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Nivea (A) case

1. What differentiates Biel's approach from traditional market research? What are
your biggest concerns with this approach?
 Tradition approach used: They used a linear four-stage process. The four phases were
“Discover”, “Concept and feasibility”, “Development and scale-up”, “Production and roll
out”. For market research, they used surveys, interviews, group discussion and focus
groups. To check the feasibility of the idea, a “Sprinter test” was conducted which
evaluated the customer acceptance and sales potential.
 Beil’s approach: In his research, he used the suggestions of an innovative German
company, Hyve. Hyve suggested involving the customers in the innovation process using
social media and creating new digital tools.
 Beil’s first step was the use of netnography. Netnography was focused on capitalizing the
consumer conversation in publicly accessible online social media sites and communities.
This approach relied heavily on the online open discussions available on the internet. Using
this method, Beil was able to identify relevant content and analyses it in an unobtrusive,
passive way. The advantage of this research is that they get the answers without asking the
question or influencing the consumers; users were able to express their true feeling while
maintaining discretion. As the information collected was a natural dialogue amongst the
customers, they also gave the information which customer would not reveal if asked
 The second thing done by Beil was Co-creating with innovative ideas. Using this, Biel
wanted to tap the creative potential of consumers online so that they can help to find a
solution. He involved the most insightful active users for the solution-finding process.
After identifying the lead users, Beil conducted sessions with them on different topics
related to Nivea’s current category challenge and generated new ideas which were then
submitted to the prototyping, packaging, and marketing for further processing.
 The last step was to Quantifying the Need gap. The ideas now were to be presented to the
consumer for evaluation. They created a visual and concise description that accurately
described the idea. Hyve believed that the customers should be put in an empowered mode
rather than in a market research situation. Thus an online environment was designed in
which the customer was allowed to decide whether to take an idea further, put in trash or
if they are neutral about it. They were also given the facility to add comments and describe
further features, possible fields of applications and slogans.
 Our concern is that if the competitor finds out about this research he can also use this and
the differentiating factor would be lost. Also behavior of the people on internet is easily
influenced by what others are saying. Consumers may be expressing themselves freely, but
many times the content they share maybe to make it viral. So the authenticity of the data
collected from internet can be questioned. If competitors find out that the company is taking
the data from a specific website it can also manipulate the comments on the website, which
would lead to incorrect results on analysis.
2) How can internet-based research be integrated with traditional product development?
Internet-based research integrated with traditional product development can help in customer data
collection, communication, & data processing which is inevitable to speed up the production
process and cut down the costs.
Following are internet-based research integration of traditional product development phases
1. Idea Generation & Screening
 The purpose is to produce ideas for new products or services and eliminate the less
attractive, infeasible, and unwanted product ideas.
 Experts required for integration are R&D, Sales, Marketing and Innovative Users.
 We can add customers as contributors to new products, ideas and idea evaluation. Use of
online communities, blogs & websites can produce ideas for a new product and
improvement of existing ones as the Internet entices a substantial number of informed
consumers. It can also aid in “lead user” identification.
2. Product Concept and Testing
 Next step is developing the concept from the idea and estimating customer reaction
before the physical development of the product.
 Experts required for integration are: Marketing, Sales, and consumers
 Scalability of Internet technologies can allow the evaluation of large number of product
features and design beforehand.
3. Design & Engineer
 This step is the design and development of product.
 Experts required for integration are: Engineers, Marketing
 Use of intranet-based information system can help in better feasibility and efficiency
studies by the R&D, decision support, collaboration support and project management.
4. Product Testing
 Experts required for integration are: Consumers, Marketing
 Product prototypes can be tested by identifying the target groups online so that they can
assess the products and help in product evaluation and enhancement.
5. Product Launch
 Experts required for integration are: Consumers, Sales & Distribution
 The Internet can be used for analysing consumers' reaction and probable success so that it
can predict promotions and advertising budgets. Thus, Pre-Launch Forecasting strategy
can be adopted to optimise company’s product-launch related marketing instruments such
as promotions, advertisements.