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Finding the Right Concept Testing Formula

Putting the Consumer Voice at the Heart of Research

Concept testing further aims to gather feedback and insights from the target audience to assess the viability and appeal of a concept, as Savanta notes in its blog, “What is the objective of concept testing research?” This helps to inform decision-making, refine concepts, and minimize the risks associated with new concept development. This can also help avoid failure in the marketplace. For example, does everyone remember, New Coke?

Kadence International details “5 reasons why concept testing is important,” in its blog. UX designers can play a key role in concept testing as this is often centered on user-centered design principles. The company notes, “Testing is the process of uncovering what your potential consumers like or dislike about your concept, helping you identify which ideas will fly and guiding their future development to ensure success. What’s more, concept testing can enable marketers to understand what to communicate at launch while also helping to identify the customer segments with the most potential.” Kadence’s five key reasons for concept testing are:

  1. Concept testing can help you filter ideas so you know which to develop further.
  2. Concept testing can help you steer clear of bad decision-making.
  3. Concept testing can help you understand what elements matter to consumers.
  4. Concept testing enables you to fix problems prior to launch.
  5. Ultimately, concept testing ensures that you develop products that consumers will buy.

Investing in Product Forecasting

In All Things Insights’ “Investing Insights into Product & Brand Innovation,” we further explored this topic. Customer insights are a key cog in driving brand and product developments. And so, it’s imperative that the insights discipline invests in product and brand innovation. Our H2 2022 Insights Spend & Trends Report showcased these results—insights was aiming the greatest share of budget accordingly.

In “Putting Together Your Innovation Team,” All Things Innovation looked at this topic through the lens of interdisciplinary teams, including that of the UX designer. As the community’s recent Innovation Spend & Trends Report indicated, innovation teams are not working in a bubble, or at least not as much as they used to. Are the days of working in a “silo” gone forever? Not necessarily, however, moving forward for agile organizations there is a much greater emphasis on cross-collaboration with other teams and departments in the company. From marketing and finance, to research and insights, to technology and IT services, innovation teams are expected to integrate, co-create and align with the business and its strategies on a broader level.

Taking a Systematic Approach to Concept Testing

Concept testing is a crucial component of market research, offering several key benefits. We asked ChatGPT to outline a few of the top benefits:

  1. Validation of Ideas: Concept testing allows businesses to gauge the viability of new product or service ideas before investing significant resources into development and launch. By presenting concepts to target consumers, companies can assess interest levels, gather feedback, and validate whether the idea resonates with the intended audience.
  2. Risk Reduction: By identifying potential flaws or weaknesses in a concept early on, concept testing helps mitigate risks associated with launching unsuccessful products or services. Businesses can identify and address issues such as lack of market demand, misalignment with consumer preferences, or competitive disadvantages before committing to full-scale production or implementation.
  3. Optimization of Features: Concept testing provides valuable insights into consumer preferences and expectations, allowing businesses to optimize product or service features to better meet customer needs. By soliciting feedback on various aspects of the concept, such as design, functionality, pricing, and messaging, companies can fine-tune their offerings to maximize appeal and competitiveness in the market.
  4. Enhanced Marketing Strategy: Understanding consumer reactions to different concepts can inform marketing strategies and messaging tactics. Concept testing helps businesses identify the most compelling value propositions, positioning strategies, and communication channels to effectively engage target audiences and drive purchase intent.
  5. Resource Allocation: Concept testing enables more informed decision-making regarding resource allocation, helping businesses prioritize investment in concepts with the highest potential for success. By focusing resources on concepts that resonate most strongly with consumers, companies can optimize their return on investment and allocate resources more efficiently.
  6. Competitive Advantage: Early identification of promising concepts and refinement based on consumer feedback can provide businesses with a competitive advantage in the marketplace. By staying ahead of consumer trends and preferences, companies can develop innovative products or services that differentiate them from competitors and capture market share more effectively.

Meeting the Needs of the Target Audience

Overall, concept testing in market research offers businesses a systematic approach to assess and refine new ideas, minimize risks, and maximize the likelihood of success in the marketplace. By leveraging consumer feedback and insights, companies can make more informed decisions and develop offerings that meet the needs and desires of their target audience.

As Kadence notes in its blog, concept testing can identify consumer pain points—as well as their delight—relating to new ideas. “Concept testing plays a pivotal role in the product development process by providing valuable insights and feedback from the target audience. By leveraging this feedback, businesses can refine their concepts, build better products, and increase their chances of delivering solutions that meet customer needs and expectations. This iterative and user-centered approach enhances the overall product quality and increases the likelihood of market acceptance and success.”

Video courtesy of Jotform


  • Matt Kramer

    Matthew Kramer is the Digital Editor for All Things Insights & All Things Innovation. He has over 20 years of experience working in publishing and media companies, on a variety of business-to-business publications, websites and trade shows.

    View all posts

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