Concept in Product Development: What is Product Tests, How to Use It?

A product manager receives requests from customers to add new features to their existing products every day. In such cases, it becomes difficult for an organization to decide which feature demands and which product to invest in. And when you think about it, 95% of all product launches fail. That’s why it’s so important to make sure every aspect and launch of the product has to be perfect. This is where concept testing comes in. This article contains information about what concept testing is, its benefits and methods.

Concept Test Concept Definition

Concept testing is defined as a research method that involves asking customers questions about concepts and ideas for a product or service before they actually launch it. Thus, it can measure the acceptance and purchase requests of customers. And that’s why it helps make critical decisions before launch.

Benefits of Concept Test

Not every new product or feature idea is successful. Only customers can determine whether an idea will be successful or not. For this reason, it is very important that ideas and concepts are tested before presenting to customers. Information gathered using concept testing helps bring effective and successful products to the market. By using the concept test, in-depth insights into different aspects of the product idea are obtained. Questions about a particular feature, appearance and impression, prices, and more can be verified so that every detail is validated before placing the product on the market. Organizations and businesses use surveys to perform concept tests, making it a simple offering for brands of all sizes to use.

Concept Test Methods

Over the years, researchers have designed and implemented many different concept testing methods. These methods are categorized according to how the concepts are displayed. Each of these methods is suitable for different types of research. Concept testing is easily done with the help of a research platform. Here are four main methods of concept testing:

Comparison Test

In the comparison test, participants are presented with two or more concepts. Participants compare these concepts using ranking or ranking questions or simply asking them to choose the best concept displayed. Comparison tests give clear and easily understandable results. It is easy to determine which concept will win. However, the results lack context. There is no way of telling participants why they prefer one concept over others, and it is essential to understand these details before successfully launching a product.

Monadic Test

In a monadic test, the target audience is divided into more than one group. Only one concept is shown to each group. These tests focus on analyzing a single concept in depth. A monadic test questionnaire is usually short and highly targeted. Since each group of respondents sees only one concept, it is possible to go in depth without doing the survey long. Researchers, for example, what they like about the concept, the look and feel, price point, etc. They can ask follow-up questions about the various attributes of a concept. Although each participant group sees different concepts separately, the questions will be the same for each concept.

Monadic test surveys are short and give researchers the flexibility to ask multiple follow-up questions. So the results learn more about why one particular concept is better than others. However, the sample size required to run a monadic test is very large, as the target audience is divided into multiple groups. The sample size is more important as various concepts need to be tested. Sample size increase significantly increases research cost.

Sequential Monadic Test

Like the monadic test, in sequential monadic tests, the target audience is divided into more than one group. But instead of showing a single concept, each group is presented with all the concepts. The order in the concepts is randomly chosen to avoid bias. Survey respondents are asked the same follow-up questions for each concept for greater understanding. The size of the target audience required to perform an ordered monadic test is relatively small, as each group of respondents sees all the concepts. Multiple concepts can be tested in a single round. Therefore, sequential monadic tests are more cost effective and easy to use. This concept testing method is ideal for research with budget constraints or only a small target audience.

However, the length of the questionnaire is quite long as all concepts are presented to each participant group. This affects the completion rate and can cause non-response bias. Researchers can reduce the length of the questionnaire by limiting the number of questions. However, this affects the details of the insights collected. Sequential monadic tests are also subject to other biases such as interaction deviation or sequence deviation.

Protomonadic Test

A protomonadic test includes a sequential monadic test followed by a comparison test. Here, participants first evaluate multiple concepts and then are asked to choose their preferred concept. This design is useful for validating the results of a sequential monadic test. Researchers can verify whether the concept chosen in the comparison test is compatible with the information gathered about each concept.

Concept Test Usage Areas

Some of the most common use cases where concept testing can be applied are:

Product development

Concept testing is widely used by companies to make decisions when developing new products. It provides an opportunity to learn what features customers care about and which ones to be overlooked, as well as gaining insight into the problems customers are facing with existing features. Using usability testing survey and concept testing, you can measure customers’ expectations, make adjustments, and successfully launch the product.

New Home Page Design

Redesigning the home page for the company’s website can be difficult. For most SaaS and e-commerce businesses, the home page is the first point of contact with potential customers. That’s why it is imperative that every work is done correctly when redesigning the website. Using concept testing, their designs can be presented to clients who will interact with them and have a clear idea of ​​what they feel. Using these results, it can fix flaws in the design and prepare for the perfect launch.

Testing the New Logo

The logo is a vital part of the company’s brand. Often times, it’s the first thing customers notice about the business. Therefore, when designing a new logo, it is essential to know how customers will react to the new design and how they can communicate the brand visually. Concept testing helps different logo designs to be tested and developed to appeal to customers.

Offers and Pricing

Concept testing comes in handy when you’re planning to offer a discount for a new product or a new pricing exercise. It’s important to test customers’ initial reaction and identify features and benefits that will excite them. You can run a concept test on upgrade pages or offer discounts to gauge whether customers are interested.

Ad Test

It is common practice to test ads, banners and images on websites to determine the best possible combination. Concept testing can provide information such as which ad got the most attention or resulted in most conversions. Since the feedback comes directly from consumers, you can count on its validity and your advertising and marketing strategy can be planned accordingly.

As a result, using concept testing while developing a product helps R&D and marketing strategies develop more efficiently. It can reduce the time required to market and launch the new product and keep customers satisfied.


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