Different hobbyist and niche groups bring with them unique perspectives, needs, and behaviours that can be valuable for market research, especially if you're trying to cater to or innovate within these markets. Here's a list of various hobbyist and niche groups we have contacted:
Consumer and general public hobbyists, niche groups, can be hard to find, but their input into market research can be rewarding and provide excellent quality data. Groups could include drummers, photographers, travellers, gardeners, gamers, fitness enthusiasts, tech geeks, crafters, artists, pet owners, homebrewers, sports fans and so on.
Usage & attitude studies, segmentation studies, concept testing, product use, brand awareness, equity and perception, pricing, trend forecasting, journey mapping.
Hobbyists - Drummers
A brand and new product evaluation amongst amateur drummers, professional drummers and drumming teachers. Also equipment distributors and retailers. Recruit to an online interview where visual stimuli of new products were assessed. United States, France, UK, Germany & China. Non-rejectors of brands and purchasers of specific equipment. Recruitment via forums, social networks, community boards and screening from phone to online.
- 500 interviews
- 5 market study
- Targeted digital screening and recruitment
Various research methods can be employed to understand hobbyists and niche groups better. The type of research method chosen often depends on the objectives of the study. Here are some common research types and how they might be applied to hobbyist and niche groups:
Usage and Attitude (U&A) studies:
These are foundational studies to understand how consumers use products/services and their attitudes towards them. For instance, a U&A study among photographers might uncover how often they buy equipment, the brands they prefer, the challenges they face, and their wish list for new camera features.
These identify and characterise distinct subgroups within the larger hobbyist group. Using our photographers example, a segmentation might reveal groups such as professional photographers, hobbyists, and those who only shoot during vacations.
Product concept testing:
If you have a new product idea for a specific group, you'd present the concept (before it's fully developed) to get feedback. For instance, a new type of hiking boot might be presented to outdoor enthusiasts to gauge interest and willingness to purchase.
Here, participants are given a product to use for a certain period. For example, gardeners might be given a new type of fertiliser to use, and then their experiences, satisfaction levels, and suggestions would be gathered.
Brand perception and equity studies:
This determines how a brand is perceived within a hobbyist group. For board gamers, how do they perceive different game publishers or brands?
Observational research where the researcher immerses themselves in the environment of the hobbyist to get a deeper understanding. Watching a day in the life of a dancer, for example, can provide insights that a survey might miss.
Small group discussions that delve deep into topics. A focus group with tech geeks might discuss the pros and cons of the latest gadgets in the market.
One-on-one interviews that can be used for deep dives into personal experiences and attitudes. An in-depth interview with a motorcyclist might reveal insights into why they love riding and what they look for in motorcycle gear.
Understanding the entire consumer journey, from awareness to purchase to post-purchase. For instance, what's the journey of a homebrewer from getting interested in brewing to buying their first brewing kit, to making their first batch?
Price Sensitivity Research:
Determining the optimal price point for products or services. How much, for instance, would an artist be willing to pay for a high-quality set of paints?
Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Satisfaction Studies:
How likely are members of a hobbyist group to recommend a product or service? And how satisfied are they?
Understanding emerging trends within a niche. What's the next big thing in the world of board games or cosplay?
Assessing how brands or products within a hobby stack up against each other.
The research methods chosen will depend on the business objectives, the stage of product or service development, and the specific nuances and needs of the hobbyist or niche group in question.
In today's diverse and segmented market landscape, understanding the intricate behaviors, preferences, and needs of specific hobbyist and niche groups has become increasingly important. Hobbyist research delves into the world of enthusiasts, from photographers and gardeners to tech geeks and board gamers, aiming to grasp the intricacies of their passions. The approaches to this type of research are multifaceted. They range from foundational Usage and Attitude (U&A) studies, which map out how products or services are utilized and perceived, to in-depth ethnographic studies that immerse researchers directly into the hobbyist's environment. Other methods like product use-tests, focus groups, and journey mapping further complement the research process, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of these specialized consumers. By leveraging these varied approaches, businesses can better tailor their products, services, and marketing strategies to resonate authentically with these passionate groups.