Product Concept Testing

Concept Testing: How people, without prompting, interpret deliberately a sketchy idea for a new product or service. (Smith and Albaum, Fundamentals of Marketing Research, Sage Publications, 2006) Concept testing is most often used in concept development to test the success of a new product idea before it is marketed. Concept analysis or concepts are often used as one step in the process of providing "proof of concept".

Potential consumers are involved to provide their reactions to written statements, images or graphics, or actual implementations of the basic idea for the product. Concept testing is most often a Go/No Go screening that serves to kill those concepts that have very little potential.

Concept testing and development provides the direction and guidance necessary to selectively identify and communicate key product or service benefits, uses, packaging, advertising, sales approaches, product information, distribution, and pricing.

A variety of concept testing options are available to help you minimize risk and maximize revenue when entering service, consumer product, and high-technology markets. Our years of directing concept tests have produced a unique perspective on the particular needs of product and service users and decision makers.

New Product Concepts?which benefits are most important to customers and which features are most likely to lead to the fulfillment of that promise. Features can be categorized into those which are "need to haves" vs. "nice to haves." Customer need must be identified and prioritized for product development and advertising.

Product Modification/Upgrade? Modifications and upgrades can reformulate and add new life to existing products and services. Again, identifying the optimal bundle of features is a priority. Differentiating those features that are "need to haves" vs. "nice to haves§ is critical in creating products or services that are truly ?New and Improved,§ ?New Release,§ and ?Upgrade§ worthy.

Migration path? Many products and services offer upgrade or migration paths. For the customer, it is a reflection of a need for the next level of sophistication. Understanding the key features and benefits is critical in mapping consumer needs to the likelihood of upgrading an existing product or adopting a new technology. Our experts will help you answer such critical questions as ?Do benefits outweigh the costs and challenges of changing?§ Features, benefits, brands, image, costs, and training are but a few factors that must be considered.

Product Usability - Serviceability? The most effective concept tests assess the use experience of a specific product or service and determine how that experience can be improved. This research can focus on a variety of areas ? ease of use and similarity to current usage patterns, the ability to adapt and use critical feature implementations, and the congruency with current image, usage patterns, and service provisions.

Pricing and Incentives ? No one underestimates the importance of price expectations in new product adoptions. Price, incentives, bundling, cross product tie-ins, and cost mitigating factors such as warranties all change price perceptions and perceptions of value.


Key Components of Online Concept Tests

The Qualtrics Concept Test Product increases effectiveness by tracking concepts through a key series of psychological and behavioral evaluations. Each of these testing stages focuses on critical needs of the customer and produces actionable information that can drive your corporate product formulation and promotional initiatives.

Needs Analysis? Identify the core customer needs that lead to acceptance of new product concepts and the new product concepts and ideas that are formulated.

Habits and Uses Analysis? Identify the core customer habits and uses of the product class for purposes of understanding and segmentation. Habits and uses are critical in understanding the adoption of new product concepts and the new product concepts and ideas that are formulated.

Concept Fulfillment and Preference Testing? Evaluate the product category as a focus for fulfilling market needs. Inherent in this concept test and fulfillment analysis is the tying of benefit fulfillment and needs to the positive elements (benefits) and negative elements (inhibitors) that direct the purchase evaluation process.

Decision Process Assessment? The decision and purchasing process, the key influencers and decision makers are all considered as part of the concept test. Each purchaser, decision maker, and influencer involved in the purchase process relies on different information sources to establish the credibility of the product, integration process, benefits, and values actually received.

Monetary Returns, Psychological Returns and Total Cost of Ownership? Understand the specific costs and financial benefits the new product brings to customers. We model and quantify them so they can be used in advertising and sales collateral.