I've just completed a really interesting job for a team of New Zealanders who have thought up a great idea for a device and app. The thing was, they needed a quick market scan done by someone who doesn't have that emotional link to whether the idea is worth pursuing. Budget and time frames were tight too.
Here's what I found out:
My clients need to narrow down who their target user is, as the type of device and app is determined by developmental needs, so targetted functionality is key. It also needs to survive the "coolness" test for the users and purchasers.
The overseas market leader is taking steps to dictate what the materials and safety standards of these devices is going to be. This is a really smart move by this competitor - they are helping decide and drive this important concern of purchasers, plus set the standard. This gives them a lead time over others in the market, as well as positioning them as the device of choice.
Crowdfunding for these devices is the primary source of money for product development and marketing overseas, with the funds raised ranging from US$300,000 to US$1.2 million. This gives my clients an indication of what is likely to be needed to get their product off the ground here.
The main competitors are selling the products themselves via their engaging and slick websites, which use entertaining videos to sell. Social media marketing via word of mouth recommendations is absolutely critical for these potential purchasers. My client needs to understand how this type of marketing will need to be employed if they go to market.
The initial shipments of competitor products have sold out, and the companies concerned are taking names for a waiting list for new shipments. This indicates that there is demand for this product and the type of functionality it offers, for a premium price.
This information is the reality that my clients now need to get their head around before they spend any more money and time. Better to know now, rather than later.