Product Concept Testing

Product Concept TestingProduct Concept Testing

Product concept testing is about understanding reactions to the idea of a product or service, including its features, visual design, and often packaging.

Quite often there is also an interest in understanding how to best position a product or service turning the test into a product positioning concept testing. This is usually connected to brand positioning, but depending on how large the product portfolio is, different products may be positioned in different ways under a general brand positioning umbrella.

Product positioning is about communicating product benefits. However, product benefits and features are not the same. We describe product benefits from the users’ perspective, from what they get out of the product or service. Product features are part of a product or service configuration that may or may not have perceived benefits in the user’s eyes.

For more on positioning concept testing, check our brand positioning concept testing services.

Why You Should Do ItWhy You Should Do It

Is your company developing new product ideas? Are there new ideas for updates or upgrades of old products being considered? Are you planning to launch a new company based on a product idea?

At its core, product concept testing will help determine if there is a need for the type of product you are trying to sell and whether your particular product idea has any appeal and, consequently, potential takers. If you test your product ideas early enough you stand to save time and money in the product development process.

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The ApproachThe Approach

Product concept testing is often conducted with a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods. We use qualitative research to explore needs, perceptions, and expectations that can be matched with the product features, design or packaging.

Qualitative research is often used to finalize product concept descriptions that are subsequently tested in quantitative research.

Oftentimes, clients already have some product ideas developed and want to identify the winning concept for the intended audience with the help of quantitative research.

Quantitative product concept testing is conducted with the help of survey methodology. However, the survey design will vary based on the Analytical Plan selected (select this section below).

Qualitative research data collection may include focus groups (online or in-person) or in-depth-interviews (online, by phone, or in-person).

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Target Audience RecruitmentTarget Audience Recruitment

Relevant Insights can recruit B2C and B2B qualified participants through our sample provider partners for qualitative and quantitative research.

We determine the sample parameters from discussions with your team and assist with developing screeners. We also manage participant incentives.

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In direct collaboration with the client team, Relevant Insights will:

  1. Assist in developing product concepts and positioning concepts for testing to avoid confusion in research goals and metrics.
  2. Recommend the data collection mode based on sample parameters and the industry in which your organization operates. Surveys can be conducted online, by phone, by mail, or with a hybrid approach.
  3. Develop questions and metrics to support an analytical plan that meets the project’s business and research objectives.
  4. Discuss recommendations for sample size and sample sources. Sample size requirements will depend on the product category, target audience, and incidence rates, among other factors.
  5. Program, test, and, host surveys. In addition to testing the programmed survey for errors before its launch, the survey goes to a small sample in a “soft-launch” mode to a small sample to detect any potential issues with actual participants before distributing it to a large sample.
  6. Monitor the field and provide daily reports on its progress and any issues that may arise.

If qualitative research is required, Relevant Insights will:

  1. Recommend the most appropriate qualitative research data collection method for the target sample.
  2. Develop discussion guides.
  3. Moderate focus groups and in-depth interviews.
  4. Rent facilities or online platforms.
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Analytical PlanAnalytical Plan

Quantitative product concept testing can be designed in different ways:

  • Monadic Concept Testing – Only one product concept is presented.
  • Sequential Concept Testing – Several product concepts presented sequentially in random order or in a pre-determined order.
  • Pairwise Comparisons – Two product concepts are presented simultaneously.
  • MaxDiff Analysis – Multiple product concepts are presented simultaneously.
  • Conjoint Analysis – Multiple configurations of product features that can make a product configuration or idea are presented simultaneously.

The study design selection will depend on study objectives, creative materials available for testing, time, and budget constraints.

The metrics obtained will depend on the selected study design and may include measurements of:

  • Product appeal and relevance.
  • Product feature preferences.
  • Product idea preference (if multiples are tested).
  • Likelihood to purchase.
  • Impact on brand perceptions.
  • Product benefit’s perceptions.
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Relevant Insights can provide different levels of reporting based on budget and time constraints including:

  • Raw data only.
  • Simulators (for Conjoint Analysis and MaxDiff studies).
  • Cross-tabulated tables by key variables.
  • Short summary report with key findings.
  • A full detailed report with analysis, charts, tables, quotes, and graphics in an appealing format.
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Typical Project DurationTypical Project Duration

Four to six weeks. If a preceding qualitative phase is included, add three to four weeks.

Factors that affect project duration include:

  • The incidence rate of the target sample: The lower the incidence rate, the longer we need to stay in the field to gather the required data.
  • Client team responsiveness: A delayed response to requests for feedback at different steps of the project will stall a project and affect the delivery date.
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The cost will vary depending on:

  • Data collection method (online, phone, mail).
  • The analytical plan selected.
  • Sample specifications and sample size.
  • Reporting requirements.
  • Inclusion of qualitative research.
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