Earlier this year, we published a blog series based on forecasting, which generated quite a bit of discussion on a number of fronts. The main focus of the dialog centered on the need for more consistent and comprehensive concept testing.
So, exactly what makes a concept test comprehensive? This was the most important factor under consideration when Actionable Research conceived its concept testing methodology.
Today, we embark on a new blog series regarding this very topic and strive to answer the following questions:
What is concept testing, and why is it important?
What problems are introduced into the product development process when concept testing goes wrong (or isn’t done at all)?
What should be included in every concept testing exercise?
Is talking about price essential in concept testing? How is it done?
How does concept testing differ in qualitative vs. quantitative settings?
That is a lot to cover, but we are going to get it done before Christmas. On to the first question:
What is concept testing and why is it so important?
I have chosen this one for the introduction article because, well, it introduces the topic. But more than that, if you are reading this and are a professional, you know what concept testing is and have likely used it in the past. However, since this can be a broad subject with many levels, our definition here will be a bit more limited.
A concept test is a presentation of an idea, new technology, approach, or product, in varying states of completeness, that is designed to receive a response from a specific audience to determine its fitness for a market and its purpose, relative to its cost.
Your first thought is probably that this is a very long definition. In this case, it is a requirement. We wish to narrow our discussion to concept testing that allows its presenter to understand, to the degree possible, the value of their new innovation.
This definition (intentionally) implies a number of things:
The presentation is designed to elicit the responses sought. This means the presentation itself is important.
Responses are necessary. They can come in qualitative or quantitative form, and fuel the presenter’s understanding.
A specific audience is being addressed.
Fitness for a market and purpose each have a detailed definition.
The comparison between the value received from the concept and its “cost” is a real value that needs be determined in the test.
The upcoming blog series will address these questions (although not necessarily in this order) and will provide the reader with greater clarity surrounding all aspects of the concept testing process.
In addition to our blog series, you can download our white paper on the subject, entitled “Actionable, Comprehensive Concept Testing,” coming soon.