CONCEPT TESTING OF AN INNOVATIVE IMAGING PLATFORM
A market leading device manufacturer is in the process of developing the next generation of imaging technology. The designs are currently at a conceptual stage with the product profile being shaped by both customer insight and views from the development team. With an extended lead time required for both software and industrial design, many of the platform’s features must be agreed upon early in the development process in order to comply with the intended launch date.
Qualitative research will be needed to confirm customer acceptance and to pin-point those attributes that will enhance product value. Guidance is needed in identifying the target customer segments, and providing an effective method for the collection and analysis of the feedback required to shape the development programme.
The difficulty with any new technology in a mature market is finding areas for growth. With a range of products already available, many of the needs of the attractive high throughput users will likely continue to be met by the existing technology. The challenge is to identify whether particular attributes of the novel technology would provide substantial utility over and above the current offerings, in order to drive increased use. New segments need to be explored in order to identify any new markets with potential.
Rather than focusing on the needs of the most frequent users of this type of imaging technology, an alternative strategy was explored. The approach was to target clinical departments with a historically limited uptake of this type of imaging technology, but that could potentially benefit from the particular attributes of this new platform. A short list of hospital departments was identified and the qualitative interviews focused on the professionals working within them.
Results & feedback
Working within a short project timeline, Black Swan Analysis was able to rapidly identify the key customer groups that would benefit most from this innovative technology. The qualitative feedback was effective in highlighting not only the attributes that were essential to deliver value to the customer, but also enabled the development team to finalise their design at an early stage.
The client is now in the advanced stages of product development and has developed marketing strategies targeted towards the customer groups identified through this analysis.