Concept testing is a huge research arena. We could dedicate pages to it, but we think it’s better to highlight three key things to consider:
· Your sample – who you interview – is critical. One of our key benchmarks is that your concept should. ideally, have 60% approval (minimum) at the concept stage; if you are launching a product that is likely to have niche appeal, you need to reflect that in who you interview, otherwise your product has little opportunity to get through initial testing
· How you display the concept. Obviously at an early stage the packaging is unlikely to be finalised and, indeed, your concept may be little more than a few words or thumbnail sketches. To give your concept its optimal chance of success, take care over your presentation. We find mood boards, a combination of words and pictures, work well – but take care to really craft them. This is particularly pertinent in the online world – and about 80% of our concept tests are being done online these days.
· Take open-ended feedback. The devil is in the detail with concept tests, particularly early stage ones. Use your scalar questions to measure but be informed by open-ended insight; what do the respondents particularly like or dislike about a concept? Are there elements of it that are difficult to understand? Are there ways they might use it? And, most crucially, how could it be improved?
Most tests we run these days tend to cover 3-4 concepts, and sometimes more. To help clients take the research forward (to product, packaging and pricing), when presenting the results we will usually group the results for the concepts into 3 categories: proceed, adjust or discard. These, we believe, are fairly self-explanatory!