From 'weak signals' to successful product development
This paper offers a new, innovative approach to 'weak signal detection'. The goal is to discover coming trends or latent consumer needs. Building on the sciences and principles of 'information theory' and 'evolution biology', the potential importance of 'weak signals' to act as 'early alerts' of up-coming threats or opportunities for the marketer is first shown. The limit of current research approaches in detecting such 'weak signals' is shown and offered is a new online system designed to: 1) detect and amplify these weak signals thanks to online collaboration among consumers facilitated by an iterative algorithm (Brand Delphi); and, 2) validate/quantify the value of these 'weak signals' as potential early alerts of new promising elements/criteria through online conjoint analysis (IdeaMap®.Net).These two methodologies offer a unique and innovative approach to identify the specifics of these up-coming trends or latent needs. The authors share a case study demonstrating the easy, quick, actionable and affordable deployment of the approach in the beauty care industry, specifically hair-coloring as purchased in the store.
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