Market Research is a formal process of gathering and interpreting data about markets, customers and competition. It is a critical aspect of running a business that allows an entrepreneur to identify the characteristics and desires of their current and potential customers and discover new business opportunities in the marketplace that are a good match for their product mix and business strengths. Market research can also improve market performance by improving the understanding of problems in a product, its marketing and distribution. It is a key aspect of business strategy that provides a factual basis for an entrepreneur to gain insight, support decision making and ensure that their products are positioned to succeed in the marketplace.
The MSU Product Center’s Innovation Counselors have access to an extensive array of internationally recognized market research databases that describe customer demographics, values and decision processes as well as competing product features and claims. The Product Center can also assist entrepreneurs in creating and implementing customized market research such as surveys and focus groups. Our Innovation Counselors are experts at assisting entrepreneurs in interpreting market research results so that their marketing strategies reflect the correct pricing, distribution, service, product mix and brand management necessary to grow their businesses.
The MSU Product Center sponsors Michigan MarketMaker ( http://mimarketmaker.msu.edu ). MarketMaker is a valuable market research tool and also a terrific place to begin marketing your food products. MarketMaker is a virtual marketplace where consumers, distributors and businesses connect. It also offers entrepreneurs a free map-based demographic research tool that enables you to identify where your customers are located and the nearby businesses that might be interested in carrying your products. You can also search for other businesses that may offer Michigan-made ingredients for your products. The possibilities are limitless.