At the beginning of the cycle, you must identify business issues such as target customers, product strategy, and pricing strategy. Feed this information into your strategic business planning. This will allow for the generation of a hypothesis based on all relevant, current consumer and business information. External research will be completed to supplement business knowledge and facilitate planning. This external research may include a review of the marketplace using available resources or primary research. Examples of primary research include brand equity research, consumer segmentation, and new product research.