The Basics of Concept Testing

You can find hundreds of statistics that support the fact that most products fail once they enter the marketplace. There are many factors that can influence a product’s failure. Some consumers don’t have a need for that specific product. Others may not want to pay a premium price point for something they do not need. Sometimes the name is confusing or the product is too complicated. Other times, they just simply don’t know about the product or it’s not available at the right location. Something that can combat most of these problems is concept testing. Concept testing can help explore if a product or service is viable, who would likely purchase it, the expected price range, key benefits of the product, situations they would use it, and where they would expect to purchase it.

Concept Testing in an Insight Community

I was recently on a call with a colleague who described concept testing as “the easiest type of research to do.” While I believe she may have oversimplified the matter, in essence she was correct. As long as you have the fundamental skills, concept testing is a standard market research study. Most concept tests involve a set of similar questions and most market research practitioners set up the survey in a similar fashion. At My-Take, we understand the importance of concept testing studies for our clients. We have run thousands of concept test studies to date.

Common types of concept testing are monadic (single concept) and sequential design (multiple concepts). Furthermore, concept tests can be focused on simple concept evaluation or comparative in nature, where respondents ultimately select their preferred concept. Like all survey designs, the best one depends on the overall objectives.

Concept studies, like all others should contain survey best practices such as proper question wording, use of randomization, and solid survey flow. When thinking about the questions to include in a concept study, consistency is key. Concept tests should contain a standard set of questions. This way concepts can be compared within the same study or be benchmarked against concepts in other concept test surveys. Some common questions to include in a concept study are:

  • Overall appeal of the concept
  • Likes and dislikes about the concept
  • Uniqueness, believability, and purchase intent

Other questions focusing on pricing, use cases, or the preferred concept may be added into the study, depending on the overall objectives.

Conducting concept testing in a community environment allows for feedback throughout the design process. Primary concept research can be expensive, and if you are conducting your concept studies too early or too late, you might miss key learnings. The iterative nature of the community allows you to understand the evolution of the concept’s appeal and can help you before you make a fatal mistake. Whether you are running a monadic or sequential design or testing a concept idea or final product, My-Take is here to help!

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Posted by Rebecca Strott

Rebecca is an experienced Insights Director with a demonstrated history of working in the market research industry. She is skilled in Market Research, Management, Marketing, Survey Design, and Customer Insight.