Consumer focused product development
A GREGGS case study

Page 1: Introduction

We live in a consumer driven society in which the choices made by ordinary people play a large part in shaping decisions made by large companies, like what to produce and how best to package and advertise their goods and services. The process through which companies find out about consumer requirements is called marketing. Having discovered what customers' needs are, a business then faces the...
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Page 2: Expanding from a single outlet

Many of the UK's best known business names e.g. Marks and Spencer, Virgin, Rolls-Royce began as small units owned originally by no more than a couple of enterprising people, and in some cases by only one person. These entrepreneurs were successful in identifying and meeting customer needs. Because of this, they were able to grow organically by putting back profits into internal growth. Many...
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Page 3: Product development

Product development is the process of developing and improving existing products and introducing successful new ones. In the modern world, firms regularly change the specifications of their products, whatever they may be, aerosols, aeroplanes or sandwiches. Consumers have come to expect change and improvement, and continually search for new, better experiences. Existing products may need to be...
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Page 4: Market research

Market research is the activity of gathering the information on markets and consumers that is necessary to understand requirements. It usually involves selecting a sample of the potential market and then questioning this sample to find out these peoples' opinions e.g. about potential new products. Market research can be carried out using either a large sample e.g. through questionnaires, or a...
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Page 5: Carrying out taste tests

Taste tests are ideal for goods such as food that are consumed directly. Researchers working for Greggs plc use taste tests to obtain detailed information about customer perceptions. The particular method used is called a Hall Test. This is a popular quantitative market research technique in which interviewers recruit random respondents on the street and invite them to take part in the...
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Page 6: Advantages of taste test methodology

The same taste test can be carried out many times in a standard way, under rules set in advance. In this way, a business can collect valuable, valid data that allows useful, reliable comparisons to be made. For any business, the most relevant views come from those people who are most likely to buy and use the product. Having identified that group, an appropriate sample can be selected for...
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Page 7: Small-scale v large-scale tests

Testing is an expensive exercise. Although it is helpful to carry out tests on as large a sample as possible, it makes good economic sense first, to conduct a sample test using perhaps 30 people to obtain an initial reaction to a product. If it proves to be well received then large-scale tests can be carried out on samples of not less than 100 people.
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Page 8: Rules for accurate taste testing

Some important basic rules in carrying out an accurate taste test are:LocationProvide a facility in which respondents are given individual privacy. In that way, they are not in a position to influence each other.EquipmentProvide a table and chair for both the respondent and the administrator. Display the products on a plate. Provide each respondent with a glass of water with which to cleanse...
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Page 9: Large-scale tests

New product development should be consumer-led. Once a small-scale test provides positive results then product testing needs to be carried out on larger representative samples of real consumers. A market research agency will carry out the detailed survey for the company. The larger the sample of respondents who test a product, the more reliable and representative of the population as a whole the...
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Page 10: Conclusion

Consumer driven companies use market research to find out about the needs and requirements of their customers. For producers of foods, properly conducted taste tests are an excellent way of gauging consumers' views in order to inform ongoing product development. Greggs plc is heavily committed to providing good value, high quality products to its customers. In order to do this, Greggs plc place...
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