5 Things to Keep in Mind While Doing ‘Concept Testing’
Concept testing in today’s world drills down to the most important marketing research insight ‘purchase intent’ that digs deeper to know whether a prospect is really thinking to buy the proposed product beyond just ascertaining whether it’s a good fit for him or her. Concept testing is conducted at the very beginning stage in a development cycle. It’s a proven and standardized research method of critical information about a series of concepts in consideration, often referred to as ‘experimental design’.
In simple terms, the prime objective of any concept test is to understand which product or service can create ample interest in the minds of consumers to add on further development and which that do not deserve further development or spending advertising dollars. However, there are certain aspects one needs to keep in mind while doing concept testing for a new product or service. Here are the five major things to always keep in mind –
Determining the best target market for concept testing
Concept testing should be ideally performed over a wide segment of the targeted population. For example, most of the beauty products are tested among beauty products shoppers whose gender, age and geographies are set to match the targeted population and who have easy access to these products. This should primarily target female adults and teens. Similarly, baby products should be targeted to parents with children in the appropriate age category.
Choosing Monadic or Sequential Monadic Test
Concept testing can be carried out in two methods, either as a monadic test or a sequential monadic test. In a monadic test, a person is given only one concept to evaluate. In a sequential monadic test, you give several concepts to a person to evaluate one at a time. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Monadic tests could be costly as large numbers of people are required to conduct tests for multiple concepts, while in sequential monadic tests; several concepts can be testing with fewer respondents with less expense.
Preparing a well-defined questionnaire
The third important thing to keep in mind is preparing the correct questionnaire for concept testing. This is a very crucial step in the testing. The questionnaire should ideally provide clear and detailed information about the proposed product, its benefits, application and any other factors important from a consumer’s point of view. This may also include the price as it is one of the important elements affecting the purchase intent of a consumer. The concept test should typically ask a consumer to rate the concept using measures such as purchase interest, purchase quantity, purchase frequency, value for the money, uniqueness, liking, confusion, brand fit, interest by variety and believability.
Conducting chip allocation exercise
The test could be for a new product or for an extension to an existing line of products. This method normally asks questions whether this new product would be an additional purchase in this category, or a substitute to a current brand, or a first purchase. If it replaces the current purchase which brand would get replaced. A chip allocation exercise helps to know which brand would lose the share. For example, respondents are shown a list of brands in the current ‘Shoes’ category. A respondent might give 10 points to a brand he loves, while others may distribute points as per their liking. There are ways to conduct pre and post-exposure chip allocation responses.
Benchmarking new concepts against past concepts
As a researcher, it is very important to know how a concept test would measure which ideas will succeed. Over a period of time and number of concepts tests being carried out, organizations develop their own ‘standards’ or ‘norms’ for evaluating test performance helping them to know the kind of results from a particular concept test. The past concept test success and failure information can help in comparing and understanding success or failure ratio of the new concept to a certain extent.
These are a few important things marketers and product managers should keep in mind while conducting concept tests. With the availability of more powerful sources of testing methods, one can dramatically improve the odds of a successful launch for a new product or service with the highest potential.
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