Can you Really Be Objective About Your Baby?

Little girl is trying to pick up the toy that her parent give in front of. Background dad and son having fun. Summer and vacation,Asian family concept.

Market research is critical for making informed decisions. Whether you are launching a new product, refining an existing offering, or entering a new market, gathering insights from your target audience is essential. 

But, conducting market research on your own products presents a unique challenge — the inherent difficulty of remaining objective. 

Why is it so hard to stay objective?

* As a creator or advocate of a product, it’s natural to develop an emotional attachment to it. You’ve invested time, effort, and resources and you want to see it succeed. 
* We tend to seek out information that confirms our existing beliefs or hypotheses while ignoring evidence that contradicts them. It’s called confirmation bias, and it’s common. When we conduct research on our own products, we often focus on positive feedback and unconsciously dismiss negative feedback that challenges our assumptions.
* Our subjective experiences and perspectives shape how we interpret information. What one person sees as a flaw, another may see as a feature. So, when we evaluate our own products, it’s easy to project our own preferences and biases onto the data, leading to skewed interpretations.

So, what do you do? 

The best option is to work with a trusted market research partner to give you the objective information that’s so hard to gather on your own (for all the reasons listed above). A partner can use a variety of research methods to gather insights from different perspectives and can help counteract internal biases. They focus on maintaining objectivity and can help you challenge your assumptions and preconceived notions about your offer. 

If you cannot partner with a researcher: 

– Establish clear research goals and objectives. Before you start, define – specifically – the objectives *and* the criteria for evaluating your product. Clearly identify what needs to be gathered (what matters the most? what specific questions do you want to answer? what assumptions do you want to challenge or validate?) and remain focused on gathering relevant data without being swayed by your personal biases and assumptions. If you’re doing it alone, having a clear focus will help guide your research efforts and prevent you from straying off course.

– Be aware of confirmation bias. We have a tendency to seek out, interpret, and remember information in a way that confirms our pre-existing beliefs while downplaying contradictory evidence. We have a natural inclination to favor what aligns with our existing beliefs/expectations that can lead us to inadvertently ignoring or dismissing evidence that can contradict those beliefs. Just be aware of this. Know it exists, and ask yourself when you’re building an analysis of the results — “How might my confirmation bias be playing into how I’m reading this?” 

– Implement an internal peer review team. Invite your team to evaluate your research methodology, the list you’re inviting (data collection techniques), and findings. By involving colleagues with varied perspectives and experiences, you can identify potential biases or your blind spots proactively. It’s a great opportunity for constructive criticism to ensure that your research is objective.

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