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Product research | Why should who want what?

Why do we say thirst for know­ledge, hun­ger for suc­cess, taste for curi­os­ity? Per­haps we use terms from the world of eat­ing, drink­ing and sen­su­al enjoy­ment because we want to express the power of these needs. And that works very well with words of desire. So it’s no coin­cid­ence that product find­ers must also have a thirst for know­ledge, a hun­ger for suc­cess, and a taste for curiosity.

Cre­at­ing what is desirable

Product research­ers and scouts are ordin­ary people with an extraordin­ary feel for what oth­er ordin­ary people find desir­able. Product dis­cov­ery involves not only cre­ativ­ity, speed and a feel for trends, but also very good ana­lyt­ic­al skills and sound judg­ment. In addi­tion, it is import­ant to learn from fail­ures in order to be even bet­ter and more suc­cess­ful in find­ing new products in the future. It is import­ant to be able to put ideas and decisions to the test again and again and to act on the basis of the know­ledge gained.

It is cru­cial to be able to put your­self in oth­er people’s shoes. In addi­tion to empathy, life exper­i­ence, a love of the sub­ject mat­ter and open­ness, product scouts also need the will to be first. Example: Let’s say there’s the 1,000th new whisk. As a pro­fes­sion­al, I have to find out wheth­er it has a func­tion that oth­er whisks don’t have. I have to find out wheth­er and what unique bene­fit this whisk brings to my tar­get group.

Cour­age to enter new product areas

Research­ers and oth­er innov­at­ors with new ideas are famil­i­ar with this situ­ation: They present an idea and instead of enthu­si­asm they first receive a lot of skep­ti­cism. Does­n’t that already exist? Who needs it? Has­n’t a sim­il­ar idea already failed?

It takes cour­age to enter new product areas, to try out trends, or, if neces­sary, to try out products and product cat­egor­ies again with today’s know­ledge. Because noth­ing is stronger than an idea whose time has come. But walk­ing on paths that have not been trod­den requires stam­ina in the face of head­winds. You also have to be able to crit­ic­ally ques­tion and cor­rect your­self again and again.

Offer real solu­tions to problems

The solu­tion to a known prob­lem can arouse desire. Product find­ers, there­fore, need know­ledge about how cer­tain items work, as well as back­ground know­ledge about the con­text in which they are used. For example, if I know how time-con­sum­ing it is to pre­pare stock and how long it takes to pre­pare it, it helps me to offer a fin­ished stock as a prob­lem solv­er. I thus offer a “high-qual­ity product” and “save” the cus­tom­er hours of cook­ing. If I don’t know, I’m not offer­ing an adequate product to my cus­tom­ers either, and I’m miss­ing the oppor­tun­ity to gen­er­ate sales.

After more than 25 ½ years, I am still amazed at how many com­pan­ies (be it the man­u­fac­tur­ers them­selves, but also the buy­ers on the retail side) are not suf­fi­ciently famil­i­ar with the bene­fits that the products bring to the tar­get group. This is then reflec­ted in mar­ket­ing and com­mu­nic­a­tion. For example, a product is simply described by the man­u­fac­turer instead of advert­ising the con­crete bene­fits for the tar­get groups: “Elec­tric steam­er” instead of, it would be bet­ter: “Elec­tric steam­er: Fast and easy vit­am­in- and aroma-pre­serving cook­ing”. At a dis­count gro­cery store some time ago, you could read posters like “Great non-food pro­mo­tion” instead of “30% off everything except food and drink.”

Sup­pli­ers need to make it clear and exper­i­en­tial why cus­tom­ers should buy the product. They should know the needs (“Needs” and “Insights”), i.e. look into the heads and hearts of the people to then be able to make a suit­able offer. This includes details such as the mater­i­als used, dimen­sions, weight, addi­tion­al bene­fits, and any­thing else that can be useful.

Selling with know­ledge and passion

Even for deal­ers and man­u­fac­tur­ers seem­ingly self-evid­ent things can be valu­able. For example, the product is par­tic­u­larly nar­row or par­tic­u­larly light, is stored on rollers, enables easy clean­ing of the floor … One should nev­er assume that cus­tom­ers will already find out what their advant­age is. Most people don’t have the time or the inclin­a­tion for that in their every­day lives. How­ever, product mar­ket­ing and com­mu­nic­a­tion should high­light the bene­fits and be “appeal­ing” not only in the text but also in the images. If a spe­cial pan can con­jure up per­fect fried pota­toes, it is best to show it with per­fectly browned fried pota­toes instead of a cropped image.

Again, the pre­requis­ite is that I, as the product find­er, have some cook­ing know-how. I have to know how elab­or­ate or com­plic­ated it is to make a dish myself, what the indi­vidu­al steps are. I myself must have a cer­tain pas­sion for and know­ledge of things in order to be able to put them out with suc­cess. This is just as import­ant as the abil­ity to research and find out the spe­cif­ics. This simply requires fun and curi­os­ity and – until I have built up my know-how – a lot of time. This brings us full circle.

Aus der Presse 

“Einkauf­s­ex­per­tin Silke Rosen­baum macht sich selbstständig”

“Bis zum Jahresende zeich­nete Silke Rosen­baum-Tiben als Lei­t­er­in Einkauf beim Spezi­al­versand­haus Hagen Grote ver­ant­wort­lich. Nun geht sie den Sch­ritt in die Selbst­ständigkeit und bietet ab sofort unter dem Label „USP Products“ etablier­ten Han­delsun­terneh­men, Start-ups oder Her­stellern ihre Ser­vices als Product Con­sult­ant an.” … Lesen Sie den gan­zen Presseartikel


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