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The problem with using marketing research to make small business decisions is that small businesses often succeed through having an original vision. Large businesses can succeed by establishing economies of scale and outdoing other similar companies on "me-too" products. Market research can tell you, for example, that consumers who buy certain types of product want features X, Y, and Z. What market research cannot do is tell you how to come up with a new product entirely, like the iPod, the Walkman, the tablet computer, or the microwave oven and then educate consumers about it. The major successes of new and small businesses are due to their being small, responsive, and innovative, addressing tiny niche markets (e.g. most recently blue jeans for male hockey players designed to accommodate muscular thighs) or coming up with entirely new products. Market research steers you towards the safe, familiar, and least common denominator, which is more the domain of big businesses.
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