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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Real results in real time for the real world.

Thanks for finding Skuuber and this blog!

I began work on Skuuber nearly two years ago out of the frustration I've experienced in my 30+ years of new product launches and optimization work. No matter where I looked for reliable consumer insight to guide product decisions, all I discovered were hugely expensive and lengthy concept tests or simple surveys and focus groups.

The huge market research companies charge over $50,000 for what I needed and even then only provide data from 200 consumers. While they can provide volume projections, they rely upon a historic database that contains results from decades ago when the world was a very different place. Worse yet, their processes are complex and time consuming, taking 3-4 months to get results.

On the other hand, there are online survey companies that can ask consumers anything you want for at least $6 per respondent. You write the questions and you recieve back raw data, leaving you to figure out what it means. If you want a nationally representative sample of consumers, you'll pay at least $3000 and still must do the analytic work. This has high potential for garbage-in/garbage-out results and they are not strictly comparable study-to-study.

Of course, there are always focus groups in which you can invite 10-12 people to give you feedback on ideas. These cost about $8000 and there is no quantitative value whatsoever. You can get pretty good snacks, though, as you watch the group from the other side of the mirror.
None of this is real world.

In the real world, you need understand the impact of a product idea as it would most likely be presented to consumers as a finished thing, not as a concept or idea alone.

In the real world, performance is measured in a competitive environment where consumers trade off one value proposition against others in deciding what to try and buy.

In the real world, most, if not all, of the information consumers will get about your product before trying it will be found on the product's package alone.

In the real world, price matters and you will seldom sell 100% of volume at MSRP.

In the real world, you need answers and feedback quickly to accelarate and inform your product launches.

We wanted to design Skuuber for the real world and I think we have.

This blog will be a running commentary on issues and opportunities that face we CPG marketers every day. I hope you enjoy it and will contribute your thoughts as we go along.

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