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By: Damon Za
Concept testing is an excellent way to help get your products and ideas from the conceptualization phase to the development phase. Many companies and businesses often skip concept testing in favor of other group testing and focus group evaluations, but such a decision can actually leave them missing key information. If you are developing new, fresh ideas and want to know what the public thinks, you may want to perform some concept testing using a professional research firm. But what is concept testing, and why is it so important? Here are the most important things you need to know about concept testing and why it can help your company succeed.

Concept testing is “the process of using quantitative methods (and sometimes in the earlier stages qualitative methods) to evaluate consumer response to a product idea prior to the introduction of a product to the market.” Unlike market testing, brand testing, and other communication testing, concept testing focuses on the product itself (not on the ways in which it is sold or branded), and it uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods to determine people’s responses.

The idea of concept testing is absolutely essential for bringing a new product to market. Through concept testing, your company can gauge how people respond to the very idea of the product or service, stripped of all the other stuff that surrounds it, and it also helps you target potential issues with the product long before you’ve invested additional resources.

In general, concept testing comes in three different methodologies : monadic, sequential monadic, and paired comparison. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages :

• Monadic : The concept is presented on its own, without others for comparison. This offers participants the chance to look at the concept without other competing biases, but it can leave them without enough context to properly evaluate the idea.

• Sequential monadic : The concept is presented individually within a series of different concepts, often in a randomized order. This provides a better context for the participants, but it requires a greater investment of money and resources into the concept testing.

• Paired Comparison : The concept is presented directly alongside another similar concept, providing plenty of context for participants. It also offers you the chance to test multiple concepts next to each other to see which is the strongest.

Using these various methods to determine the public’s reaction to your potential concepts can help your business ensure its own success, but it can also help you to save money early on in the development stages. Unlike other kinds of market testing, concept testing happens extremely early in the development stage. With proper concept testing using the right methodology for your potential products, you can determine which ideas will work, and which won’t—before you invest significant time and resources into the idea. That means savings long before the idea’s even off the ground.

Concept testing helps your company or business evaluate your ideas and learn what is working, and what isn’t, before you head to market. If you are looking for concept testing services, always use professional research firms.

Kelton, a market research firm in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and London provides actionable strategic plans with a range of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies like brand tracking, customer journey mapping, market segmentation, concept testing ( http://keltonglobal.com/product/design/ ), omnibus surveys and many more. Visit http://keltonglobal.com/ for more info.
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