KNOWLEDGE BASE Market Research In The UK
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.
Since the UK officially left the European Union on January 31, 2020, the relationship between the two has evolved and continues to be shaped by the ongoing implementation of the withdrawal agreement.
January 31, 2020: UK officially left the EU and entered a transition period that ended on December 31, 2020.
December 31, 2020: The transition period ended, and the UK fully exited the EU single market and customs union.
January 1, 2021: The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement came into effect, outlining the post-Brexit relationship between the two entities.
2023/2024 Current: The UK and EU are still navigating the ongoing implementation and potential revisions of their post-Brexit relationship.
It's crucial for businesses operating in either the UK or the EU to stay informed about the latest developments and adjust their operations accordingly.
Market Research In The United Kingdom
Identify the areas where you will need to do research
Before we start developing a go-to-market strategy for the United Kingdom, it’s important to answer some fundamental questions about the UK, your company, product and prospective market.
Who are your prospective customers in the UK?
As you know, the UK is made up of several countries with unique markets and within each country there are also unique markets of consumers especially when comparing city dwellers versus those in small rural townships. The UK is a very interesting mix of traditional, deep-rooted in culture, modern, sophisticated, and multi-cultural people groups.
The Globig Knowledge Base and support resources have a lot of information about UK culture that’s important to consider prior to identifying prospective customers. Who are the influencers that UK 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. Globig Connect has influencers broken out by a number of categories and additional influencers are added based on your industry regularly.
Who are the influencers 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 segment to develop a plan around, you’ll also want to identify the influencers for those groups. Do your research to identify which influencers are the most likely to help get the word out about your product or service. If you are not familiar with the ways in which influencers can help you, you can learn more about Influencer Marketing in our section on that subject. Globig Connect has influencers broken out by a number of categories and additional influencers are regularly added based on your industry.
What pain or problem do you solve for your target market in the UK?
For products or services that are familiar to a market, you must have a much better product 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 undertake some product testing to determine if the solution you’re offering is something this new market will embrace. You can also work with influencers first to get them using your product and services. An example of new unfamiliar product categories are Airbnb or Twitter prior to the existence of those products. It would be hard to know how people respond prior to testing in market and getting influencers on board to talk about the brands.
Do people need or want your solution? Find out what they think about your product or service.
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, if there is confusion, if your product is sufficiently localized for this market and even how much you could charge for your product and service. The UK is an important test market for many companies, there are several options for implementing product research in market. See the top marketing research firms in the UK.
Online surveys and opinion polls
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 the UK, such as Mturk.com, Cint.com, HarrisPollOnline, Ask Your Target Market
In order to recruit survey takers, you should assume you’ll pay $80-$200 per person to give you feedback.
Full service local research firm options include:
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 way of doing market research in the UK, though, for understanding the people and culture more. 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 the UK instead of doing them without assistance. It would also be good to get different perspectives from each country if your target market is throughout the UK.
Product testing and sampling in the UK
Collaborate with bloggers, social media personalities, or YouTubers relevant to your target audience. Offer them samples of your product to review and share their feedback with their followers. Platforms like AspireIQ and Traackr can help you find suitable influencers.
Organize physical sampling events in high-traffic locations like shopping centers or relevant trade shows. Partner with stores or event organizers to reach your target audience effectively. Agencies like Field Marketing and sampl3 can assist with logistics.
Approach speciality retailers that cater to your product's intended market. Offer them exclusive trials or early access to test and potentially stock your product if it resonates with their customers.
Online Product Testing Platforms:
Utilize online platforms like Amazon Vine, Bitly, and SampleRoom to connect with a wider audience willing to try your product and provide feedback. These platforms offer convenient delivery and feedback management tools.
Since the UK's full withdrawal from the EU in January 2021, CE marking is no longer mandatory for most products sold in the UK. However, it's still widely recognized and can simplify access to certain markets.The UK government announced in August 2023 that it would indefinitely extend the recognition of CE marking for most goods under the Department for Business and Trade (DBT). This means your product can still bear the CE mark and be freely sold in Great Britain even without the UKCA mark.
UKCA marking is now the mandatory conformity marking for most goods placed on the UK market. You can find detailed information on UKCA requirements and the transition process from CE marking on the UK government website here.
Regardless of the testing method you choose, ensure you have a clear plan for collecting and analyzing feedback to gain valuable insights and improve your product. Consider working with a market research agency or product testing specialist if you need additional support navigating the UK market and regulations.
Here are some additional resources to consider:
3. Eye tracking and shopper studies resources in the UK
KNOWLEDGE BASE Market Research In The UK