Amid increasingly tough competition in the fashion business nowadays, customers have more power to make decisions. Recommendations from their friends and circles, customer reviews and information from the internet are factors that will influence their decision on buying products.
It is essential for brand owners to research what consumers research, shop, and buy. A deep understanding of your customers’ buying behaviours and changing interests will strengthen your overall strategy in marketing, sales, or building loyalty.
Before entering a market or creating any efforts and strategies, you need to do thorough market research. Otherwise, your business could quickly sink.
“Before entering a market or creating any efforts and strategies, you need to do thorough market research. Otherwise, your business could quickly sink.”
What is Market Research
Market research is the process of gathering information about a market within an industry. The research process will study the dynamics of a market and what attracts potential customers. Market research includes understanding your brand’s buyer persona, target market, and customers to build and position your brand against the competition. When you conduct market research, you will learn the following:
- Demand: Is there a desire for your product or service?
- Market size: How many people would be interested in your offering?
- Economic indicators: What are the income range and employment rate?
- Location: Where do your customers live, and how can they reach your business?
- Market saturation: How many similar options are already available to consumers?
- Pricing: What do potential customers pay for these alternatives?
Doing market research helps you reduce risk because you can better understand your target audience and market conditions. Your analysis also enables you to clarify what sets you apart from the competition. That way, you can build your unique positioning. Whether you’re starting a new brand, introducing a new product or category or scaling your business, market research can help take you to the next level.
How to Conduct Market Research
You will need to invest time and do extensive research to build your findings. It is not something that you can do overnight and get the answer right away. To help you to conduct market research, here are some steps that you can consider:
Create your buyer persona
Before diving into how your potential buyers make purchase decisions, you must first understand who they are. Buyer personas — sometimes referred to as marketing personas — are fictional, generalised representations of your ideal customers.
Buyer personas help you visualise your audience and ultimately create informed decisions and strategies. Some of the critical information to consider when making personas are:
The idea is to use your persona as a guide for effectively reaching and learning about your market. Also, you may find that your brand appeals to different persona— that’s fine! However, it would be best to be thoughtful about each specific persona when you’re optimising and planning your strategies.
Identify a persona group
The next step after identifying your personas is to determine if you can group them based on shared demographics and attributes. Doing this will allow you to properly allocate resources in your research to a group that represent the majority of your market. Finally, look into the most recent customer engagement, either it’s a successful purchase or not.
Build a research questions list
The best way to make sure you get the most out of your conversations is to prepare. It would be best if you create a discussion guide — whether it’s for a focus group, online survey, or phone interview — to make sure you cover all of the top-of-mind questions.
Your discussion guide should be in an outline format, with a time allotment and open-ended questions for each section. Asking open-ended questions also helps you in building better context and actionable insights.
Identify your competitors
Identify competitors whose products or overlap with yours and determine which competition you’re pursuing. Of course, it is possible to achieve success by ignoring the competition and doing your own thing, but it’s a risky road. So instead, learn from their best practices, avoid their past mistakes and improve on what they are doing right.
Summarise your findings
It might feel overwhelming when you have gathered a lot of information. Instead, look for common themes that will help you build your brand’s narrative. Feel free to add your persona insight as a shopper. The following points should help you craft a clear summary:
- Research Goal: Make sure to have a clear goal of why you are doing market research.
- Participants: Identify the respondents for your research. Present it in a matrix so you can quickly identify the group persona.
- Executive Summary: What were the most exciting things you learned? What do you plan to do about it?
- Awareness: Describe the common triggers that lead someone to enter into an evaluation. Quotes can be compelling.
- Consideration: Provide the main themes you uncovered and the detailed sources buyers use when conducting their evaluation.
- Action Plan: Your analysis probably uncovered a few campaigns you can run to get your brand in front of buyers earlier and/or more effectively. Provide your list of priorities, a timeline, and the impact it will have on your business.
Put your analysis into action
Don’t put all that extensive research to waste. Instead, put your analysis into action. For internal purposes, look at how you can use your findings to improve your business. Use your research to see if you can make any of your business processes more efficient. Don’t just box up your analysis and pack it away for “later.” Revisit your market research now and then for necessary tweaking.
“Don’t put all that extensive research to waste. Instead, put your analysis into action. Revisit your market research now and then for necessary tweaking.”
Types of Market Research
Asking consumers yourself can give you a nuanced understanding of your specific target audience. But, direct research can be time consuming and expensive. So, instead, use it to answer questions about your particular business or customers, like reactions to your logo, improvements you could make to the buying experience, and where customers might go instead of your business.
Here are a few methods you can use to do research:
- Focus groups
- In-depth interviews
- Market insight tools like Omnilytics
Conducting a market analysis might seem like a daunting task, but your business will thank you for it later. Sure, you’ll spend a good chunk of time working on your marketing research but the benefits outweigh the efforts in the beginning. So have you done any market research in the past or planning to do so? We are glad to help you as you embark on this journey with data-driven insights.