What to Know to Get Started in Concept Testing

By Gowtham Raj on May 5th, 2021

Did you know that only 5% of product launches are successful? What happens to the other 95%? Often, new products fail because they don’t fit the practical needs of customers. This isn’t an optimistic statistic for entrepreneurs and business owners. Yet, it serves as a reminder of an important aspect of designing products for success. You need to ensure that your product is as foolproof and refined as possible. Concept testing plays a major role in this endeavor.

It allows businesses to gauge their target audience’s interests. From the feedback, they’ll know which areas of their product need adjusting.

This guide will tell you all about concept testing. Read on to know how you can use it on your own products.

What is Concept Testing?

Concept testing is the process of evaluating a new product or service idea. It’s done before the product’s release into the market. You can also do concept testing for other projects like an ad campaign.

Businesses perform concept testing using surveys. These can assess consumers’ reactions and acceptance of a new offering. You can test product features, price points, and even ads that you plan to release.

Concept testing also doesn’t replace a development cycle’s ideation phase. It’s only used for testing concepts and not ideas that are completely formed. It’s also different from prototyping, where you make tangible forms of a concept.

Benefits of Concept Testing

Concept testing allows you to listen to your audience’s views. You’ll be able to explore a concept’s viability for them without bias. This makes it a critical tool for executives and product managers.

It’s a Cost-Effective and Flexible Solution

Concept testing can help you avoid costly consequences. It prevents you from launching faulty concepts and thus saves you money.

You can also adapt it to your research needs. If you want high-level feedback, then a simple and quick survey will do.

Allows You to Optimize Your Product/Service

Through concept testing, you’ll discover plenty of relevant information. The insights you get will impact your development decisions.

For example, you’ll know how effective a concept’s brand equity and image are to a customer. You’ll be able to see how they perceive price points and their buying preferences. It also allows you to see the concept’s market status in relation to the competition.

Concept testing also tells you how customers might use a product concept. This is important because it helps uncover a concept’s weaknesses.

You can also test various concepts at the same time. This is an efficient way of knowing which concept works best at solving a customer’s problem.

Serves as a Long-Term Quality-Assurance Check

It’s common for concept testing to have several rounds. This is a good way for you to check with audiences and further optimize a product.

You can also vary your audience for different insights. The same audience is good if you need improvements. A new audience is better for fresh takes on your design.

Helps Build Customer Relations

Research that involves your potential customers helps build brand loyalty. It can also help grow your brand equity value.

Doing concept testing shows that you value your customers’ opinions. Your brand will look transparent and open to innovation.

Concept Testing Process

Concept testing centers on creating effective surveys that will yield relevant insights. Here’s the process for creating a product concept test:

1. Goal Setting

If you want to get the right answers, you must have a clear idea of what you’re hoping to discover and why.

Before doing concept tests, you need to consider several aspects. First is the type of responses you’re seeking. Next is the form of data you want and how you intend to use it.

2. Brainstorming to Delineate the Concept

This means gathering all relevant stakeholders. This includes the customers as well as the production teams. Doing so gives you a fuller picture when drafting initial ideas.

The goal is to produce different options during these sessions. From there, various concepts can later emerge.

3. Setting the Rules

Setting the rules involves having well-defined parameters. This ensures that the concept test will be effective.

Rules include the allowed number of concepts and testing methods. You should also consider your design variations’ limitations. You need to set the allocated time for each iteration of the test.

You’ll also need to set the number of test rounds and who’s responsible for signing off outcomes.

4. Designing the Surveys

In designing surveys, you’ll need a clear description of your product concept. You also need precise questions that are effective in measuring respondents’ reactions.

Use text, images, or video in designing your surveys. These serve as stimuli that are central to concept tests.

When selecting stimuli, you must also select your concept testing platform. For example, video stimuli will need a reliable platform to host it on.

5. Analyzing the Results

Here you need to weigh the result’s implications on the product concept. Are they optimistic enough for you to move the concept further?

The results might also show that some aspects still need refinement or clarifications. You’ll then need to continue the testing process and design another survey.

Concept Testing Examples

Many brands use concept testing to make better decisions.

Yamaha once considered using a knob or sliding fader in a new electronic keyboard. They used concept testing to understand customer preferences and make a design decision. This allowed Yamaha to maintain its industry position.

Fashion brand Shinola also turned to customer research. They made use of surveys to get their customer’s perspectives. This helped them choose which watches should be in their spring 2018 collection.

Use Concept Testing to Ensure Your Product’s Success

Concept testing is essential, no matter if you have an old or new product. It helps you see consumers’ perspectives and gauge your product’s success.

While it can be costly and time-consuming, you’ll benefit in the long run. Concept testing ensures a more solid and refined product.

Already considering concept testing? Tart Labs can provide you the concept testing tools you need. Contact us today to get started.

By Gowtham Raj

May 5th, 2021