Consumer Intuition in New Product Concept Development

Monday, 31 March 2014 06:34
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Last week's newsletter discussed my use of scientific research as stimulus to help ideate new product concepts. A number of readers have asked me to discuss this subject further.

Curious to learn more? Read on, dear friends.

Consumer Intuition in New Product Concept Development

"New product concepts that seem sensible are easier to believe than those that require acceptance of an unfamiliar premise."

I am attracted to stimuli that inspire compelling consumer hypotheses. I apply a system of trial and error with this approach however, which makes it a bit of an art. There is one noteworthy component I wish to share: where possible, I apply stimulus that is consistent with consumers' belief systems to help ease their acceptance of the resulting new product concept.

In the example l shared last week, I presented scientific research that showed certain anti oxidant ingredients could help mitigate hearing loss. Free radical formation is widely known to contribute to signs of aging, as with skin wrinkling. Further, anti oxidant treatments are generally recognized as an effective means to fight wrinkle formation. So, it would be reasonable to expect that consumers would accept this approach as a means to help prevent age related, free radical induced hearing loss.

Contrast this with research that shows that drinking moderate amounts
of alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, spirits) can help reduce the risk of dementia (i.e. delay its onset) .
While provocative, it is also somewhat counterintuitive as most consumers know that drinking alcohol destroys brain cells and can cause short term cognitive impairment. In addition, research also shows that even slightly more than moderate drinking in middle age will accelerate cognitive decline.

Confused? So was I. As a result, I think that most middle aged consumers would be somewhat skeptical of a cognitive health regimen that advocated regular, modest alcohol consumption even though this has scientifically validity.

In my opinion, it is best to work with stimulus that allows us to in effect, "paddle downstream" when communicating with consumers. It is best to avoid invoking information that challenges their belief system or could be considered confusing or ambiguous.

Since 2005, BFS Innovations has helped its Fortune 500 clients with technology scouting, creative problem solving and new business development services. Contact Michael today at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 614 937-2408 to discuss your company's needs.


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