Understanding Product Concept Testing
Our research program for new product development (NPD) and new concept testing is structured around four components of the NPD process: idea screening, idea testing, business analysis and market testing. On this page we will delve into these four main components, as well as touch on the qualitative structure of concept testing, as well as brief discussion on potential shortcomings to look out for.
For idea screening, we measure the perceived visual and conceptual appeal of the product. We evaluate how well the product is likely to fare in the market compared to a competitive set as well as a set of benchmark products. We then segment the respondent population into promoters, neutrals and detractors and look for related demographic and psychographic characteristics.
For idea testing, we look at how new products are described by respondents as compared to their competitors and we map products to a brand personality map. These descriptions allow evaluation of potential brand positioning. In addition, we use conjoint analysis to determine what features of the new product are causing it to perform better or worse, and what benefits are most important. We also evaluate “pop out” effects in a visual context to look at how well packaging, form factors or logos stand out from the crowd. We include qualitative voice of the consumer measures to see what ideas respondents have to improve the product and measure any organic discussion around the product in our chat rooms.
For business analysis, we evaluate the price/value perception of the new product and conduct an analysis to understand cannibalization in the market segment and what products may lose share to the new product. This provides information on the broader, macro level.
Finally, our behavioral approach allows for true market testing in our Vault, an in-app store where consumers make actual purchases of goods and services with their game currency. We can compare the purchase rates with a competitive set. For more information and resources, please see our page on product research and development.
Qualitative Aspect of Concept Testing
The qualitative aspect of concept testing begins with the generation of the initial concept which is then tested out on potential consumers. Qualitative also has its use during the evaluation phase, as users can offer up opinions which cannot be quantitatively measured, but can offer genuine insight and value to the crafters of the initial concept creation.
Quantitative Aspect of Concept Testing
The first step involves concept evaluation, where broad ideas that could potentially be a product are shown to potential buyers. They are then quantitatively quizzed as to whether they would pursue such ideas and products, in the form of purchase or trial.
A second method is through positioning, in which a concept/product is placed alongside other competing products, and then scored accordingly.
A third method is through a product test, in which a user is presented with the target concept and asked to evaluate it, followed by a competing product, of which they must evaluate. At the conclusion, both evaluations are then compared.
Overall, new concept testing is an effective method for market researchers to gauge user intent on a preliminary level, to assist with new product development.