How do you test your concepts?

How do you test your concepts?

New Product Development is integral to your company’s innovation. Bringing new ideas to market is critical to your company’s short-term and long-term success. But launching new products is a daunting task. According to the Harvard Business Review, approximately 30,000 new consumer products are launched each year and 80% of them fail. 

Increasing your company’s chances for successful launches hinges on your ability to successfully evaluate which ideas have the most potential. Putting resources toward the most promising ideas and eliminating expenditures on the lack-luster ideas enables your company to approach innovation more systematically. 

In order to decide which ideas have the best chance of success, you need to conduct market research. That’s where concept testing comes in. Concept testing evaluates and assesses how well your ideas appeal to your target market. Using predetermined sets of questions, concept testing is designed to measure various reactions, feelings, opinions, and future behavior. Concept testing has many important purposes. 

  • Concept testing enhances the efficiency of your New Product Development Process because it weeds out bad ideas. 
  • The winning concepts that emerge from concept testing provide direction for subsequent development stages. 
  • Concept testing provides consumer reactions to ideas and their components. 
  • Concept testing allows estimations of purchase intents, and, therefore, provides rudimentary data for early stage sales volume. 
  • Concept testing provides early guidance for eventual positioning strategies. 

The most important purpose of concept testing is to measure whether consumers will eventually purchase your product. You should consistently include clear and accurate product descriptions for each of your ideas. Make sure you test concepts, not advertising at this stage of the development process. That comes later. 

Clearly, concept testing is an essential piece of the innovation process. But how do you know what type of concept testing to do? These are many options available. You could choose qualitative or quantitative market research. The option you choose boils down to how you want to balance your time, your money, and your data’s reliability. Qualitative approaches include focus groups or interviews. Quantitative methods include surveys. If you choose the quantitative approach, you could jump on the omnibus bandwagon. Or you could do-it-yourself. Alternatively, you could use a service that gives you speed, flexibility, and project management at a low cost.

Let’s say you join the long list of companies using omnibuses. If you do, your concepts are just one small piece of a larger survey. An omnibus is research that collects data on a wide variety of topics during the same survey. It is also called piggyback surveying. Multiple clients share the cost of conducting the survey. You do not have control over the questions that are asked. You can’t add more questions without incurring additional fees. Sure, it’s fast and relatively cheap, but you give up ownership. The sample for omnibuses are general so questions can not be too specific or focus on a niche product or service. In addition, you can’t probe fully on an idea because each company is only allowed to ask a small number of questions. Aren’t your ideas important enough to have their own study? 

Let’s say you roll up your sleeves and decide to do-it-yourself using a cheap survey platform.  You have the grit to get it done, but your time is better spent on other tasks. Running a concept test requires a lot of heavy lifting. You must design the questionnaire, recruit the respondents, pay the respondents, analyze the data, create tables/charts, write the report, among other things. Each of those tasks in and of itself is daunting. Plus, there are many ways to make small mistakes that will dramatically skew the results and hinder the integrity of your data. For example, you might not include the right questions, the proper logic, the appropriate sample, or the correct statistical testing. This is a job best left in the hands of professionals. 

A better option than omnibuses or do-it-yourself platforms is a full-service, customizable quantitative survey run by market research companies.  A service like this evaluates your ideas quickly and cost efficiently. It includes all of the bells and whistles at a competitive price. You get freedom within a framework. The market research company recommends the best questions to ask. They advise you on the best sample set and sample size. And, most importantly, they tailor it to fit your needs. 

What makes the full-service, customizable survey different from the rest?

It’s not part of an omnibus. With an omnibus, your questions are just one of several other sets of questions being asked.  With the full service, customizable approach it is YOUR survey. It is YOUR study.  The only one asking questions is YOU. 

It is fully customizable.  You won’t have to pick from a stock set of questions or test a minimum number of concepts.  The survey is customized for YOUR needs.  

You get full service for DYI price.  All you need to do is give the market research company your creative material, and they will do the rest.  Your ideas can be text, video, or picture format. The price includes questionnaire design, project management, and a full report.  

You won’t have to pay by the concept or the number of questions.  The focus is interview length and maintaining data quality.  The questionnaires are generally around 15 minutes.  You can test as many concepts and ask as many questions as you want as long as it fits in the interview length.  

You get answers quickly. The market research companies have run countless concept tests. They know how to do it quickly. You can have your results as quickly as 2 days after fielding is completed. That gives you priceless time to communicate the results to key stakeholders. 

Are you ready to see which of your concepts are best?  Contact Jeff at or 317-916-9096.

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