KNOWLEDGE BASE Market Research In Germany
The information on this page was current at the time it was published. Regulations, trends, statistics, and other information are constantly changing. While we strive to update our Knowledge Base, we strongly suggest you use these pages as a general guide and be sure to verify any regulations, statistics, guidelines, or other information that are important to your efforts.
Market Research In Germany
Identify the areas where you will need to do research
Before we start developing a go-to-market strategy for Germany, it’s important to answer some fundamental questions about Germany, your company, product and prospective market. We suggest you break up your research by state since the people, values, income, messaging approaches, and overall interest in products is very different for each region.
Who are your prospective customers in Germany?
As you know, Germany is made up of a number of states with unique markets, and within each state there are also unique markets of consumers, especially when comparing city dwellers versus those in small rural townships. Germany is an interesting mix of formal, punctual, traditional, modern, sophisticated, highly educated, eco-conscious, and nature-loving people. And in some areas, such as major cities, you will find quite a few multi-cultural people groups.
The Globig Knowledge Base and support resources have a lot of information about Germany culture that’s important to consider prior to identifying prospective customers.
Who are the influencers in Germany that those customer groups admire and pay attention to?
Once you’ve identified your target market, or at least what you believe is the best people group to develop a plan around, you’ll also want to identify the influencers for those groups.
What pain or problem do you solve for your target market in Germany?
In Germany, product quality, strong reputation, and data proof points are important for customers to trust new brands. In order to capture the attention of the Germany market, your products or services must be significantly better products and be more remarkable than what is already being used as a solution. For unfamiliar products and services, such as concepts that never existed before, it’s best to test if the solution you’re offering is something your target market in Germany will embrace and then work with influencers first to get them using your product and services.
While platforms like Airbnb, Uber, and Twitter ("X") may seem commonplace now, they were once unfamiliar concepts that faced significant challenges upon launch. In Germany, this resistance has been particularly pronounced. For example, Twitter has not been as widely adopted as in other countries, according to a 2022 study by Statista showing only 12% of German internet users having a Twitter account compared to 20% globally. This suggests a cultural preference for established communication channels like Facebook and WhatsApp.
Similarly, Airbnb and Uber have encountered resistance due to their incompatibility with existing regulations and employment structures. A 2023 report by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) highlighted concerns about unfair competition for traditional hotels and taxi companies, along with concerns about the lack of social security and employee rights for platform workers. This resistance has manifested in legal challenges and public protests, delaying their expansion in the German market.
Therefore, thorough market testing is crucial before launching a new and unfamiliar product category in Germany. This allows for gauging consumer response and adapting the product or marketing strategy accordingly. Additionally, engaging influencers to promote the brand and educate consumers is a vital strategy, as highlighted by a 2023 study by the German Marketing Association (GWA) emphasizing the growing influence of social media personalities in Germany. By addressing these challenges head-on, brands can overcome skepticism and build trust in their innovative offerings.
Do people need or want your solution?
There are several ways you can test how well your product or service would be received and perceived, if there is confusion around it, if your product is sufficiently localized for this market, and even how much you could charge for your product and service.
Market research options
There are several ways you can test how well your product or service would be received and perceived in Germany, if there is confusion around its value, if your product is sufficiently localized for this market, if there are regulatory compliance or cultural conflicts, and even how much you could charge for your product or service. Germany is a large and important market for many companies and there are several options for implementing product research in markets.
Online surveys and opinion polls in Germany
There are both self-serve options for surveying targeted groups and full service research firms to consider. Your budget, time frame, and level of depth required will all impact the cost of the research.
For do-it-yourself quick and lower budget surveys and opinion polls, several online survey companies offer targeted consumer groups in Germany.
In order to recruit survey takers, you should assume you’ll pay $80-$200 per person to give you feedback.
For full service local research firm options in Germany, you can search these research search engines:
Focus groups in Germany
Depending upon the prospective customer group, the day of the week, time of day, and traffic, it can be hard to get people to show up for focus groups. Focus groups can be very effective though for understanding the people and culture. It’s also important to remember that different cultures will assign meaning to things in a different way and may have dialects and words with meanings that vary from culture to culture. You should expect to pay $80-$200 per person to get qualified focus group attendees to your sessions.
We recommend working with a local research group with experience recruiting and running focus groups in Germany instead of doing them without assistance. It would also be good to get different perspectives from each region if your target market is throughout Germany.
Product Testing- Sampling
For physical products for which you would like to get customer feedback, there are a variety of ways to test your product. One is to work with influencers, such as bloggers, that have an audience you’re interested in, and ask them to give away some of your product and get feedback. Another is to set up sampling events in key areas. Many of the research agencies we’ve featured can assist you with this or, you could work with specialty retailers that might be interested in selling your product if customers really like it. You’ll want to make sure that you have a small team of people ready to manage everything if you’re not working with an agency to do it for you.
For most products to gain access to Germany even for product sampling, you will have to have CE marking on your product and extensive safety testing to meet EU standards for most product types prior to market testing. Get more information about CE marking in the Globig Knowledge Base.
Here are some additional research database resources to search for all types of research firms in Germany:
KNOWLEDGE BASE Market Research In Germany