Going all the way through to production only to discover that there is serious competition is like being beaten to the South Pole. Why not ask the market researcher group about potential competition? What you really want to find out about is competition of which you are not currently aware or do not perceive to be competition (but maybe the customers do). To find out what may be lurking out there, cast your net wide by asking: Are you aware of any similar products? If there is a clear known leader, add "other than X?" This way they don't tell you what you know already.
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