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Market Opportunities and Innovation

Brands are under constant pressure to maintain relevance in an increasingly crowded market. Knowing when, where and how to deliver compelling experiences that create added value for both consumers and brands is critical.

Identifying market innovation opportunities means getting the right balance between competitive trends and market influencers and evolving consumer needs. To succeed, brands need to understand how to connect new products or services with consumers’ lives.

GfK designs and develops new emotive experiences that keep your brand fresh and relevant by anticipating future needs. We guide you on your innovation journey - from growth planning to product launch forecasts. Core deliverables include a compelling pipeline of new experiences, validated against all relevant market criteria, and an activation plan that defines where, when and how to win.

Success Stories
  • Assessing fresh pasta concepts for the US market

    Assessing fresh pasta concepts for the US market


    We helped a multinational FMCG company optimize two new product ideas for an existing pasta brand.


    Our client was considering adding two extensions to an existing line of fresh pasta products in the US market. It wanted to understand the key consumer drivers and barriers around these potential concepts in order to define and shape the future brand portfolio. The company asked us to assess consumer reaction to the concepts and offer guidance to optimize the offerings.


    We used our early-stage screening and testing methodology to determine which concept had the most emotional resonance for consumers. We introduced the new concepts and a control concept to customers and asked them to tell us what they thought about the ideas in natural conversational speech. We analyzed their voice recordings to appraise their emotional response (how they spoke about concepts) as well as what they said. To provide a link to historical product performance, we paired this research with traditional key performance indicators such as purchase intent, price value, uniqueness and solving a problem for consumers. We tested each concept with around 300 respondents – males and females aged 18 to 64 who were principal grocery shoppers in their households and aware of fresh pasta brands. Because of the similarity of the product ideas, we tested only one with each respondent.


    Our study found that while both product line extensions were promising, one stood out as a compelling offering with a higher level of consumer engagement. We recommended the food and beverage company move ahead with that offering first. From our analysis of customers’ open-ended commentary, we suggested ways our client could enhance advertising communication, tweak product formulations and refine package information. The company is currently developing the concept into a commercial product. We also suggested ways the client could improve variety, pricing and size for the second concept to enhance its appeal.

    Click here to download our success story (long version)

  • Commercial assessment of a new immunotherapy

    Commercial assessment of a new immunotherapy


    We conducted secondary research to explore the current sepsis market and the current and future competitive landscape.


    As part of due diligence on a potential in-licensing target, we were asked to provide an independent expert view on the commercial potential for an innovative treatment for severe sepsis.

    This required us to:

    • assess the size of the targeted severe sepsis population, diagnosis and treatment rate
    • understand the current treatment patterns, unmet needs and expectations and opportunities for new treatments
    • review the current and future competitive landscape
    • test potential target product profiles
    • develop potential pricing, access and uptake scenarios for the different target product profiles(TPPs)
    • establish revenue potential based on the different scenarios
    • highlight the critical success factors and risks

    The geographic scope included France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, the US and Japan.


    We conducted secondary research to explore the current sepsis market and the current and future competitive landscape. We then undertook primary research with payers and key opinion leaders to address any gaps in our research, to test potential TPPs and to gain external validation on potential pricing, access and uptake scenarios.


    We delivered our top-line findings on the critical areas for commercial success in an executive presentation. In addition, we supplied a detailed report of the research findings, including feedback about the actions the client should take to maximize the commercial potential of the asset.

    Click here to download our success story

    Timothy A J Fitzgerald
  • Driving informed investment decisions for a new treatment

    Driving informed investment decisions for a new treatment


    We collected extensive information on disease prevalence, diagnosis and treatment guidelines and the pricing and reimbursement landscape through desk research in the EU5


    Before taking an in-licensing decision for a new drug targeting primary biliary cirrhosis and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, our client wanted to assess the commercial opportunity for the treatment. This required us to:

    • assess the size of the target population, the competitive landscape and the target product profile
    • evaluate the willingness to pay for new treatments, potential price opportunity, diagnosis and treatment rates, target treatment population size and likely market share
    • obtain actionable recommendations and a revenue forecast model to inform its decision


    We collected extensive information on disease prevalence, diagnosis and treatment guidelines and the pricing and reimbursement landscape through desk research in the EU5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) and the USA.

    Then, we used this information to develop primary research materials, including prereading material and a discussion guide and subsequently interviewed key opinion leaders, physicians and payers in the scope markets.

    Finally, we built a forecast model based on realistic assumptions of market performance.


    Our final forecast model and report covered multiple scenarios for the drug we assessed.
    This enabled our client to make an informed investment decision.

    Click here to download our success story

    Timothy A J Fitzgerald
  • Simulating the future market for inflammatory disease biosimilars

    Simulating the future market for inflammatory disease biosimilars


    Our client wanted to help affiliates in eight countries to better understand the threats and opportunities this evolving competitive landscape will bring in the years ahead.


    Two opposing forces are shaping drug prices in the inflammatory disease market: the downwards pressure from biosimilars and upwards pricing aspirations of bio-betters. Our client wanted to help affiliates in eight countries to better understand the threats and opportunities this evolving competitive landscape will bring in the years ahead.


    We designed, planned and facilitated a series of country-specific, interactive war games tosimulate the evolution of the inflammatory disease market landscape over several cycles.

    These sessions helped to increase awareness and deliver insights to the pharma company’s affiliates in the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. We also identified strategies and tactics, including risk mitigation, to maximizecommercial success in the target markets.


    We delivered country-specific reports to our client’s affiliate teams to help them understand how pricing and market dynamics are likely to evolve in the years ahead. In addition, we synthesized the lessons from each war game into a Europe-wide learning package.

    Our client now has a consolidated set of learnings that are helping them validate the opportunities for, and threats to, their European strategy.

    Click here to download our success story

    Timothy A J Fitzgerald

Related Products for Market Opportunities and Innovation

Latest insights

Here you can find the latest insights for Market Opportunities and Innovation. View all insights

    • 10/05/17
    • Optics and Acoustics
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • Global
    • English

    10/17/17 - 10/19/17
    GfK presents Optics growth drivers at Vision-X Dubai

    Join GfK at Vision-X 2017 for the latest Optics trends, including the product categories and trends that are driving growth in Europe and MENA, and how to grow your business.
    • 09/28/17
    • Financial Services
    • Automotive
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    What impact is renewal transparency having on the British motor insurance market?

    Premium Drivers

    If you have renewed your motor insurance recently you may have noticed that the price your insurer has asked you to pay has probably increased. A combination of higher Insurance Premium Tax (rates have doubled over the past two years), bigger injury pay-outs and rising vehicle repair costs mean that motor insurance prices are now at an all-time high. Even for those of us savvy enough to shop around and switch provider, prices have also typically risen, despite the fact that the market remains as competitive as ever. However, it still generally pays to switch, as the vast majority of motor insurance providers are still willing to chase new business and therefore many still offer introductory discounts. Given this, it is somewhat concerning that, according to GfK’s Financial Research Survey (FRS), that the number of drivers who do switch has remained basically unchanged compared to four years ago. The number has held steady at around a quarter of drivers. So it would seem that many drivers don’t know, don’t consider, or just can’t be bothered, to change provider, despite the rising prices.

    Motor insurance renewal transparency: early signs of increased shopping around

    But there are tentative signs that this might be changing. Since April 2017, insurance providers have had to disclose prior year premiums on renewal notices. These new rules mandated by the FCA allow customers to compare more easily what they paid last year versus what they may pay this year, if they remain with the same provider. Early signs suggest renewal transparency has helped encourage greater levels of shopping around but this hasn’t so far translated into actual switching. According to the FRS, the proportion of drivers who “actively renew” their motor insurance (renew but take out at least one quote) has grown and now stands at 29%, the highest-ever level. In addition, a high proportion of those who have switched in the last 12 months also state that they are likely to switch again. On the other hand, large numbers are still auto-renewing on their motor insurance, particularly across older age groups where auto renewal rates remain stubbornly high at over 45%. For these customers, renewal transparency rules mean that providers must now also include additional disclosures on renewal notices explicitly encouraging people to shop around. Overall, I think renewal transparency has definitely been a useful step forward in making the motor insurance market more consumer friendly, and it will be interesting to see if it helps encourage greater levels of switching in the months ahead. If you would like more data, please contact me.

    The Financial Research Survey (FRS) is one of the largest and longest running surveys tracking personal financial holdings and behaviours and is considered the industry benchmark within the British financial industry

    • 09/28/17
    • Press
    • Health
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global Study
    • Global
    • English

    Time with family or pets as popular as exercise or healthy eating to maintain “physical health”

    GfK data on activities that people do regularly to maintain their physical health. Increases in the number of people listing "follow a specific diet", "take a break from technology", "eat healthy food" and "spend time with family, friends or pets".
    • 09/26/17
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Global
    • English

    How to measure disruptive innovation and why traditional surveys alone don’t work

    It’s a funny thing about disruption – it tends to shake things up. So how do you accurately measure disruptive innovation? Even “helpful” disruptions, like the new operating system on your phone or the improved, easy-to-use packaging for your favorite box of cookies, can feel off-putting at first. As Rob Hernandez pointed out here recently, people like what they know; it is, after all, the essence of brand equity and product trust.

    Disruptive innovation thrives on out-of-the-box insights; traditional approaches alone do not work

    This “disrupt-aversion” creates problems not just for startups and new product developers. It challenges anyone trying to get a read on what people think about innovation, and especially disruptive innovation. To get a true understanding of the potential of disruption innovations, the traditional research assumptions and methods may not be enough. In fact, they may send you down the wrong path completely. The most obvious example is the traditional survey. We know that asking people questions can be a great way to get at the feelings and beliefs that drive behavior; they can provide an indispensable why complement to passive data, which tends to focus on dimensions such as what, where, and when. But disruptive innovation (ie new product or service concepts which force us to rethink or relearn familiar behaviors) often do not fare well in standard surveys. They are so responsive to people’s inner experiences that they may capture overreactions – feelings of discomfort and confusion surrounding something unfamiliar – rather than a balanced picture of how consumers will react over the long term.

    A three-dimensional approach to defining consumer reactions to disruptive innovation

    To get a better understanding of an innovation’s promise and marketplace value, GfK has developed a three-dimensional approach to defining consumer reactions. The fact is that marketers today have a wealth of data at their disposal; but combining it to create a sharper, trustworthy lens onto people’s feelings requires a mix of science, experience, and finesse.

    What consumers say

    We look first to what consumers say, in quantitative or qualitative research – whether it be how they feel inside, what they wish for, or how they think they believe they would react in certain circumstances. This candid perspective has been the backbone of the market research industry, and remains an essential component of behavioral analysis.

    What consumers mean

    Next, we look to what consumers mean. Using voice analytics, for example, we can learn more about how convinced people are of what they are saying. And by leveraging different analytical techniques, such as multivariate key drivers analysis, we can get a deeper look at the motivations and contexts behind certain behaviors.

    What consumers do

    Finally, through passive tracking and secondary data sources, we can find out what consumers really do. From loyalty card and POS (point of sale) data to web browsing and online purchase records, we can get a real-world perspective that rounds out the picture we have about people’s ideas and beliefs, and ultimately how they behave or act.


    Integrating these and other data sources helps marketers and researchers get beyond the limitations of any one dimension of consumer data or insights. In the process, it can take us beyond the “gut reactions” that people often have to something new, and reveal whether a disruptive product truly has marketplace appeal, or is destined for the long list of seemingly great ideas that never made a dent in people’s hearts, minds, or wallets. Contact us for further details on how our approach works within your specific business areas and needs – or download our white paper on rethinking concept testing: hbspt.cta.load(2405078, ‘471abd52-4db4-40b4-8607-f434e3fc7b04’, {});
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