3 insights from concept testing you’d be lost without

Kelsey Sullivan

Launching a new product or innovation is a tricky thing. And with the reality being that the majority of new product launches tend to fail, how do you know if your innovation is worth the risk? 

Enter: concept testing. At its core, concept testing allows brands to test and learn at each stage of the innovation cycle to predict the success potential of a product. 

By providing valuable insight into how your product will perform in the market, concept testing helps to reduce the risk that’s involved — by gauging consumer reaction to finding the ideal price point and more. And the earlier and more frequently you do this, the better, because this will give you multiple opportunities to optimize your idea to its fullest potential.  

In this article, we’ll cover the three things concept testing will help you to understand to launch your product with confidence.

🎙️ This is how you innovate

If you prefer to listen, check out our podcast interview with Matt Cahill, Senior Director, Consumer Insights Activation at McDonald's, who shares his rules for driving innovation.

1. How consumers will react to your product

If we’re being honest, great products are the ones that consumers actually need and want. Businesses that place the consumer at the core of their innovation process are the ones that are able to achieve sustainable growth (and continued success in launching new products).

But how do you truly understand what your consumers want or need? How do you know if what you’re trying to create will offer up the right solution?

Our advice? Investigate how they interact with products and services and, perhaps most importantly, identify the problems they are experiencing that can be addressed through innovation. 

Concept testing can help you understand if your innovation idea is solving the right consumer problem — a problem people actually think is worth solving and is credible for your brand to solve, or if there are other more relevant pain points you can address.

11 things you can do to be more customer centric

Check out our article for more on how to bring customer-centricity into your business.

But it doesn’t have to be all about problems! You could also be looking into creating a variation such as a new flavor for an existing product that consumers already love. Concept testing will help you gauge how they respond to the iteration and help you decide whether it’s worth creating. 

What does your consumer like about your concept? Or, what do they not like? Does this actually solve a problem, known or unknown, they are experiencing? Would they be willing to give it a try? These are all questions that can be answered through concept testing. 

Capturing this type of consumer feedback while developing your ideas will not only help ensure you’re on the right track, but also make sure the products you bring to market will pass the desirability test and drive growth for your brand.

🍦 McDonald’s spots winning McFlurry flavors

Take a look at how McDonald’s used early-stage concept testing to spot the McFlurry flavors that would appeal to consumers and meet specific company goals at the same time.

2. The best way to position your product

In order to maximize your brand’s innovations, it's important to help consumers understand why your solution is superior to your competitors. 

Essentially, why should they choose your product over others? And what can you do to position your product as the better option?  

Concept testing will help you explore different ways to talk about your innovation, identifying key messages and proof points, that will attract attention and drive trials in a competitive environment. Answering questions like: Is the messaging resonating with consumers? What about the imagery? Could they see themselves using it?

By listening to what your audience has to say and truly considering their reactions by making adjustments along the way, you’ll get to a place where your product and positioning is better received and feel more confident bringing it to market.

New Wotsits Giants are a huge success

When the new product Wotsits Giants launched, it was a big hit. But how did the company spot this potential innovation among all other ideas?

3. How pricing will influence your audience

Cha-ching! When you see a price tag that’s higher (or even lower) than what you were expecting, have you ever reconsidered your purchase?  

Pricing is high in consumers' decision-making process in many industries, but this doesn't mean they're always looking for the cheapest option. Pricing can influence the way they perceive product quality and how they trade-off between competitor products. 

Through concept testing, you can understand how the elements of your value proposition, including pricing, are working (or not working) together.

How to land your pricing strategy in a cost of living crisis

It's critical for brands to make sure they understand how consumer behavior is evolving and how their pricing strategies should reflect those changes. Check out our article for the main ways we’ve seen consumer behavior shift when facing a cost of living crisis and how brands can stay on top of it.

Are you demonstrating superior quality with this product? If so, do you need to present a more premium price versus others in the same category? Or, would consumers buy more or more frequently if you offered a discounted price?

To better determine the appropriate price for your product, you should refer to the responses you’re seeing in your concept tests, and what your intended use of the product is. Because while you do want to ensure business profit, you don’t want price-point to be the one thing that’s deterring consumers from purchasing your product. 

💸 Find the right price

Discover how Zappi can help you find the price points that maximize appeal and revenue and see how well your pricing fits consumer expectations of your brand.

Final thoughts

There’s a lot to consider when developing a new product or innovation. 

While there are a number of benefits to concept testing, these three points are particularly crucial in determining how your product will perform in-market. 

When you take the time to test your concepts with consumers, you can truly get a better understanding of how your product will be received. 

Learn more about how Zappi can help you identify the concepts with the highest potential here.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Each month we share the latest thinking from insights leaders and Zappi experts, open roles that might interest you, and maybe even a chart or two for all you data nerds out there.

Talk to us