As new consumer products are developed, product analysis helps you and others understand how -- and how well -- a product works given the price, competition and context. Designers, industrial engineers, industry specialists and consumer advocates, such as journalists and bloggers, conduct product analysis. Writing product analysis entails assessing the product's function, conducting background research on the product and industry, and making an informed assessment and recommendation about the product's value and future in a well-organized report format.
Items you will need
- Consumer product
- Paper and pencil
- Word processor
Choose a product to analyze. Either purchase a new product you already know will interest you or request a product from a distributor or the company for assessment; some companies give samples.
Gather the messages delivered with the product, such as the marketing and promotional materials as well as any information that a salesperson or website offers. Aim to grasp what the product claims to do through these messages and write them down.
Use the product as it is intended for use. Decide whether or not it does the what it claims to do. Use it in multiple settings and ways. Test further by giving the product to someone else and asking them to interact with it. Pay particular attention to the materials used, how they are shaped, formed and finished on the product. Record impressions and judgments about materials, durability, function and form on a notepad.
Take notes on the product's aesthetic, anthropometric and ergonomic functions of the product. Analyze the way the product looks, how it fits with people's bodies and how it integrates with existing objects in a given situation. For instance, a desk chair design may not be useful despite being comfortable or made from high quality materials if it fails to meet the average desk height.
Summarize your experience using the product and your judgment on how well the product fulfills its intended design in a sentence.
Conduct background research on the industry segment. Go to a library or conduct an online search to gather details about the product including, but not limited to, the total number of households or companies using a product like this, competing products, industries producing this product, cost change or material change over time, ways that the product has been modified or migrated into other categories since its introduction to the market.
Research further competing products. Read reviews and product analyses written about these products and their benefits and deficiencies. Compare this to the noted benefits and deficiencies you assessed in the product you are reviewing. Consider documenting this information using a spreadsheet or chart.
Decide how the product fits in to the existing market, and grapple with whether or not the variation or newness factors make it a worthy or valuable addition. Summarize your main recommendation about the product in a sentence.
Open a new document in a word processor. Write out the four major sections that will make up the paper: introduction, background, analysis and conclusion. Save the document. Begin the introduction by writing what the product is and summarizing your main argument and assessment, and why it is relevant to the intended audience.
Write the background section. List specific, objective features of the product you reviewed, such as price, materials and aesthetic qualities. Go on to include information about the industry and history of products such as this product. This section should give readers a broad understanding of this industry segment and how well the product you are reviewing fits into it.
Write the analysis section, include two to three vivid examples from the testing period to illustrate your argument about your recommendation on the product.
Summarize your recommendation on the product with the conclusion. Reiterate your main argument about the product by echoing the introduction. Add additional recommendations, such as what you would like to see this product do further or what price the product should be for you to want to buy it.
Proofread the product analysis and make any necessary grammatical changes. Distribute the final draft as an email submission to a publication or consumer trade magazine or post on a blog or website for others to review.
Assess the cost-value of a product even if you received it for free. Write product analyses about products or industries you are already familiar with or use. Read your product analysis out loud to a friend or family member to ensure it makes sense.
Always fully disclose to your audience if you received a product for free to maintain your credibility.
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