How a Research and Testing Platform Can Help Your Ingredient Brand Become a Trusted Solution
Passing trends and crowded markets are presenting challenges to customer-facing brands to stay relevant among growing competition. But for ingredient brands, instead of being a challenge, it presents more of an exciting opportunity.
Successful, well-known ingredient brands like Gore-Tex and OrthoLite enjoy name recognition and customer trust for performance and reliability – and it’s not a matter of luck. These brands have done their research and tested their products so they know how to build a reputation of trust, dependability and performance, becoming an enhancement of customer-facing products.
In many cases, the ingredient brings enough added value to become a highly-marketable aspect of a product. Consider the “Intel Inside” sticker on computers, for example. If the sticker said the name of a different processor, many customers would opt for the familiar Intel name instead. It’s that trusted.
Becoming an ingredient brand with that much trust and name recognition within a certain market is a challenge, and a product research and testing platform can help significantly.
Leverage a Platform that Offers a Research and Testing Community
There are some essential aspects to becoming the ingredient brand of choice for consumer-facing products, and earning trust and recognition among end users. Your ingredient must:
- Integrate well into the end product.
- Boost the product’s performance in a significant way.
Before you spend time and money on actual development, start right from the concept stage to determine if your target customers think the ingredient is a good fit for the product(s) in which you want to be adopted.
And who’s better to inform that process than the end users themselves? Imagine being able to tap into a wide community of actual people who represent your target customers, and who can give you valuable input like:
Early-phase feedback. You can begin weaving the voices of potential customers into your product designs at the concept stage – before you get too far into the product development process to easily reverse course.
Validation for your product. Does it work? Is the design and functionality a good match for the product? If a materials innovator had real users test workwear made with an insulating fabric designed for outdoor performance, the brand could validate that fabric’s usefulness for certain workplaces.
Discovery of potentially-pricey performance issues. Avoid costs down the road with early feedback on how your product works. If the feedback is positive, you gain the confidence to go to market, and to other brands, with your key ingredient – all while minimizing costly performance failure risks.
Leverage a Platform that Offers a Product Testing Community
Early-stage feedback is great, but to solidify your product’s success, and give you confidence to bring it to market and to brand partners, feedback in the development phase is critical.
Pre-market product testing enables you to identify product improvement opportunities before unknown issues become problems. Design imperfections can cause major setbacks for your brand – and your balance sheet – so testing should be a no-brainer. Pre-market testing of your prototype can:
Expose your product to its actual users. What could be more valuable than getting feedback from the users who would actually be customers? Put your product in front of the right people in the right locations doing the right activities to tell you everything you need to know.
Provide validation of design and materials. How does your product hold up after heavy use? If your ingredient brand makes a uniquely tough lace for hiking boots, you’ll want to know if the laces live up to their promise – no matter the activity.
Show you what the customers love. Often, product testing can tease out additional or peripheral excitement about new innovations – so while a material may be developed for an exceptional warmth-to-weight ratio, product testers may also rave about its breathability, identifying both a development win and a customer interest.
Help you speak your customer’s language. From the terms they use to their actual quotes, carry the customer’s voice straight into the market, leveraging tester testimonials with brand partners and in marketing materials.
This information helps you in several ways; the most critical being the positive influence you can have on potential brand partners and customer interest.
Being able to validate specific design and performance features that map back to actual customer feedback allows you to make a compelling business case for your products and innovations. Think of the confidence you’ll have when you go to market and to brand partners with this type of statistical and qualitative validation to back you up!
Additionally, you can bolster your entire business with these insights. An effective product development platform makes it easy to collaborate inter-departmentally based on what feedback is most strategically useful at a specific stage of the product development process.
If you want to learn more about how the MESH01 Platform can give you the right tools for development of your innovations, and the right people to provide feedback, contact us today.