No food manufacturer or beverage brand should ever stand still. Even if you currently hold the position of market leader, without continuous and ongoing product optimisation, you will lose the top spot to another brand carrying out this vital exercise.
So what is product optimisation, and why is it so important?
What is the Process of Product Optimisation?
In short, product optimisation refers to the process of researching and making improvements to a product to make it more appealing to customers. It is an ongoing process that should take place throughout the entire product lifecycle, from initial conception through to post-launch analysis.
There are many different aspects of a product that can be optimised, including but not limited to taste profiles, recipes and ingredients used, packaging design, marketing campaigns, and even pricing.
Why is Product Optimisation So Important?
There are several reasons why product optimisation is so essential, both for established brands and those just starting out.
One of the most important is that it allows you to constantly stay ahead of the competition. In today’s highly competitive marketplace, no brand is ever standing still. All competitors will be looking for ways to improve their products and attract more customers, so it’s crucial that you are always ahead of the curve regarding prevailing consumer trends.
Another reason product optimisation is so important is that it allows you to better meet the wants and needs of your target market. By constantly improving your offering and ensuring that it beats competitors across all key metrics, you can develop an industry-leading “gold standard” product.
From minor flavour profile tweaks to reducing the cost of a product without compromising on quality, there are several research exercises you can carry out to ensure your product lines remain top of the pile and increase profits.
What Does Product Optimisation Involve?
There are no set parameters for product optimisation. However, specific research methodologies are used time after time to discern the performance of a product versus leading competitors, namely sensory profiling and consumer taste testing.
By using these research methods, brands can:
- Gain an understanding of the sensory profiles of their products and benchmark them against competitor products.
- Assess how their developmental products differ in sensory terms from those already available in the marketplace.
- Gain insights into which products consumers prefer the most and why.
- Acquire knowledge of the ‘key drivers’ towards consumer liking of the product type.
- Develop the product profile of a ‘gold standard’ product that ticks all of the boxes for target consumers.
- Provide guidelines for improving products and developing the best possible products in the marketplace moving forwards.
As mentioned, a holistic approach to your product’s research is the key to gaining these insights and can include other methodologies such as packaging research and in-home use testing.
Speak to Wirral Sensory Services Today to Conduct a Thorough Round of Product Optimisation
No brand in any industry should ever rest on its laurels. Whether you’re the current market leader or you’re a startup looking to disrupt a mature market, product optimisation is a process that will ensure your products are the best they can be.
At Wirral Sensory Services, we have over two decades of experience in conducting sensory and consumer research across a wide range of industries. We work with some of the biggest names in food and drink, cosmetics and personal care, and household cleaning products, helping them optimise their products and ensure they remain at the top of their respective fields.
If you would like to find out more about our research services, or if you have any questions about product optimisation specifically, please don’t hesitate to speak to a member of our team today.