Research is looking for something you don’t want to find. It is searching for answers you do not want to hear and discover things you do not want to see.
At least, that’s the way I see it. Many research agencies obviously see this differently. This is because they have an interest in providing the client with research results that are in their mutual interest. Cynical? No, but if you are completely transparent and honest – and therefore look for things that disprove the assumptions – you will not have a long life as a market researcher.
Research is a core activity. You shouldn’t outsource that. But more importantly, most research doesn’t yield any results. Respondents give desirable answers. The only valuable research is done with people who have ‘skin in the game’. Someone who invests money or time in something will be critical. And a critical attitude is what you need.
It is better to hear now that your product has no chance or there is no market for it, than after years of investing.
So ask yourself three questions:
– Does it already exist?
– If so, can we do significantly better?
– If not, why not?
There is a lot of value in the latter in particular.
And if after these questions you still believe in your product or service, make sure you have a working product as soon as possible for real customers who will give honest feedback that will help you improve your product.
And for this you use a mix of, indeed, Lean, Agile and Design thinking 🙂