Predicting the sales potential of new products
This paper reviews the applicability of the main current market research methods which attempt to predict the sales potential of a new product mix in the field of fast-moving consumer goods. The high costs and risks of new product development have been amply documented elsewhere. It has become increasingly critical for manufacturers to obtain reliable sales predictions as early as possible in the development process, and a variety of methods have been used. These are outlined and their applicability discussed in section 2. Most of the methods under discussion have been presented and evaluated in detail in published papers. Over the last few years there has been a dramatic growth in the use of the group of techniques we term Simulated Test Markets, but there has been little published discussion of their applicability and power. Section 3 therefore discusses in some detail the types of new product marketing problem for which these methods are most suitable, and Section 4 illustrates how these techniques can be applied to specific new product evaluations, and how some apparent problems can be overcome. Section 5 summarizes and draws conclusions from the review.
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