In 1993, Arizona Instrument (www.azic.com) was developing a new high-end model for its line of Computrac benchtop moisture analyzers. Engineers, sales people and others within the company had conflicting views on the new model’s proposed features.
“While internally we had plenty of ideas about what our customers wanted, it was apparent to me that the unbiased opinions and true motivations of our customers were not thoroughly understood,” said Wally Raisanen, AZI’s VP of R&D at that time.
“We had previously worked with Richard Martin on advertising and competitive research for another product line and were very pleased with the results. I’m consistently amazed at his knack for getting people to talk freely and openly. His reports are very good at cutting through it all and focusing on those points which are significant to us,” Raisanen said.
In the project, 100 interviews were conducted with lab technicians and quality control supervisors in the moisture analysis marketplace, with firms such as BASF, Dow Chemical, Hoechst, Samsonite, 3M, General Mills, Anheuser-Busch, Abbott Labs, Eastman-Kodak and Occidental Chemical. Results: “Richard was very thorough in assessing the market potential for our product, and provided sound recommendations regarding product features, positioning, pricing and launch strategies,” Raisanen said.
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