Bad News? No Market. Good news? You just saved $500K!

The Challenge

Believe it or not, the best time to conduct market research for a new product is before your product goes to the drawing board. This particular situation is a case in point. A client was interested in entering the confocal market with a new "instrument with a twist" and contracted with MME (T/MIP’s predecessor) to conduct User-based market research to determine (a) if anyone would buy the product, (b) for how much, and (c) with what technical parameters.

The Solution

A User-based study  with both a numerical analysis and written report

Results

Two weeks after issuing our report, we received a call from the client. Much to our surprise, the client confessed that we were the third research firm his company had enlisted to do this project because he and his Board suspected that the first two had told them "what we wanted to hear".

"There is good news and bad news", he went on. "The good news is that we consider your findings unbiased and well-founded. The bad news is that the market is just not big enough to manufacturer this device at an acceptable price, so we have decided not to commercialize". Our response: maybe the news was not so bad after all.  Further discussion revealed that this User-based study was going to (a)  save our client an estimated $500,000 in production and start-up costs and (b) allow them to focus on other, more lucrative endeavors.

P. S.  They did go on to commercialize this product, a decade later, when the audience was more receptive.

ROI:  50:1 within 2 months