, the technology and the general environment, and it creates newness in product, production and marketing. It develops product ideas to satisfy the aim of the project and therefore the business strategy.
Idea generation in industry is strategic and should not be left to chance. Ideas can come from ‘blue skies’ research or from inventions, but in product development these are systematically developed into innovations in the company and the marketplace. Idea generation occurs not only at the initial stages in developing product concepts but throughout the project – in the design of the product, package and process, and in developing the marketing strategy.
Consumer insight is “a deep truth about the consumer, based on their behaviour, experiences, beliefs, needs or desires that is relevant to the tasks or issue and rings bells with targeted people”
Consumer insight is more than just raw data or research. It’s a multi-dimensional view of consumers derived from a strategic analysis of a variety of qualitative and quantitative data and information that clients collect about their consumers, including: demographic data, surveys and consultation, actual operational data, front line staff feedback, formal and informal correspondence and consumer feedback.
Consumer insight can be used to inform strategy, which in turn will inform design. And design based on consumer insight will lead to a product or service that will appeal to a core truth of the end consumer.
Consumer insight is a big part of what we do. To help our clients reach their business goals, we identify potential consumers and try to understand them: their likes and dislikes, their beliefs and attitudes, what inspires and motivates them.
Importantly, we need to be able to distinguish between what consumer say they do, and what they actually do. We challenge our team to delve beyond the superficial, to take an immersive approach to understanding the consumer, and how they interact with brands and communications in the real world.
There’s an old saying: “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.” This is a perfect packaging metaphor, because the fundamental truth is that the final purchasing decision is made at the shelf edge in store. Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that advertising and sales promotion is what drives the customer’s decision-making process and, as a result, this is the area that usually commands the greatest amount of deliberation and debate.
The truth is, no matter how much time and money your marketing team spends on promoting your product or how much effort your sales team puts into getting your product listed in the key retail outlets, if your pack fails to deliver at point of sale because it doesn’t look good then all that investment spent elsewhere is largely wasted.
A lot of time in spent on defining the strategic insight that will lead to a creative solution that will deliver on consumer expectation and therefore lead to product being picked up from the shelf.
The strategic insight is gained from a thorough market understanding gained from consumer research, client interaction and robust debate with key partners, leading to product design that delivers not only on form but also function.