05 Dec Why is concept testing important?
When it comes to visualising a new product, it is important to not just hit the ground running. Your initial strategy needs to include concept testing as a starting point.
Concept testing can be defined as a process that allows you to bounce off new ideas on your target consumer market to get a feel of how they would welcome and accept your new product, or whether they would recommend changes in your initial plans or designs. This can be done through surveys, one-on-one interviews or test labs, or even online focus groups, depending on which methods you prefer.
In today’s blog, we are taking a look at why concept testing is important, and what to keep in mind for this important process that can help you secure success in the new venture or developments that you are planning.
Concept testing: the golden ticket to consumer insights
Having a great idea does not always guarantee future success; in fact, if you are not careful, a seemingly good idea can turn out to be bad decision making when you do not involve key role players, such as your consumers.
However, getting consumer insights can guide you to tweak and adjust your plans where needed. These recommendations will allow you to get external opinions and help you envision better how your customers could possibly respond to your new product.
When you are dealing with multiple ideas, such as various product designs, concept testing can help you filter your options to only consider those that prove to have the best viability to have the best outcomes in the market. This, in turn, can end up saving you on development costs, as you will know which ideas will have buy-in from your target market and will focus your efforts on these ideas.
Got a great idea? Concept testing can make it even better
Once you have a great idea that you would like to move forward with, concept testing can best guide how you should proceed. Say you have different colour models in mind for a new product, or different dimensions and sizes. Get insights from your testing group that can show which option has legs and will fall into that category that solves their pain points. If, for instance, it is a kitchen appliance design, they might advise if they would prefer something more compact, something with a neutral colour or even one with some added features.
Therefore, concept testing adds that extra layer to your product development: making something that is great in theory even better. Plus, if there are any problems with your planned design, you will be able to iron these out and refine them as and where needed.
Want to ensure you beat the competition? Do concept testing
Concept testing can answer another important question when it comes to your consumers: would you buy my planned product instead of a similar item that my competitors have in the market?
If the answer is yes, you know you are on the right track; however, if it is now, you need to get those answers on why your competitors are preferred. Are their products easier to handle and maintain, or do they solve a certain pain point better than your intended product?
When you have gotten these important understandings, you can consider where you can make your idea more attractive to customers. Can you change certain parts of your design, add some elements or completely innovate? Use your learnings to stay ahead of the curve.
Concept testing can help you secure buy-in from your stakeholders
When it comes to new product developments, having proven results from concept testing can provide the data needed to show your stakeholders how your target audience responded to the idea that you presented to them. After all: just saying something could work is one thing, but being able to show physical report information can help you get the green light to move forward to the development and production of your ideas.
The process can be applied to the prototyping phase too
So far, we have highlighted the importance of concept testing before product development begins, but an important factor to remember, is that you can do concept testing during the rapid prototyping phase that industrial designers are involved in. Once you have the prototype ready, you can, together with your design team, gain feedback from your test group about what they think of the design
This means that your target group can give feedback on a physical interaction with a product and guide any possible changes that need to be done – which ties back to saving funds and getting sign off from stakeholders to proceed with product development.
One of the most important understandings that concept testing can reveal, is whether a new product will truly matter to your target audience. Will it add value to their lives, will it bridge a gap in the market that they have been experiencing and will your planned product help them to get access to something new and exciting that they will love engaging with?
Always remember: if your planned idea can answer these questions, you will be able to proceed with a brand-new idea that will have feasibility in the market and help ensure that you can potential profits too.
Therefore, prioritise concept testing from the start, and you will be better prepared to take a great idea beyond vision boards and presentations.
If you are a potential client and you are ready to experience an exceptional journey of design for your next project with amazing results, contact us today. We would love to hear from you and to provide the personal touch that we have become known and respected for as one of Melbourne’s leading industrial design teams!