What is Concept Testing?
Concept Testing is the process of evaluating consumer response to an idea before introducing a product to market. Concept testing identifies perceptions, wants and needs of a product or service.
Why is Concept Testing Important?
Concept testing reshapes and refines ideas so they have greater potential for market acceptance. Specifically, concept testing:
- Indicates concentrated segments of the population to which the product appeals
- Assesses the relative appeal of alternative product ideas/configurations/positions and features desirable to the targeted market segments
- Provides necessary information for developing the product and its promotion, distribution and pricing
Concept testing provides insight for designing a more optimal product or service. When made actionable, concept tests allow you to laser focus on your products and priorities. Concept tests have the ability to improve your product, shift your priorities and increase your product-market match.
Concept Testing Methods
There are a variety of concept testing approaches. Each has a different objective and can provide different benefits. Here are several methods to consider:
New Product Concept Tests
Use new product concept tests to identify the benefits most important to customers and the features that are most likely to create those benefits. Features can be categorized into “need to haves” and “nice to haves.” You need to identify and prioritize customer needs for product development and promotion. This type of concept test can also test customer initial reactions to the concept (Reaction and Adoption Test).
Product Modification or Upgrade Tests
Reformulations, modifications, and upgrades can add new life to existing products and services. With product modification or upgrade tests, identifying the optimal bundle of features is a priority. It’s critical to differentiate and prioritize the release of new features that are “need to haves” vs. “nice to haves” so you can create products and services that are truly “new and improved,” or worthy of a new release or upgrade.
Migration Path Tests
Many products and services offer upgrade or migration paths. For many customers, an upgrade is an alternative to the next new thing. Migration path tests help you understand the key features and benefits and then map consumer needs to the likelihood of upgrading an existing product or adopting a new technology. You will learn if the benefits outweigh the costs and challenges of changing. Features, benefits, brands, image, costs, and training are just a few factors to consider.
Product Usability and Serviceability Tests
Concept use tests assess the user experience. How can the experience with a specific product or service be improved? You can focus this research on a variety of areas—ease of use; similarity to current usage patterns; the ability to adapt and use critical feature implementations; and the congruency with current image, usage patterns and service provisions.
Pricing and Incentives Tests
No one underestimates the importance of price expectations in new product adoptions. Price, incentives, bundling, cross product tie-ins and cost mitigating factors, such as warranties and use agreements, all change price perceptions and perceptions of value. Pricing and incentive tests determine the optimal pricing point for new product concept bundles and can estimate customer price acceptability curves.
Improve Concept Testing with Qualtrics
Better decisions start with data. Concept testing helps companies make better decisions for creating optimal products and services. You can create nearly any concept test you can imagine with Qualtrics online survey software.