Product benchmarking is a vital process that ensures your product is up to scratch. Yet, despite its importance, many brands forgo this vital aspect of consumer research.
So with that in mind, let’s examine product benchmarking in more detail and explain why, when executed correctly, it can help your brand deliver a product that is head and shoulders above competitors.
Simply put, product benchmarking is the process of putting your product up against leading competitors to understand how it stacks up concerning consumer preferences. You can also use product benchmarking to compare a new formulation of your food or beverage product against an old one.
There are several different parameters you can benchmark your product for, including but not limited to taste, smell, and looks. Participants used in product benchmarking are from your target demographic and are the same people who you would market to if introducing the new product to the market.
Once the product benchmarking process has taken place, you can factor in these results when developing your marketing strategy and/or make any necessary product changes before launching a new product.
There are several benefits that product benchmarking delivers to your organisation. Firstly, it enables you to identify problems with your product and make improvements that are likely to positively impact your bottom line.
Secondly, it helps you gain a deeper understanding of your competitors’ success (or lack thereof). You can look at how those brands have marketed their product or understand what constitutes a top-performing taste profile in the eyes of your target customers, for example. You can then look in more detail at what they’ve done well and where they may have fallen short and find opportunities for quick wins.
Finally, when benchmarking involves testing a new product against the best-selling food or beverage products in your market, you can use the results to help you launch your brand with superior sales potential while avoiding the pitfalls that many of your competitors may have made before you.
Product benchmarking is most likely to be carried out in a central location testing environment with members of the public who you classify as your target market. Your products and those of your competitors (if doing a competitor analysis) are then evaluated by consumers against a number of criteria (such as appearance, aroma, flavour, texture etc.).
The answers are then collated and analysed to understand if there are any statistically significant differences between products for each tested attribute. These findings are presented in a report that you can use to address any critical areas of concern or uncover opportunities for you to tweak your product so that it is likely to outperform leading brands.
At WSS, we are market leaders in unbiased consumer research. We help leading British and international brands uncover game-changing insights into their products that help them avoid costly mistakes at launch or spot opportunities to secure increased market share.
Whether you want to commission a standalone product benchmarking study, or you wish to form an ongoing consumer market research relationship, we are here to help you deliver the best possible consumer products.