Understanding Concept Testing

When testing a new product, service, or interface, there is nothing more important than experience. Research techniques that put the user first allow developers the opportunity to test the effectiveness of their product against their potential consumers. It is important to test every aspect of a new prototype or concept, from aesthetics to interface, and from architecture to specific features. The feedback gained through concept testing can be translated back into the design of the product repeatedly—until the desired effect is achieved and the concept is ready to serve their target audiences.

What Does Concept Testing Consist Of?

Concept testing is a process which often consists of surveys that are distributed in order to evaluate consumer acceptance of a new product idea prior to the introduction of this new product on the market. Concept testing particularly concerns the evaluation of new products, unlike advertising testing, brand testing, and packaging testing, which concern themselves with different aspects of the designing and marketing process. What is of the most importance at this stage is focusing on the product idea itself before any ideas are brought to fruition. Without a successful product from which to work, it will be difficult to proceed with advertising and marketing on a product that, perhaps at its most basic level, does not appeal to the intended audience. It is crucial to conduct such tests ahead of time, potentially saving companies quite a bit of money—especially if it is necessary to go back to the drawing board on a product that did not test well. By taking this preliminary step in the design process, companies are better able to predict the success rate of their product on the market, and they are able to better understand what it is that their consumers are looking for in such a product. Without partaking in concept testing, such companies would be taking a shot in the dark, hoping that their product satisfies their target audience they way that they anticipated.

Tools Used in Concept Testing

One crucial tool in the concept testing process is concept-screening surveys. These surveys are particularly helpful when there are a number of similar or alternative concepts related to the already-existent product in development. These surveys help designers and developers narrow down their options while deciding what direction to take with their product. These surveys are helpful when used to narrow a large number of options, but they do not provide the depth of knowledge required to fully develop a product for the market. Monadic concept-testing surveys will provide further insight into the specific product that is being developed, rather than simply focusing on the products of similar origin that are already in existence. “Monadic” simply refers to concepts that are tested in isolation. In order to progress in the development process, developers need to understand when to focus on similar products, and when to solely focus on their own. Each tool used in the concept testing process has specific objectives, but all of these tools must be used in conjunction with each other in order for the products to ultimately succeed on the competitive market.


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, omnibus surveys and many more. Visit Keltonglobal.com for more info.

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