The concept test is one of the most common market studies and a fundamental tool to ensure innovation success. In this article, find out what it is and how to start creating product concept tests quickly.
Numerous market studies will allow us to identify unmet needs and opportunities for which we can design new products or services. Any exploratory phase studies, usage and attitude studies or brand positioning studies can help us identify ideas for new products and services. The best ideas will form part of an innovation project that will progressively gain detail by adapting to the preferences and requirements of the market, the context and the target audience.
Precisely to select the best ideas and to obtain key information to help define the details of the product or service, it is important that in the initial stages, a concept test is carried out to help maximize the chances of success. Do you know what this type of market research consists of? Read on!
What is a concept test?
A concept test or proof of concept is a market study that is carried out to find out the degree of acceptance of an idea among the public. In other words, it consists of presenting a concept to the audience and asking them questions to find out what their impression of it is, whether it has a place in the market, whether they would buy it and how it could be improved to make it even more successful.
In a concept test, questions can be asked on any aspect related to the concept: name, price, format, etc. Doing so allows you to adapt the features of the product or service to the target market preferences and to know which aspects are welcomed and which are rejected.
The insights that can be gained from a concept test are very valuable to define a successful launch and minimize the risk of continuing to work on existing product ideas that are not very successful or even launching new products that fail, causing economic damage or even damaging the brand value.
Benefits of a concept test
A concept test provides you with key information that will allow you to make the best decisions to ensure the success of your launch. With a proper test, you will be able to:
- Evaluate multiple concepts. It is the first contact with the public, so collecting feedback on the proposed idea and its essential characteristics is essential.
- Optimize the product or service. Not only does it let you know if the details defined to date manage to convince your audience, but you can also improve acceptance with the feedback gathered in the study.
- Identify related consumer segments. Through a concept test, you can identify the most committed audience to your product that you can reach more easily and successfully.
- Estimate sales. Knowing how a product will be received helps to establish more precise and real sales targets.
- Plan communication. Obtaining feedback from the audience in relation to the main aspects of your product or service is essential to define the best communication strategy to have an impact on them.
- Eliminate ideas that are bound to fail. A concept with little potential can mean a bad reputation, so it is important to sift out concepts with little potential in the early stages.
- Minimize economic risks. Commercializing a product is costly, so it must be done with guarantees of success and viability. A small investment in a concept test will always be much less than the cost of investing in the development and launch of a product or service that fails.
Concept testing as part of innovation research
Concept testing is carried out in the early stages of the research process, between the generation of ideas and the later stages when all the details of the research are being defined. To ensure that all decisions made progressively go in the right direction, it is very important not only to do the concept test, but also to evaluate specific aspects of the product or service during all phases of product development. For this, there are other market studies that Zinklar allows you to carry out in an agile way:
- Naming test: it is used to find out if the chosen name reflects the personality and values of the brand. This way it is easier for the consumer to connect with it.
- Logo test: logos are the identifying element of a brand and should reflect the brand’s values and personality. Not conveying the right message can be a big mistake, so it is important to define a logo that has the desired impact. It is important for this type of test to use images that can be used to create heat maps.
- Product test: allows different final product options to be evaluated in order to choose the one that best suits the tastes of consumers and users.
- Packaging test. If the product is going to be marketed in packaging, you can always evaluate different material and design alternatives to find the most attractive option.
- Price test: evaluating different price alternatives and promotions is an effective way to measure their impact on the intention to purchase the product or service.
- Advertising test. Although advertising is a complete branch of market research, on many occasions innovation processes will be supported by campaigns that it is also important to evaluate to ensure that they are effective in publicizing and conveying the benefits of the new product or service. Nowadays it is possible to evaluate all types of advertising campaigns, at different stages of development, from storyboards to final executions and in all types of advertising media.
When to carry out a concept test?
The right time to conduct a concept test is in the early stages, when several ideas have already been identified but no investment has yet been made in the development of prototypes. This saves time and resources, as ideas with less potential can be discarded and efforts can be concentrated on further developing the target audience’s favorite concepts.
It should be borne in mind that it is not necessary to have defined in full detail the characteristics of the product or service – specific aspects can be further evaluated as the process progresses – but it is important that the concept is sufficiently developed so that the target audience can fully understand the concept and its main features.
Concept testing methods
There are different methodologies for concept testing. Choosing the most appropriate one will depend on the research objectives to be covered. A monadic test will allow each concept to be assessed separately so that exposure to a first concept will not influence the perception of the others. If only one product or service is to be launched in the end, this type of concept test is much more similar to the situation faced by the consumer who will not be able to see the other products that may have been created.
A monadic concept test will also allow for a more detailed understanding of how to continue to improve the concept in subsequent phases, since by evaluating only one single concept, it is possible to spend more of the questionnaire time collecting this type of information. On other occasions, mainly when the number of concepts to be evaluated is large, it may be interesting to carry out a comparative concept test that will allow us to quickly and efficiently sift through the concepts with the greatest potential. Find out more about the different methodologies for concept testing in our article on monadic, comparative and sequential monadic tests.
How to do a concept test?
To do it, you have to take into account different aspects:
- Define the target audience. Depending on the type of product or service, it is necessary to define the desired characteristics of the sample in order to address our target audience as directly as possible. With Zinklar you can choose the sample based on demographic criteria, you can include filter questions to segment the population of your interest or you can even access directly to more than 2,000 profiles already created that will help you to carry out the study on those people that really matter.
- Choose the best methodological alternative. Depending on the objective and needs of the study, you should choose to carry out a monadic, sequential monadic or comparative test. If you have doubts about which methodology to choose, you can always contact our team of research experts who will guide your steps according to your needs.
- Create the questionnaire. With Zinklar you can create your own questionnaire by choosing a concept test template designed by our team of experts or you can create your own study from scratch to suit your needs. If you choose the latter option, it is important to think carefully about the aspects to ask, what options to offer and what type of question is best in each case. With the Zinklar platform you have all kinds of questions at your fingertips, from simple dichotomous questions to heat maps that allow you to display visual descriptions.
Now you know all the details about concept testing – discover all the possibilities and create your own concept test easily with Zinklar!