What is demand analysis?
Demand analysis involves understanding the customer demand for a product or service in a particular market. Companies use demand analysis techniques to determine if they can successfully enter a market and generate expected profits to advance their business operations. It also gives a better understanding of the high-demand markets for the company’s offerings, giving them a fair idea on which markets to invest in. Demand analysis is one of the most important considerations for a variety of business decisions including sales forecasting, pricing products/services, marketing and advertisement spending, manufacturing decisions, and expansion planning.
Key factors affecting demand analysis
Common steps in market demand analysis
While there may be several methods of market demand analysis which varies according to the complexity of operations in the business, we have curated some of the commonly used steps for demand analysis:
Identifying the specific and target market for the company’s products or services is one of the first market demand analysis steps. Surveys or customer feedbacks can be used to determine the current customer satisfaction levels. Comments indicating dissatisfaction can lead to improvements that will eventually enhance customer satisfaction. Although companies usually identify markets close to their current product line, new industries may be tested for business expansion possibilities.
After identifying the potential markets, the next step is to assess the stage of the business cycle in which that particular market is in. A business cycle ideally comprises of three stages: emerging, plateau and declining. Markets that are in the emerging stage indicate higher consumer demand and low supply of current products or services. The plateau stage depicts the break-even level of the market, where the supply of goods meets the current market demand. A declining stage indicates lagging consumer demand for the company’s goods or services.
Once the market and their respective business cycles have been reviewed, companies will need to develop products or tailor their services to meet a specific niche in the market. Products must be differentiated from other peers in the market, so that they meet a specific need of consumer demand, creating higher demand for their product or service. It is also advisable to conduct tests in sample markets to determine which of the potential product styles is most preferred by consumers. Companies can also develop their goods in order to prevent competitors from easily duplicating their products or business strategies.
A crucial factor of demand analysis is determining the number of competitors in the market and their current market share. Markets in the emerging stage of the business cycle tend to have fewer competitors. This translates to a higher profit margin for your company. Once a market becomes saturated with competing companies and products, fewer profits are achieved and companies will begin to lose money. As markets enter the declining business cycle, companies must conduct a new market demand analysis to find more profitable markets.
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