When To Do A Qualitative Product Concept Test

When To Do A Qualitative Product Concept Test

Qualitative product concept tests serve as an excellent strategy to reduce business risk. Instead of introducing products and relying on customers to love them, concept tests enable you to evaluate customer appeal in advance. It’s a well-established market research method aimed at enhancing the likelihood of products connecting with customers. Moreover, it aids in preventing the launch of one of the 95% of new products that fail every year.

There are several approaches to carry out this work. Let’s zero in on qualitative product concept tests to explore their characteristics and identify when they are most beneficial.

How To Run A Qualitative Product Concept Test

How To Run A Qualitative Product Concept Test

Firstly, let’s examine the nature of a qualitative product concept test. Once you have an understanding of what this involves, you’ll be able to recognise when it’s the appropriate research approach.

1. Start With A Product Concept

You’ll initially require a depiction of the product you intend to assess. This can be a brief 2-3 sentences or a more extensive description encompassing features and benefits. Dedicate ample time to this step; it’s crucial. Ensure that the concept ideas you formulate are straightforward and easily comprehensible. This way, individuals can effectively assess whether the product aligns with their needs.

2. Share the Concept Via Qualitative Methods

When your concept is prepared, it’s time to present it! Generally, you have two choices for qualitative testing. You can introduce the concept through one-to-one interviews. Alternatively, you can present it to a group of individuals in a focus group setting.

Irrespective of your chosen option, the procedure remains consistent. You should read the concept aloud to everyone while also providing a written version for them to peruse. Feel free to repeat the reading or allow participants a moment to review the concept independently. The aim is for them to thoroughly grasp the essence of the product concept.

3. Ask For Feedback

After presenting the concept, it’s time to gather feedback. You can pose a diverse range of questions at this point. However, we typically employ some variation of the following questions:

– What initial thoughts, impressions, or ideas come to mind?

– What aspects do you appreciate about this product idea?

– What aspects do you dislike about this product idea?

– Does this align with your needs, household, or business? Why or why not?

– Does this address a current need or pain point? If so, what?

– Would this substitute something you’re presently using? If so, what?

4. Look For Trends Across Feedback

Now, let’s delve into the patterns of feedback from your research participants.

Certainly, you’re interested in learning whether participants favour or dislike a particular concept. However, the real value in conducting a qualitative concept test lies in identifying intrinsic motivators or broader environmental factors that influence product appeal. When you reach this level, you gain the essential inputs not only to comprehend why something resonates but also to determine how to develop future products that will similarly capture attention.

Admittedly, we are relying on relatively small sample sizes. Nevertheless, you can discern patterns in just one focus group or after conversing with 4-5 individuals in one-to-one settings. Ideally, feedback from at least 8-to-10 individuals is collected. We find this tends to be the sweet spot in qualitative testing.

When To Use Qualitative Product Concept Tests

When To Use Qualitative Product Concept Tests

Concept tests can manifest in either quantitative surveys or qualitative interviews and focus groups. Opting for a qualitative product concept test is advisable under the following conditions:

1. Entering A New Market

When venturing into uncharted territory, qualitative approaches provide insights into new customers or markets, unravelling their reasons for favouring or disliking specific product types.

2. Nuanced Feedback Needed

Qualitative research excels at capturing intricate details and nuances. If your focus is on obtaining highly detailed feedback rather than broad strokes, a qualitative approach is the way to go.

3. Okay With Uncertainty

Qualitative research typically involves smaller sample sizes compared to quantitative research. While this yields in-depth insights, fewer respondents mean lower confidence levels regarding the universality of the feedback across all customers.

It’s worth noting that you can initiate the process with qualitative approaches and later transition to survey-based concept tests. This hybrid approach allows you to first grasp broader customer needs and the market landscape through detailed qualitative feedback. Subsequently, you can move towards establishing concept appeal certainty with higher-sample-sized survey research.

Let your overarching organisational considerations, learning objectives, and market position guide the decision on whether the qualitative approach aligns with your needs.

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