This question is typically asked by hiring managers that work complex projects, or do thorough interviews to select the right person for their environment. Given this is a multi-part question that requires an element of strong Technology and Business Knowledge. This mix required a well thought out response that addresses every part of this question. Let's examine some scenarios of how this could be answered, and how you can prepare for a similar answer. IT Consultants and Management Consultants might come across this question since it addresses the approach you would take, where you might be able to find this information, and some market analysis to determine product demand in the market. An example response might be that you used market intelligence data to research demand, consumer spending, demographics, and other related factors. Since this a hypothetical question by the interviewer, they will be looking for what you would do to obtain this information, and how you present it for review.
"Given the date is 1984, the data would have to come from a number of different sources to present findings that would be able to tell you whether or not your product would be in demand or would have a market for it. I would start by obtaining data from consumers currently using computers, and what their experiences has been. My subjects would be a test panel with participants ranging from entry level users to experienced users. I would present the new Macintosh model to the panel to get a holistic perspective from all the users on the MAC's different layout, graphics, size, pricing, operating system, and software. This would give me an idea of their openness to a new type of computer, and if they were willing to try one out."
"Early in my career, I've had to do a similar product demand assessment. In this particular case, our leadership asked my team and me to test market a new product to estimate demand for the product. When I look at such an initiative, I offered my objective advice and expertise in line with corporate strategy, and how the product will play a role in their current product mix and expected presence and market share. Estimating market demand is a skill I possess, and I know what approach and market research are needed to execute a new product introduction. Here are some questions and considerations that will need to be part of the planning process in order to be able to understand projected sales volume, demand, and consumer interest.
1) How big is your market - 10, 000, 100,000, 1,000,000+ consumers?
2) What geography will you be selling your product in - Local, regional, national or International?
3) What technology will be used to produce this product?
4) How will you arrive at a price point that consumers will pay?
5) How will you estimate sales for year 2, 3, 5 and beyond - This will depend on projections, and whether or not pricing and costs stay the same, go up or down.
6) Who will your customers be by demographic - Age, income, profession, marriage status, spending habits, etc.
7) What will the product availability look like in the short and long term?
8) Brand Awareness - Do you plan on executing Marketing, PR, and Branding for the product?
9) How many of the new products will be used for test purposes?
10) Monitor what your market share is versus your competition in order to see if it's worth staying with that product.
11) How will the product be sold - Direct to Consumer, Retail, Wholesale, Dealers, etc.
12) What will production time and product availability look like?"