gap intelligence started 2018 with the goal of launching four new research categories. In April, we are already half way through towards that goal with the launch of the new Voice Assistant Speakers and Cooktops & Wall Ovens (CTWOs) services.

From the end-user perspective, you may see very few similarities between these two product categories, with Voice Assistants representing most consumers’ first primary smart home product and CTWOs serving as a hallmark of premium custom kitchens. However, like the 30+ categories before them, both were carefully selected using the same proven criteria and these standards will certainly be applied when selecting gap’s next two new services.

Voice Assistant

How Do We Decide?

There’s a lot that goes into category selection:

It’s Needed – First and foremost, launching a successful service comes down to identifying what categories our clients need the most help understanding. We thrive in industries with intense product, pricing, and promotional competition; where manufacturers must have a complete market understanding to successfully create and execute their competitive strategies.

It’s Adequate – Adequate for gap, that is. We Do Great at tracking the channel 4Ps and layering in analyst insights, but if we don’t know we can be the absolute best in the industry at covering a particular industry, we’re not going to enter it.

It’s Established – If you look at our most successful categories, we do best for ourselves and our clients when we choose categories that are well-established and expected to stay that way. There is a good chance that most of the electronics items you used today, whether it was your home appliances at breakfast and dinner, your PC and printer/copier at work, or your smartphone for every moment in between, have lived in the gap Pricing & Promotions databases. We do get aggressive with hot new categories (like Voice Assistants) when we see enough evidence to support market adoption and growth potential, but this blue chip approach has ensured that we stay away from short-lived categories (i.e., Google Glass or consumer 3D printing), even if it may seem that’s what the world needs at times.

It’s Close – Although we sometimes make a strategic leap into completely new industries to expand, many of our launches help complete our “Category Hubs,” such as appliances, PCs, printers and supplies, and home entertainment. This strategy ensures we can provide our clients in these segments with complete coverage for their full product line and internally build our research teams with holistic expertise across their entire hubs.

It’s Requested – If you would like your category included in gap’s final 2018 category launches, there is one very effective way to help make that happen. Ask for it.  We’re not going to break any of the above criteria, but client requests (and commitments) certainly help us check off the “It’s Needed” criteria, and we’ll eagerly listen to what you have to say to help shape the category.

Light bulbs.

So What Are gap’s Next New Categories?

We have some frontrunners, but our final decisions are still in the works. One thing is for sure, the next two categories will satisfy each of the above criteria.

Eager to learn more? Email