This Founder Created a Genius Way to Do Market Testing on the Cheap Time to get creative.
How do you market test a new product when you can't pay for testing? Joelle Mertzel found a sneaky solution -- and it cost only $39. Here's how she developed her new butter dish, Butterie.
Mertzel wanted to make a flip-top dish so that butter could be stored unrefrigerated -- safe up to 21 days, and so soft! -- without smearing all over the lid. But would people want it? "Thorough research is the key," says Mertzel, who used to own a PR agency. "You don't want to spend all your money and time on a product no one will buy." She began by surveying people from her daily life. Her next step: formal market research on her prototype dish. A consultant quoted $10,000 to see if 40 to 60 percent of people would buy the product. (If so, it's viable.) Mertzel didn't have that money, but she had an idea: If she went to places where people were sitting around doing nothing, she thought, they'd answer that question.