The Incredible Benefits of Successful Product Concept Testing

What is Product Concept Testing?

A study, performed by Mckinsey, found that about half of all products released into the market do not meet their business targets. The gap between the expectation and reality of a company’s goals is usually due to:

  1. a lack of information about their product and
  2. where it will fit into the market.

Understanding the strengths, weaknesses and potential of a product before it launches is crucial to its success.

Product concept testing is the type of service a business needs to ensure the introduction of their product to market is a successful one, without surprises. Concept testing is an integral part of the product launch process, that investigates how potential consumers will react to a product or service before it hits the market. This a such a valuable step in the development of a concept, as the participation of consumers can inform – and enhance – the appeal and value of what that business is offering.

The information gathered in this process can include anything from the interpretations of a product, to its price and most attractive features. It helps predict the effectiveness of the concept, messaging and advertising behind a new product or service before investing the time and money required in the final development, manufacturing and sale of it.

How Does it Work?

Product concept testing allows a producer or provider to anticipate what is ahead and to prepare for and implement changes where necessary. At that point, one is well-equipped to develop market strategies based on those discoveries to reach the highest potential. The viability of the concept, the concept compared to other similar ones in the market and what can be done to maximise the acceptability of the concept and its market impact are the key insights provided.

There are generally four stages in the process of product concept testing that provide the foundations of a successful release to market:

Development stage

  • The development stage of a concept’s journey to production requires rigorous testing of that concept before manufacturing and marketing. In this stage of the process, businesses have the opportunity to refine its features and drive focus towards what really matters to potential customers.

Promotional campaign

  • The concept testing continues after refining the actual product. The next step is designing a promotional campaign that resonates with those potential customers. Even if someone manufactures the best product in the world; a bad promotional campaign can sink that product.

Distribution and logistics

  • The logistics of your product and, eventually, its distribution are an underappreciated part of concept testing. Exploring this helps a business understand where to sell, the demand and willingness to wait for and the best distribution practices of your product.

Pricing of the product

  • Determining a reasonable and profitable price point for a product is vital to avoiding a predetermined price that is too high or too low for the market it is entering. Concept testing helps verify the ideal price of a product to meet consumer demands as well as decide whether it should be sold as a normal or luxury item.

What Are the Benefits?

The primary benefit of product concept testing is an obvious one. Integrating the research and data collected during the testing process could save a business hundreds of thousands as well as weeks,or even months, in development and manufacturing time. By identifying marginal product concepts, a producer can change their investment to increase a low probability of success or avoid it, altogether.

The benefits of well-conducted and detailed product concept test, with careful and targeted research; gives a company the opportunity to check, mend and course-correct a product launch before its release – and not after. The testing provides a controlled environment where different hypotheses and scenarios can be researched, evaluated and analysed.

Determining the drivers of product purchasing, predicted revenue and the likelihood of adoption into the market are all assessed; offering a detailed breakdown of a concept’s strengths and vulnerabilities. Alternative options and competitive products are compared to identify which customer segment are most interested and to ensure optimal configurations.

The qualitative and quantitative data is measured and then collected into key takeaways of the concept’s potential and actionable recommendations to reach or improve that potential. The insights gained are turned into applicable and achievable designs and redesigns of the product or the messaging and positioning of that product in the market. By basing the design of a product – and its launch – on scientific data, sourced directly from consumers make the resulting recommendations,  capable of minimising the risks and maximising the revenue potential of a concept.

Is it Worth Doing?

The most important question is: what is the cost of launching an unsuccessful product? Losing time and money, the hope of a new concept and the potential of a new product, should not be worth more than the investment in market research to test the concept. Making well-informed and intelligent business decisions makes financial sense.

You will be able to identify and fix problems prior to launch, rather than after. The sooner concept testing is commenced, the more flexibility your business is afforded in the creation and customisation of a new product. Your customers get what they truly want and need – and you the success you deserve.

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