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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.

Molemo Moahloli
South Africa
+27 11 803 1300
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 to simulate 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 maximize commercial 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

    • 01/06/16
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • South Africa
    • English

    As curious as the dark side of the individual

    Segmentations can be an incredibly powerful tool for businesses, providing strong platforms for innovation and a targeted approach to customer relations. However the strength of segmentation hinges on the level of similarity between the individuals in each segment. The greater the similarity the more comprehensively the group represents its’ individuals and as such the more accurately it predicts their behavior. The more angles that we can describe the individual from the more points of similarity we can draw between them. Each individual angle is only part of the picture of the individual, like the sun shining on the moon. The majority of segmentations are based around one angle; the articulated views of an individual, what they say they do, what they think, what they want etc… However there are a couple of inherent problems with this, firstly articulation statements can be very hard to write, and must be carefully thought out in order to ensure they resonate and are interpreted in the same way for consumers, particularly across international borders. Take the statement “It is important to me to eat healthily”; there are a number of areas that this statement can be open to interpretation by the respondent; what is the definition of healthy? How important does it have to be? The second major issue with an articulated segmentation is that it is all based around a respondent’s view of themselves as opposed to an impartial third party view of them. A respondent may say that eating healthily is important to them however if we looked at their shopping bills we might see that they buy a below average amount of fruit and vegetables. By looking at consumers from the articulated angle we don’t see an accurate picture of their actions. Experiments in behavioral economics have routinely shown that the gap between our view of ourselves and the truth is wider than we think. A shining example of this is consumers’ understanding of mobile tariff usage; despite the myriad of different ways to track data usage, the vast majority overestimate how much it is that they use. For a complete picture of the individual we must take into account this discrepancy between perception and behavior. An example of this would be m-commerce; to identify the leading edge consumers you don’t want to look at those that say they are happy to make payments through their mobile you want to look at those that already do.

    But there are a number of different ways we can look at the individual from a behavioral angle;

    Consumers can report their behavior and this is often the most cost effective way of collecting behavioral data; however it needs to be done carefully to avoid the pitfalls above. Questions need clear parameters and to be strictly reporting as opposed to summarizing or predictive.

    Take activity frequency:

    1. How many times have you been swimming in the last month?
    as opposed to;
    1. On average how many times a year do you go swimming?
    1. How many times will you go swimming in the next year?

    There are a variety of other ways to build the behavioral angle but the availability of these can vary greatly by market:

    • Data from passive monitoring of smartphones, geo-tagging and browser recording
    • Qualitative ethnography can give an independent observation of the individual
    • Customer data such as sales can be used by organizations to provide rich understanding of an individuals’ specific interaction with the brand. Particularly useful when designing a segmentation that can be integrated back into a client database
    A purely behavioral based segmentation however is also a floored concept because it does not acknowledge the importance of the idealized self. The idealized self is a product of our aspirations and these are what drive purchases. We may see ourselves as a bit of a foodie and so will be drawn to the look of the fridge advertised alongside bottles of wine and wheels of stilton. We convince ourselves that we definitely need the ambient section for storing Merlot at optimum temperature, even if our appliance rarely sees anything more adventurous than Carlsberg and Baby Bell. The aspirational self is a key part of the marketing and messaging value of segmentation. It is essential to understand the consumer not just from your own perspective but theirs’s as well.

    The most powerful segmentations therefore will have the most rounded view of the individual including;

    • Company understanding of the way in which a consumer interacts with its products
    • Consumers’ perception of how they feel and what they want
    • Consumers’ reported behaviors
    • Observation of consumer behavior
    For more information please contact Samuel Carter at samuel.carter@gfk.com.
    • 06/29/18
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    UK Consumer Confidence drops two points to -9 in June

    Consumers in pre-Brexit UK are less confident about the economy and seem set on self-imposed austerity
    • 05/31/18
    • Retail
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Shopper
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    UK Consumer Confidence rises two points to -7 in May

    Contrasting views on personal finances versus the wider UK economy continue to keep GfK's overall Consumer Confidence Index Score in negative territory.
    • 12/18/17
    • Technology
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Global
    • English

    …of “things” to come in 2018

    As we slowly close the door on 2017, two things are quite clear in the marketplace:
    • Consumer confidence is at an all–time high
    • FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is alive and well in the digital and tech space
    The proliferation of binge watching (361,000 watched the entire Stranger Things 2 on the first day, 15.8 million watched the first episode within the first three days of release), the record $5 billion spent on Black Friday and the biggest Cyber Monday ever, and even the staggering and near inexplicable growth of cryptocurrencies (Coinbase, a Bitcoin exchange, now has more users than Charles Schwab) all point to a cultural normalization of tech-led lifestyles in the US. Recent research from GfK Consumer Life shows that almost half of Americans see the technology they own as a form of self-expression, and nearly 70% of students claim to be technologically savvy or smart. It is now abundantly clear that the audience for the next big thing is increasingly the mainstream American.

    Looking ahead to 2018

    2017 introduced us to the smart home en masse, while artificial reality arguably gained traction over virtual reality. The connected car gained traction, and voice-assistance struck a chord. Looking forward, expect the Internet of Things to become a firmer reality in 2018. CES 2018 will undoubtedly showcase a proliferation of smart home devices, new, and cleverer ways to consume media and entertainment on the go, and even more complex algorithms to power AI towards increasingly intimate and personalized interfaces. 2018 will also be the year of voice-activation as Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and others position themselves for popularity, and access to your wallets. As with all innovation, some will live long and endure, some will be transitional stepping stones to something better, while still others will struggle or crash and burn.

    How innovation can thrive

    Our research at GfK Consumer Life shows that US consumers are keener on innovation being easy to use (38%), and really solving a problem they have (32%) than necessarily being leading-edge (20%). So, as you innovate for the new year, or perhaps evaluate the riches at CES as I will, look beyond the marketing and take a consumer-first approach to evaluating the fit of new innovations with your technology strategies. Ask yourself:
    • What significant consumer need does the technology fulfill, and what recognizable benefit does it provide?
    • What is the average learning curve? How complex or intuitive will it be to adopt into their lives?
    If you can readily answer both, it’s a good bet that you’ll know which things will become a reality. Eric Wagatha is a Senior Vice President of the Consumer Life division of GfK. He can be reached at eric.wagatha@gfk.com or on Twitter at @ewagatha. hbspt.cta.load(2405078, 'a07f0ed2-50d3-4870-b5c8-9b1a67a408d2', {});
Contact us
Molemo Moahloli
South Africa
+27 11 803 1300