The research approach I chose is deductive – first developing a theory and hypothesis and then design a research strategy to test the hypothesis. I chose Ansoff’s theory which argues that growth opportunities exist through offering of improved products to existing markets. The real life example I chose in order to conduct this research is a situation in which a Bulgarian firm is introducing quite a novel product through which it is pursuing a competitive edge and growth as a result of this competitiveness.
The research philosophy I decided to base my research on is the philosophy of positivism. In other words I decided to observe how customers perceive the idea of this innovation and produce a generalization which would either prove or deny the statement that there is relation between customers’ attitude and opinion and the success of novel products. The research strategy I chose is the one of conducting a survey by a questionnaire. My goal will be to carry out primary research in the showroom of the company manufacturing the remotely controlled door in order to collect customers’ opinions and thoughts. My research could be viewed as an experiment because one of its goals is to define a theoretical hypothesis about the relationship between two variables: customers’ attitudes towards innovative products and company growth through competitive advantage.
The project could also be perceived as a case study – this case study will closely observe a real firm’s actions aiming at popularizing a completely new to the Bulgarian market products. The conclusions from this case study could easily be applied to similar situations. The research could also be viewed as a longitudinal study because the results from the introduction of a new product will not appear immediately. The research is designed in way which will allow for it to be repeated (with the necessary changes of course) after a period of time and then compare data in order to get the final result. Another aspect of this research is its explanatory nature – it has the goal of studying the introduction of a new product on Bulgarian market in order to explain the relationship between customers, innovation and growth.
In order to conduct the primary research I will use a questionnaire comprised of 13 questions. It will have the goal of collecting information for several purposes: 1. Questions from 1-5 will serve for collecting information on how a potential customer for the innovative product will look like. This and information from question No. 7 might be helpful when choosing an advertising strategy for the product. 2. The rest of the questions are aimed at the proving or denying that there is a relationship between customers’ opinion and attitude towards a novel product and growth of a company through competitive advantage.
In order for the second goal to be achieved this research should be conducted now (when customers are not very familiar to the product) and in five years (when more people know about the innovation). This so because the answers given now should be compared to answers given after some popularization of the product and also financial statistics from the present moment should be compared to the financial statistics in five years in order to register if the firm has grown or not. After these two comparisons both variables should be considered together and see if there is some relationship between them.
The population of my research is comprised of all working individuals in Bulgaria because whoever has some income could theoretically become a customer of the firm if he or she visit one of the showrooms throughout the country. The sample of the research will be comprised of people who had bought one of the firm’s products. Thus the sampling frame will be: 1. Individuals who have already purchased one of the firm’s products 2. After the individual has become a customer he has to understand the conception of the innovative product.
The conditions mean that these could be customers who have purchased products some time ago but the firm has their contacts and could try to interact with them and convince them to fill the questionnaire. However, a more feasible strategy (which do not in any case exclude previous customers from the frame) would be to start the research with new customers – this means that questionnaires will be given to customers signing contracts at the showroom. After the customer has signed the contract (in other words has purchased the product) the staff could easily demonstrate and explain the concept of the new product and also be able to offer some kind of incentive if the person hesitates to answer.