Wisconsin Innovation Service Center
Wisconsin Innovation Service Center (WISC)

Market Research Solutions


Use WISC research to better understand the competition and set your products or services up for greater success. This service provides the in-depth review of competitive information you need for a strategic marketing plan, product development decisions, and other core business activities. 

Your competition may be more, or different than you think. Sometimes when we get too close to our products and services, it can be difficult to see things from the customer's perspective. Or, even if we can see how we fit into the market clearly, it can be challenging to find the time to keep up with the competitive landscape changes. 

To get an objective, thorough, timely, and professional overview of the competition, let WISC market research analysts conduct a Competitive Analysis. WISC offers two levels of competitive analysis to fit your business needs. The Core Competitive Analysis includes internet and business database research, analysis and reporting. The Advanced Competitive Analysis adds phone interviews to a sample of competitive companies to learn more from them about how they see their company, products and services. 

With a thorough assessment of current competition, you will be better able to differentiate your offerings and show customers what sets your products or services apart from other options in the marketplace. Let WISC uncover, from an objective standpoint, how competitive your market is right now. What do competitors say about their products and services? How do they advertise? What does their pricing look like? How do they position themselves in the market? With this service, you will get answers to these questions and more. 

Core Competitive Analysis

With the Core Competitive Analysis, WISC researchers collect and analyze information about your direct and indirect competitors. Researchers analyze publicly available details on the companies offering products or services that provide the same or similar benefits to customers as your products or services.  The research analysts compile a list of top competitors, pour over every detail on their websites, gather information from business databases and summarize it all for you in an easy-to-use format. Information gathered about top competitors will include company characteristics, market positioning, claimed competitive advantages, pricing, advertising insights, and more.

To cover the costs of the market research and analysis, the fee for a Core Competitive Analysis market research project is $795.

Please contact WISC at 262-472-1365 or innovate@uww.edu if you would like to learn more about this type of research project or get one started. 

Develop more effective competitive strategies with research that:

  • Identifies target customers
  • Uncovers the key products featured by competitors
  • Explores industry and market trends from the perspective of related companies
  • Informs your plans and priorities with knowledge of other industry players

Contact WISC today at 262-472-1365 or innovate@uww.edu to learn more about Competitive Analysis research.

Need more information about your competition than what the Core Analysis project covers? Contract with WISC to conduct interviews with your company's competitors as part of an Advanced Competitive Analysis.  

Advanced Competitive Analysis

In addition to all of the research in the Core Competitive Analysis, WISC market research analysts will place calls to your competitors to get the perspective of their public relations or marketing representatives on the company's strengths, appeal to customers and more. WISC analysts, who are experienced at conducting interviews with company representatives, will contact a sample of your competitors to learn more about how they view the market, trends in the industry, and how they position their company from a marketing perspective. 

The WISC director will design a customized phone interview script based on your business needs. Then, student researchers place the calls, gather up to 20 interviews from representative companies, and analyze the results along with all of the information gathered in the Core Competitive Analysis.

To cover the costs associated with phone interviews and analysis of the interview results, in addition to the Core Competitive Analysis components, the fees for the Advanced Competitive Analysis range from $2,265 to $3,000 depending on the scope of the project. Companies seeking fewer interviews will see fees on the lower side of the price range.

In an Advanced Competitive Analysis, the WISC team:

  • Works with you to develop a project scope, establish criteria on the types of companies and product(s) or service(s), industry codes, and/or geographic area to analyze. 
  • Performs a competitor search of several databases, buyers' guides, trade association directories, and other resources for direct and indirect competitors.
  • Conducts a patent search of assignments to companies identified above with full text and/or abstracts, depending on relevance.
  • Works with you to develop interview questions, then conducts phone interviews, contacting numerous companies until the target interview goal has been reached.
  • Analyzes relevant industry trends via the interviews with experts, trade association reports, published market studies, and other sources.
  • Creates a competitor matrix that displays competitor insights for quick comparison purposes.
  • Develops a summary report that analyzes research results with comments on potential competitive advantage(s) and recommendations on possible next steps.

Contact WISC at 262-472-1365 or innovate@uww.edu to learn more about a custom Advanced Competitive Analysis project for your company or innovation. 


When it comes to new product development, success depends on overcoming obstacles along the road to commercialization. Early stage market research supports more profitable decisions for innovative companies and individual inventors. Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of new products at an early stage saves time and money and enables you to focus on product ideas that are likely to succeed.

The best time to find out that a product idea is likely to succeed or fail is early in the process, before too much time and money have been invested. For products with promise, having an objective third-party evaluation may result in stronger investor or licensing partner interest.

The WISC New Product Assessment research analyzes market need, trends, and competition that would affect the likelihood of product success. When applicable, an expert opinion on any obvious technical feasibility issues will also be obtained.

What is included in WISC's new product market feasibility research?

The New Product Assessment report provides a preliminary assessment of the following: 

  • Degree of impact on society and the existing market based on level of innovation
  • Market demand
  • Target market size
  • Trends in the market that could impact success
  • Manufacturing and technical feasibility (when product specifications are provided)
  • Quantity and quality of the competition in terms of products proving similar benefits to consumers
  • Intensity of the competitive landscape
  • Competitive advantages and disadvantages of the client's idea compared to competition
  • Likely consumer appeal from the perspective of interviews with people who know the market first-hand
  • Pricing tolerances for the product based on interviews with consumer representatives (for example, sales staff at stores that would carry the product)
  • Potential barriers to success in bringing the product to market 
  • Recommendations for next steps and additional resources

Sound like what you need? Get started today by downloading the New Product Assessment Request Form, or call WISC at (262) 472-1365 or email innovate@uww.edu  for more information. 

How does WISC conduct New Product Assessment research?

UW-Whitewater students, employed as market research analysts and supervised by a professional with over five years' experience conducting market research, analyze internet and business database information and conduct interviews to gather real-world opinions about market opportunities and challenges.

Specifically, researchers do the following:

  • Assess market need, trends and competition based on analysis of information from business databases and University library holdings and trade journals.
  • Interview target market experts who share first-hand insights into what potential customers value most.
  • Conduct a preliminary patent search that helps identify similar products that may be coming onto the market in the near future and provides you with a list of patents to review for degree of similarity to your design.
  • As needed, when technical specifications are available, a technical review will be sought by an expert who has signed a non-disclosure agreement with WISC.

Note: WISC does not employ attorneys. The preliminary patent search is not meant to provide a legal opinion on whether your product will be eligible for a patent.

Confidentiality of the product idea is always protected. All individuals involved with WISC have signed a nondisclosure agreement saying that they will not disclose information about submitted inventions to anyone. See the confidentiality agreement on the New Product Assessment Request Form for more details.

NPA Report Components:

Competition Review

An assessment of your major competition to review what makes your product unique. Competition includes any product or service that solves the same problem or provides a similar benefit as your product idea.  WISC researchers search the internet and business databases, and perform a preliminary patent search to uncover any existing similar products. Then they follow up by phone to selected companies with the most closely related products and patents to learn what those companies know about the market for products like yours. 

User Need Estimates

We'll use our industry contacts and/or an analysis of published market studies to assist in estimating the true market demand for your new product. Interviews with target market experts provide insights into what your customers want. 

Trend Reports

Analysis and summary of relevant trends (e.g., industry, regulatory, and/or demographic) accessed via trade association reports, published market studies, and other sources.

Technical Feasibility

For some product submissions, when functionality may be an issue and sufficient technical specification detail is provided by the client, WISC will secure a preliminary review of the concept by a technical consultant to estimate whether the product is likely to perform as intended. 

Fee

$995

Sale price - $795

Timeframe

6 to 9 weeks (30 to 45 business days)

Sample Reports

Click on the links below to view sample New Product Assessment reports. These are not real inventions, but they will give you an idea of what an actual WISC New Product Assessment report contains. Please call (262) 472-1365 or email innovate@uww.edu if you would like to talk with someone about WISC market research services. 

New Product Assessment Sample:  Warhawk Therapeutic Technologies

New Product Assessment Sample:  Automatic Playing Card Shuffler

New Product Assessment Sample:  Wander Away TattleTale

Starting a New Product Assessment Project

To start a project, download and complete the New Product Assessment Request Form and return it to WISC with payment, or contact WISC today at 262-472-1365 or innovate@uww.edu to learn more. 

Download the New Product Assessment Request Form.

For a print-friendly version, click here


Customized Research for Your B2B Marketing Decisions

The Wisconsin Innovation Service Center (WISC) designs market research projects in conversation with company leaders to make sure the market analysis answers your most important business development questions. Custom Market Assessments represent the majority of the research WISC conducts, but companies may also want to look into WISC Advanced Competitive Analysis services. 

What are some things WISC market research can help you learn?

  • Find the best customer segments to focus on based on level of opportunity and customer fit with your strengths.
  • Diversify the market segments you serve based on real-world insights into projected growth trends and interviews with representatives of potential customers.
  • Understand key supply chain requirements and preferences for your industry based on customer, or potential customer, interviews.
  • Uncover unmet needs in markets you want to serve by having WISC ask prospective customers about gaps and shortcomings in available offerings.
  • Generate a list of targets for sales contact calls in a particular industry segment along with detailed business information for each company.
  • Learn what product and service changes would help attract new customers and improve current customer satisfaction.
  • Understand your company's position relative to other companies from your customers' perspective.
  • See how to best position your company for your various target market segments to outperform your competition.
  • Assess which market sector or which product offerings seem likely to provide the best opportunity for success.
  • Stay current with trends that affect your industry and your customers' industries. 
  • Determine key drivers of purchase and supplier decisions

Market research project deliverables include a custom prospect list of companies by market sector with contact information.

Get the information you need for your business development decisions through top-notch, University-supported market research.

A WISC Market Assessment helps you achieve the following:

  • Better understand your current market.
  • Replace lost business and diversify across industries.
  • Reduce vulnerability to market downturns and other market changes.
  • Focus on the best market segments for your company.
  • Find new potential customers that fit your company's target market.
  • Retain customers and attract new ones through better understanding of the competition and drivers of purchasing decisions.

The Wisconsin Innovation Service Center (WISC) brings over 30 years of expertise and recognized quality to every project.

See our About WISC page for client testimonials. 

What does it cost?

WISC develops and implements customized research plans to fit the specific strengths and needs of each company. Fees cover operational costs including student employee wages. A typical market assessment costs between $2,800 and $3,600. Exact fees vary depending on the project objectives and research methods.

How long does it take?

B2B research projects are usually completed within 45 to 60 business days (9 to 12 weeks).

Contact WISC at (262) 472-1365 or at innovate@uww.edu for more information and to get started on a market assessment project for your company.