Concept Testing: Meaning, Definition, and Examples

Learn the definition of concept testing, methods, and how to apply it.

Getting ready to launch a new product or service? Redesigning your website or logo? No matter what big idea you have, it’s important to get it right the first time. Concept testing helps you refine everything from a product idea to an ad campaign, a new logo to a landing page, and anything in between. By getting direct feedback from your target audience, you can make critical, well-informed decisions before the launch.

So, what is concept testing, and how can it benefit your brand or business? Read on to learn all about this critical process, as well as proven concept testing methods that ensure a successful product launch.

What is concept testing?

Concept testing often takes the form of a survey. By asking a target audience direct, focused questions, design teams can evaluate product development, marketing campaigns, or even something as simple as a slogan or logo. Whether you test a single concept or a selection of distinct yet related concepts, the time you spend testing is time well spent. By testing, refining and executing, you can avoid errors, tailor products to your target audience, and cultivate useful data to help you sell your idea and get the buy-in from your business’s key stakeholders.

Many businesses use concept testing surveys to garner accurate feedback from respondents in a target group, often a business’s ideal customer segment. Using a carefully crafted questionnaire, you can learn important information about customer perception and attitudes toward your product or idea.

Surveying has come a long way in recent years, and many of the advanced survey solutions you’ll find allow you to upload visuals of your idea that respondents can refer to when giving their opinions. It’s easy to compare two or more concepts side by side through visuals, and customers can quickly give feedback on their preferences. It’s a quick way to gain accurate, insightful information that can help you make the best design decisions for your company.

Benefits of concept testing

Why is it important for businesses—or even individuals with a bright idea—to pursue concept testing? By cultivating candid information from a target audience, concept testing aids in:

  • Greater profitability and retention: Pursuing a bad idea not only costs companies time and money—it also can damage a brand’s reputation in the long term. A bad reputation makes it harder for a company to grow or even remain stable. Hiring and retaining workers becomes a challenge, and a bad idea can even create a poor customer experience that deters your target audience from purchasing your products or services in the future.
  • Reduced mistakes: Companies need to vet their ideas before they go public; otherwise, they’re vulnerable to making costly mistakes. From expensive failed advertising to ineffective logo designs, even one error in product design, packaging, or any other consideration can be costly.
  • Boosts company-wide buy-in: Have an idea you know will work, but need to get the whole company on board before you pursue it? Showing your team that an idea is popular with consumers is a great way to secure company-wide buy-in. If consumers in your target segment love your idea, it’s a good indication that it’s an idea that works.

Effective concept testing methods

Ready to test your big idea? There are several effective methods at your disposal, depending on the number of ideas you’re evaluating. Get to know them below:

  • Comparison tests: Also called comparative testing, comparison tests weigh multiple concepts against each other. Surveys often ask respondents to rate each concept against specific criteria or rely on a ranking system to determine which concept or features come out on top.
  • Monadic tests: Monadic tests require surveyors to break their target audience into smaller groups, with each group testing a single product or feature and providing feedback. This test is simply an evaluation of features on their own, instead of a comparison between them. The question, “Does this idea offer value for the money?” is an excellent, thought-provoking one to include in a monadic survey.
  • Sequential monadic tests: Like the standard monadic test, surveyors split their target audience into groups during sequential monadic tests. With this test, though, each individual group tests the concepts in a rotating sequence, at random. Every member of every group has a chance to examine all presented concepts and provide feedback. At the end of all testing, each group gets the same set of questions.
  • Proto-monadic tests: This combination of comparison tests and sequential monadic tests requires respondents to examine features, compare concepts, and choose the best option once all features and concepts have been introduced. This test is especially useful if you want to validate results from sequential monadic tests.

How to design a concept testing survey

Every concept test requires two fundamental components: the concept itself and a set of survey questions designed to gather candid feedback from the respondents. Surveys should be designed to analyze your target group’s true feelings regarding your ideas. After gathering this data, you can determine what customers prefer, or reject your idea. Follow these simple tips to design a useful concept testing survey:

  • Set a goal: It’s easy to form useful questions for your concept testing survey if you have an overall goal or objective in mind. Consider the motivation for the test, as well as the details you hope to gather from your audience.
  • Prioritize user friendliness: Today’s consumers have short attention spans, and it’s all too easy for them to bail on a survey if it’s too confusing or lengthy. Group related questions into survey blocks, creating a well-ordered flow. Your audience will be able to focus more on your concept, rather than any distractions in your survey.
  • Use Likert scales: Likert rating scales feature an odd-numbered series of answer choices, often between five and seven. You can create a five- or seven-point scale from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree.” This data is easy for your audience to enter and easy for you to analyze.
  • Include demographic questions: You can make sure respondents are truly part of your target audience by including demographic questions in your survey. This ensures your concept will be a hit with your ideal customers.

Experience seamless concept testing with Voiceform

Voiceform’s unique survey tools allow you to collect and analyze voice feedback with ease. It’s never been simpler to cultivate accurate, candid feedback from your target audience, so you can refine your next product, service, or idea in a way that speaks to their interests and needs. Request your free demo today to learn more about how Voiceform can make concept testing easy.

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