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The following is a guest post by Cherryl Pereira, Head of Content at Chisel Labs

Concept testing is a marketing technique that helps businesses to identify if their product or service will work for the customer.

It also helps them understand what customers want and how they see your business.

Concept tests are simple surveys created to get feedback on an idea, product, or service before it has been developed in full.

This blog post talks about everything you need to know about concept testing.

Introduction to concept testing
Properties of concept testing
The steps involved in concept testing
Pros of concept testing
Cons of concept testing
Concept testing success stories
Final thoughts


Introduction to concept testing

Concept testing is a process you conduct to determine if there are any issues with your product or service. This includes the name of the company, logo, slogan, packaging design, etc.

Concept tests help you understand how well people liked your idea. It also determines whether they would be interested in buying it.

If users find something wrong with your company’s branding you can make changes before launching officially.

For example, Facebook and Instagram where all the masses will get to see them first-hand.

Rather than just focus groups that many companies have tested over time before releasing them into consumers’ hands.

Feedback from potential customers should always be taken seriously. Because this could help save big money down the line once you start producing the product.

It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to marketing and branding your products. Especially if you are not sure of what works best or if they would like it.

Concept testing is the first stage of product development, which helps to determine the market potential for a new product.

Concept testing involves asking your target audience questions about their perceptions and experiences relevant to your concept.


Properties of concept testing

Concept testing is the process of testing a new product/service in the market before its actual launch.

This helps to know how consumers perceive and react towards this product.

You survey or interview consumers about their reaction to the brand name, logo, images, etc.

The main motive behind using concepts is that it gives an idea of whether the target audience will go for your product.


The steps involved in concept testing

The first step in concept testing is to come up with the name of the product. Then, a logo or symbol should be designed for this new product and it must have unique features that can attract consumer attention.

The next step is selecting demographic samples for conducting the survey.

This helps in getting accurate data from the desired population group. Respondents answer questions regarding their perception towards this concept/product, and more.

After collecting all information about consumers’ reactions to concepts, you should draft a report using an Excel sheet or other software available online.

As you can see that it is a simple process but also needs a lot of attention and precision. This survey must be conducted by professionals who have complete knowledge about marketing techniques.

The look, feel, and other factors should not distract respondents while answering questions.

So there are a few things to keep in mind before conducting concept testing surveys like pretesting the questionnaire, using appropriate data collection tools, and more.

You must taken proper care during all stages, or else this exercise will become useless.

One thing people often forget is how you communicate this information back to management.

If the company head doesn’t understand the data, then they may make the wrong decision based upon incorrect conclusions.

Concept Testing Survey Manuals provides more details on how to write a good concept test questionnaire.

It’s also important that you pre-test the instrument before conducting the final survey.

This can be done by asking a few customers or employees who are not included in the actual sample. You have to make sure your questions do not result in the wrong conclusion!


Pros of concept testing

  • Helps test how effective your brand will fare once you introduce products into existing markets. Businesses will have the opportunity to explore their product’s marketability before investing in development.
  • Helps marketers understand how well a brand resonates with its target audience. Concept testing helps businesses learn what kind of messaging is effective, if they are communicating effectively to potential customers, and where there may be holes in branding strategy. These findings can help fuel future marketing campaigns.
  • Allows companies to collect valuable data on whether or not people want certain products before production begins. If you’re considering introducing new technology but cannot get it off the ground, then concept testing could prove useful. It allows you to beat out even more traditional competitors who do not have access to this technology.
  • A key aspect of concept testing is companies not revealing themselves to their originators, allowing them to collect unbiased feedback without swaying respondents’ opinions. This makes the data collected more accurate and reliable than if people knew who had sponsored or created the product.
  • Businesses can save time, money, and effort by finding out what consumers want early in their development process. Concept testing allows for organizations to spend less overall. They get exactly what they need from a marketing standpoint with minimal overspending.
  • Help understand the appeal of your product and how it can be improved. Concept testing is a huge plus for understanding the target market better. The feedback you collect from this type of testing will help determine if the factors that drive consumers to buy your product are strong enough or need further clarification before moving forward with production and distribution.
  • This is a great way for companies to save money on ineffective products by developing ones people want. As well, it can give insight into how much budget you should put toward marketing efforts. This is an increasingly important consideration as digital channels are taking over traditional forms of advertising.
  • Collecting data through concept tests helps organizations know what they’re putting their money towards when creating new products. Whether that may be something already being sold in another part of the world, or just for products currently not available anywhere yet. If you are an e-commerce business, click here to learn how to effectively perform data collection.
  • A concept test simply asks respondents about the likelihood they would purchase a product before it hits store shelves. This can involve showing them images or written descriptions and asking their thoughts on everything from pricing to packaging design — or even going so far as to ask if they’d buy it at all.
  • Brand managers can then use that information to make decisions about whether they might want to invest more heavily into a product’s development and production stage – which will help them get their new items out there faster. It also helps inform how much money should be set aside for marketing efforts at different stages throughout the release process.
  • A concept test is an important step in ensuring your next big launch doesn’t flop—and it’s one most companies miss out on despite its benefits when properly implemented into product creation processes. This is because businesses tend to rely too heavily on market research data that isn’t specific enough with the information they are gathering, which can lead to faulty assumptions.
  • Helps you avoid major mistakes like putting too many eggs in one basket and spending a lot of money on products that will not sell.


Cons of concept testing

One of the main drawbacks of Concept testing is that it doesn’t always provide a clear guide to what the company can do next.

Another drawback of concept testing is that it often does not give you enough information to determine if your product will be successful in its chosen market segments or consumer groups.

Finally, some companies believe that concept testing is an unnecessary waste of time and resources.


Types of concept testing

There are four main types of concept testing:


  • Monadic
  • Sequential
  • Protomonadic
  • Comparative


Let us look into each one of them now.


Monadic testing: 

Monadic testing is the simplest form of concept testing. You test just one product by showing respondents a simple version of the ad along with an accompanying photo or illustration.

Monadic Concept Testing is good for developing ads and other promotional concepts that will be used in print media like magazines or newspapers.

The drawback to monadic concept tests is that it does not offer a comparison between competing ideas because only one option exists within the test environment.


Sequential monadic testing: 

This is a concept where the product is tested with different versions of ads. In this process, the product and each ad are only used for one test at a time to avoid contamination.

Sequentially Monadic Testing is good for developing ads and other promotional concepts that will be used in print media like magazines or newspapers.

The drawback to sequential monadic testing is that it does not offer a comparison between competing ideas because only one option exists within the test environment.


Protomonadic testing: 

The sequential monadic is often used in protomonadic testing which is a concept that includes the comparison of ideas.

This type of testing allows for several languages or ad concepts to be tested within one environment at the same time.

This can provide more information about how consumers perceive and identify with each option.

The drawback of protomonadic testing is that it does not allow for the direct comparison of options because they are being tested simultaneously.


Comparative testing: 

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Comparative testing on the other hand is a concept that directly compares one option against another option.

This type of testing allows you to test several concepts within one environment at once. However, it does not allow you to compare each idea with multiple ones simultaneously. You only measure two options concurrently.

The main drawback of comparative testing is that there can often be too much data from too little time if comparing more than two elements together in this way.

Now that we have so much about concept testing, why don’t we look into some real-life, successful examples of concept testing?


Concept testing success stories

  • Tesla, the electric car company, is a good example of concept testing. Back in 2008 when they were designing an SUV model with gull-wing doors at its back, they tested it by showing the sketches to customers and asking for feedback about their opinion on these types of doors. Customers reacted positively so Tesla decided to continue developing this prototype. Today we can see that decision was successful because people love Tesla’s, model X.
  • Airbnb is also another example of concept testing. They were thinking about creating a new kind of product which would allow them to offer bigger rooms than the traditional ones on their website but they didn’t know how customers would react if they offered this type of room with multiple beds. So, one night they created an account for themselves and rented some big multi-bedded apartments in New York City just to see what kind of reaction was waiting for them from future guests! They also took some of the best photos of these apartments and added them to their website. The result was a big success.


Final thoughts

All in all, concept testing is very important if you want to launch a new product or service.

It will help you to know if your product idea is worth pursuing or not.

In this blog post, we have discussed all the necessary details about what concept testing means and how it can be done with ease.

We hope that after reading this article you can use these techniques yourself to get accurate results from your target audience!


Cherryl Pereira is standing in front of a bush with white flowers. She is smiling, and her hair is down, partially covering her red outfitCherryl Pereira is the Head of Content at Chisel. Chisel Labs is a premiere agile product management software company that brings together roadmapping, team alignment, and customer connection.



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