Concept testing and product optimization is about assessing new product ideas and to test repositioning and improvement of existing products. The process involves gathering information “evidence” to build informed go-to-market strategies. The evidence also guides “go” or “not go” decisions, consequently saving capital, time and effort.
Creating Actionable Product Concept Tests: So what are the key steps in conducting product concept tests?
- Conduct qualitative research of your target audience. Determine audience language and terminology around product. Leave internal staff out of this process.
- Isolate the benefits and attributes that are most important to target audience.
- Identify and develop Reasons- to-believe* or reexamine current product claims.
- The qualitative research is the beginning and should lead to in-depth quantitative research.
- Explore competitive advantage and likely threats from competing products/services. (SWOT Analysis)
*Reason-to-believe: The idea of positioning and gaining a unique position in customer’s minds and hearts. Establishing brand identity using the concepts of value; values; personality; attributes; and benefits.
A reason to believe should always accompany your brand statement. It builds the case for the target audience accepting your brand position or unique selling proposition as true and credible.
So as you consider your position in the hearts and minds of your intended audience, remember that it is one thing to say your position, another thing to get people to believe it. Give them a reason-to-believe.