4.1 Opportunity Identification

Did you know that observation and empathy will help you identify new opportunities ?

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Did you know that your best sources for identifying new product opportunities are the people who will ultimately consume your products?  You need to really understand the people for whom you are developing new products. Watching what people do and how they interact with their environment gives you clues of what they think and feel. You must build empathy for who they are, what are their pain points and what is important for them.

4.1.1 Step One: A day in a consumers life

The starting point is to define your consumer types. Try to imagine a day in their life. Can you make a product they need or want? Click the images below to see the daily routine of some key consumer targets.   Their needs differ because they have different motivations, pressures and lifestyles.  By reviewing your consumers in this detailed way, you can identify their meat needs and generate new product ideas.

A busy motherA man involved in
physical labour
A senior citizenA boy, age 17

4.1.2 Step Two: Challenge established truths

Try to find five things consumers think are true about your products. You can get inspiration from these examples:

Established truthsCan you change or challenge these truths?

Salami and sausages are high fat
I will make a salami or sausage suitable for a low fat diet.
Pork is dry
I will teach the consumers how to cook.
I will produce or source pork that is always juicy.
Your products are not suitable for grilling
I will make marinates suited for enhancing grilling.
Teenagers do not like meat
I will make convenience meat meals that will appeal specifically to young people.

4.1.3 Step Three: Find and use your core expertise and core competence

What is your company good at? How can these forces be used?

What is your company’s core expertise? Write down the five most important things you believe your company is good at. Do you see any opportunities? Can your expertise be utilized in a new way?

Examples of core expertise

What are your company’s core competences?   Write them down and think how they can be used for producing new products.

Core competenceOpportunity to seize?
My company has enthusiasm and dares to try new things

We will produce many new products. After one year on the market, we will evaluate the products that we will keep .
My company has a large network within the food service industry

Can the food industry products be transferred into successful retail offerings?
My company has a long tradition of good workmanship

How do we sell this strength? A photo of the butcher on the package?
My company can transfer new knowledge to new productsCan we use an entire day to obtain inspiration from researchers?
Can the latest knowledge be used for developing a new product?

4.1.4 Step Four: Observation

Do you really understand your consumer?  Viewing consumers reveals a fascinating amount about the way they think and the values they hold. People are not always aware of why they do what they do.   By observing users we can uncover needs that people may or may not be aware of, as well as discover the emotions that guide behaviours.

Observation Techniques

  • Revealing patterns

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  •  Accompany consumers on a guided tour of your butcher shop, observe how they act and ask questions. Observe how a consumer acts while choosing meat for dinner and ask the consumer to elaborate on what he/she is doing.  People’s true opinions are easier to capture when they are in a real life situation and answer questions related to actual choices or specific actions. People recall their intentions and values more easily when they are in the situation. E.g. they can pick a product and tell you the package size is too big/ small for them, or maybe they don’t pick a product because preparation guidelines are not stated.
  • Space Management     By observing how people move in your store over time when shopping for meat products, you can gain valuable information regarding product placement.
  • Home observation

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  •  Accompany consumers on a guided tour of your butcher shop, observe how they act and ask questions. Observe how a consumer acts while choosing meat for dinner and ask the consumer to elaborate on what he/she is doing.  People’s true opinions are easier to capture when they are in a real life situation and answer questions related to actual choices or specific actions. People recall their intentions and values more easily when they are in the situation. E.g. they can pick a product and tell you the package size is too big/ small for them, or maybe they don’t pick a product because preparation guidelines are not stated.
  • Space Management     By observing how people move in your store over time when shopping for meat products, you can gain valuable information regarding product placement.

 

  • Home observation
    Ask a customer to allow you into their home!  Be the fly on the wall, observe and record behaviour without interfering. Observe when someone makes dinner in their home surroundings. Look for surprising findings in how users interact with your product.  It’s useful to see what people actually do within real contexts and time frames, rather than accept what they say they do. It is useful to reveal unanticipated issues inherent in the routines and circumstances people do in relation to the product/ concept. E.g. sometimes people do unexpected things interfering with products, and they might not be aware of it. Observing can give you insight to their (unfulfilled) needs. Downloadand complete this step-by-step guide for uncovering consumer needs. This method helps you to do rapid observations and to gain insight in your market and your consumers’ needs in an efficient way.

 

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Disclaimer

LLP/LdV/TOI/2011/IRL-502 This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. The author is solely responsible for this publication (communication) and the Commission accepts no responsibility for any use may be made of the information contained therein.