What is Concept Testing?


When your company is developing a new product or a product update, whether it's an incremental change or a revolutionary idea, it is important to understand how your audience will react to its introduction. Obviously, some product development efforts require significant feedback on many iterations of a particular product prior to their launch.

From a big picture perspective, concept testing research should examine your concept’s relationship to its target audience and, if different, to its market at large. At Actionable Research, we believe that a comprehensive product test is something that should be well-designed, involving the evaluation of audience, behaviors, the attributes that describe your product's value and the product overall in context. Doing this process correctly is preparation for success. 

Failing to Test Your Product Prior to Launch Introduces Significant Risk
As we have pointed out in past blogs, most products introduced into the marketplace fail to perform as expected. While the reasons why this happens is based on many factors, often it occurs because product ideas and configurations are not adequately evaluated before the products are launched. 
We at Actionable Research have significant experience with helping our clients adequately test their products before launch, and have a proven, cost-effective methodology to ensure consistent, reproducible results. 



How Concept Testing Works


Concept testing involves several steps, including determining the target audience for the research, understanding any notable segmentations of the audience based on usage, buying behaviors and/or attitudes, and the application of question methods that allow a clear determination of product appeal.


Determining the Target Audience and Establishing Segments for the Concept Test

Prior to the application of the test itself, Actionable Research will screen surveyees or interviewees to ensure they are indeed members of the target audience and are profiled based on a number of other dimensions, as appropriate for any particular product or service. These categories include: 

  • Demographics and specialty
  • Product usage behavior
  • Psychographics
  • Adopter profile (innovator, early majority, etc.)
  • Life priorities 
  • Networking profile (gauge of relative influence in their audience group)
Actionable Product Concept Testing Quadrants

Actionable Research has a strategically designed process to test concepts, which offers insights into the urgency of the problem being solved, the degree to which the product is a fit for the problem, the rate of adoption that can be expected for the product, and the impact on the market; that is, how current product usage will be affected by the presence of the new product in the marketplace.

Concept Testing Methodology Graphic


Methods that Work in Conjunction with Concept Testing

As can be imagined, there are different approaches that can be used to evaluate a concept and its underlying attributes and value, and their use is based on the stage of product development and the goals of the evaluation. Actionable may recommend methodologies such as Conjoint Analysis, MaxDiff, System One, Van Westendorp, Gabor-Granger price wheel, or others. 


We have tested many well-known products, from surgical ablation systems and sterilization systems, and many in between. Do you have a product to evaluate or are you in the early stages of considering product research? We can help, and in a variety of methods based on your budget and needs. Contact us today for a more detailed view of our concept testing methodology and how it can specifically meet your needs.



Our Concept Testing Experience


Actionable Research has conducted concept tests in medical devices, clinical diagnostics, life sciences/biotechnology, Media Creation and Management, IoT and Home Automation and many, many others. Among the most notable concept tests:

Medical, Dental and Biotechnology
  • A new arthroscopic ablation instrument
  • Many new dental materials and products
  • A new novel diagnostic for the assessment of cardiac risk
  • A new automated sample handling system for biopharma labs
  • A new non-invasive hemodynamic monitor
  • A new implantable cardiac device
  • A new endoscope reprocessor
  • A new orthodontic tooth movement acceleration device
  • Too many more to list
Information Technology
  • A new non-linear video editor
  • A new home automation solution
  • A new line of special effects plug-ins
  • Many, many more
  • A payroll service designed for small business
  • A business security monitoring service
  • A new baseball cap custom ordering environment.


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To learn more about these services, or our research recommendations for your specific needs, contact us.