Survey shows gap between manufacturer and consumer priorities

A recent study shows manufacturer and consumer priorities about products greatly differ, highlighting the role of market research in determining the needs and demands of consumers.

The survey by UL, an independent safety science company, indicated some consumers found manufacturers were lacking in certain areas of production, supply management or human health and environmental concerns.

This includes product quality, which was found to have one of the biggest gaps between manufacturer and consumer beliefs. In the survey, 95 percent of manufacturers said they thought product quality was the most prominent priority while 51 percent of consumers believe manufacturers tended to use the least expensive materials for production without regard to quality.

"Our research provides insight into what we believe is a tremendous opportunity for businesses in the coming years," Keith Williams, chief executive officer of UL said. "For example, in better understanding gaps in priorities, manufacturers can uncover new ways to engage consumers in a dialogue around how their products are made and sourced to provide greater peace of mind."

Another aspect that resulted in different opinions is product safety as 84 percent of manufacturers think consumers are more assured that product safety is increasing but 58 percent of consumers think differently, saying manufacturers prioritize sales over product safety. These results reveal the importance of market research to meet consumer demand in terms of high quality yet safe products.

As for addressing the environmental effects of production, 90 percent of manufacturers said the environment is becoming more important however 40 percent of consumers responded that manufacturers are not doing enough to provide eco-friendly procedures or products.

While consumers may feel this way, more companies are ramping up their efforts to lower their environmental impact. This includes tech company Hewlett Packard, according to Sustainable Business News. HP recently announced it set greenhouse gas reduction targets for suppliers in order to meet its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020.

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