Understand needs and assess the future
Our ideas for product innovations result from systematically identified opportunities whilst focusing on the highest possible benefit for future stakeholders. By this we mean all persons who have an influence on the purchase decision of a product, not just the future user. Usually there are far more people involved than one imagines. Unsatisfied needs provide an excellent starting point for innovations, but also changes in markets, technological and social trends, new regulations etc.
What is happening outside your company? What change opens up the opportunity for product innovation for you? We’ll help you to find out!
Goal: research of state-of-the-art technology, overview of trends and peripheral conditions that are relevant for you.
We shall inform you about trends in selected markets and industries. From a technological point of view, we prepare an overview of the state-of-the-art technology and investigate what is currently being researched and developed. The influences of megatrends such as individualisation, silver society, connectivity, neo-ecology or knowledge culture are taken into account in our considerations, as are current social, economic and political trends in your future markets. The result of our analysis will provide you with the knowledge of what trends you need to take into account when developing your product.
Competitor analyses and comparisons
Goal: obtaining information on competitors to determine own position and derive strategic decisions
With us, you gain knowledge about the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors – the prerequisite for planning your own corporate strategy. The comparison of your competitors with your company, for example with the strategic contour method, makes it possible to find starting points for improvements and strategic options for action. The analysis of patent activities and publications of selected market competitors is of interest, as it provides an indication of which technologies your competitors are currently working on and which competitive products you should expect in the medium term. Let us know what interests you! We will carry through a tailored research for the informaiton you require.
Goal: Continuous technology monitoring as an initial spark for new products and product improvements
Select a technology area and keep informed about what is going on! Continuous technology monitoring includes the structured observation and early identification of changes, potentials and relevant knowledge on developments and trends. We use global developer blogs, forums and patent databases to identify new technologies at an early stage of development. This increases your chances and reduces risks. Optionally we can include the systematic evaluation of new technologies in relation to your predefined requirements profile, resulting in new offers (product/service/solution) that you can achieve.
We identify improvement potential for your company through continuous comparison with market competitors and by learning from best practice companies and their products. Goal: securing your competitiveness in an ever-changing and fast-moving world.
Product research and –comparison / market overviews
Goal: overview of available products in selected markets, and their strengths and weaknesses.
Knowing the suppliers and the performance capabilities of competing products is essential for the strategic positioning of your own products. We research the desired information, such as technical data, prices, sales markets, quantities and compare them to each other, evaluating customer reviews if necessary. Internet research is the compulsory programme to obtain the information, interviewing experts is the “freestyle”.
Goal: In-depth technical comparison of products, improvement/simplification potentials regarding your product.
The “benchmark” is usually the market leader in the product segment. We compare functionality, usability, technologies, design, packaging and other features of your product with the market leader and other market competitors, with the aim of identifying potential for improvement. For this purpose, the devices undergo an objective analysis marathon, which we meticulously document. First, we examine the usability and performance before we disassemble the products within the scope of a so-called product reverse engineering and identify the constructive causes for their advantages and disadvantages, also clarifying whether an additional effort generates appropriate functional improvements or a reduced effort does not entail an excessive functional deterioration.
Determining customer needs
To be successful, companies should recognize customer needs and strive to fulfil them. Quite a challenge! Our society is changing rapidly: what caused enthusiasm a few years ago is now expected as a matter of course, younger buyers have different buying arguments than older ones, global markets have different expectations, etc. It is important to understand one’s buyer and user groups precisely and to derive measures for product development from this. We’ll help you succeed.
Goal: understanding the needs of your target groups, the basis for deriving benefit innovations
The persona method is the tool of our needs and target group analyses. A persona represents a fictitious archetype for a group of users. Concrete requirements for the characteristics of products can be derived from analysing each relevant persona. We recommend analysing not only the user, but every person who has an influence on the purchase decision of a product. This is a valuable way of developing ideas for useful and unique product features or services. Create your personas with us. In our persona workshops we work with you to create the personas that are relevant for your product and put ourselves in their position. This will help you to get to know your customers better and thus tailor your products, services and marketing measures to their needs and wishes.
Goal: identification of weaknesses in product usability, potential for improvement of your product.
Improve your products by identifying errors and difficulties in the handling of your products. We film people using your devices and, if desired, also those of your competitors, to determine potential for improvement. We also deliberately look at phases outside the actual product application, such as product preparation and post-processing. The compiled footage helps us to identify recurring problems and to draw comparisons among the products. A fantastic indicator for the direction of your product optimization.
Surveys & interviews
Goal: feedback from target group on your new product ideas and planned improvement measures.
Not everyone is creative and can spontaneously name optimization potentials for your products when asked. Therefore, a simple survey rarely leads to good results. The situation is somewhat different when we confront respondents with pre-developed ideas for improvement, preferably in the form of simple mock-ups or demonstrators, and ask them for their opinion. In this way, we awaken creativity in the respondents and ideally also needs that they were not even aware of beforehand. Such surveys are also part of our design sprints, in which we live-test ideas for product innovations on target group representatives. This proves the perfect protection against undesirable developments!
The cooperation between ZAHORANSKY and tech-solute was exemplary right from the start. The meetings were productive and we were given very useful impulses. Not only were our technical requirements understood, but also the market realities and needs of our customers. Would we book tech-solute again? Of course…
Moritz Seger, Product Manager, ZAHORANSKY AG, Todtnau