I spent a very long time on Amazon and recently trying to find a replacement for the little hand-held gadget that I use to clip crossword puzzles out of my newspapers. Typing “Paper cutter” in the search box didn’t get me there. And neither did “Scissors”. I eventually gave up. It wasn’t until I saw it in a good old-fashioned mail-order catalog that I learned it is called a “Gift wrap cutter.” And so I was finally able to go back online and order one.

There are two important lessons here for researchers.  
The first is never assume that the way you refer to something is universally understood.
Our clients use a lot of acronyms and short-hand to describe their products, much of which is insider-speak. Testing that terminology with an uninitiated audience helps to overcome this problem. At TRC we have a group called the Questionnaire Review Committee. A member who is not involved in that project reviews the survey instrument prior to fielding. Anything that isn’t understood is flagged for further review
The second is that potential customers may not consider themselves as being in the market for a given product, even if they are. 
I didn’t realize I wanted a gift wrap cutter, but it turns out that’s exactly what I needed. A potential research client who isn’t aware of the pricing research options available to him can’t search on “conjoint study providers” to find a suitable research partner.  But he can search on his business objective:  “how to price a product” or “pricing research”. And when that search sends him to us, we can tell him that a conjoint study is an appropriate approach.     
The way products and services are presented in the marketplace - their names, labels, tags and descriptions - are important. But if potential customers don’t know of your product, or don’t know how to describe it, we can still reach them based on their need, the job to be done, or a solution to a problem that the product offers. In a research questionnaire, screening for ‘likelihood to purchase X product’ may not capture the same range of potential customers as “likelihood to purchase a product that does Y” would. We need to keep this in mind when deciding who does and doesn’t qualify as a prospective customer in our research questionnaires. And also in marketing our own services.