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Research into the market for walkie-talkies

(Market research)


Our client, a US-based manufacturer of two-way radios (walkie-talkies) was interested in entering the Chinese market.  Walkie-talkies for general use were only legalised in China a few months before our client engaged us, and our client was interested to know how the market had developed so far. 


At this stage, our client only required qualitative information on the market.  Particular issues of concern to the client included the following:



Is there a market in China for short-range hand-held walkie-talkies?


What is the current level of understanding in China of these products, their capabilities, and their uses?


In what situations are the products currently used?


What is the best retail channel for selling walkie-talkies in China?


What features are most important to walkie-talkie users?  What trade-off do they expect between weight, battery life, range and ruggedness?


What is the current level of awareness of the first walkie-talkies on the market in China?


What is the view of target users and retailers of this first product on the market?


What is their opinion of the brand name of the first product on the market?


What are the wholesale and retail prices of this product?


Have retailers and consumers heard of the client’s brand?  What is their impression of the brand?


What is their impression of our client’s product?  How do they think it compares to the product already sold in China by our client’s rival?


What do they think would be appropriate price points for the client’s products?


Our client wished to confine this initial research to one city.  Sinogie worked with the client to put together a series of questionnaires to address the issues set out above.  We devised questionnaires and carried out in-depth interviews with current and prospective pairs of users of walkie-talkies, and with retailers of walkie-talkies and other electronic goods.  We also carried out focus group sessions with commercial users of walkie-talkies – such as taxi companies and security firms – and with general retail users of walkie-talkies. 


Throughout the project, we worked with the client, and updated the parameters of our interviews and focus group sessions in order to address new, unexpected issues which arose in the course of our research.  We made several discoveries which surprised the client: Chinese walkie-talkie users had very different needs and expectations from their counterparts in the US and Europe. 


We used the data gathered in the course of our research to prepare a report covering all the issues of concern to our client.  Our client is using this information to make a decision on whether, when and how to enter the Chinese walkie-talkie market.



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