Concept Test: Which innovations are useful and have market potential? Which communication leads to success?
A first obstacle new product ideas and communication concepts have to overcome are more or less standardized concept tests.
A concept test gives a company a feeling for the relevance and acceptance of specific product variants during a very early phase of product, package or advertisement development.
Usually, concepts for product ideas include insight, benefit and reason to believe; package ideas are tested with scribbles or dummies.
In order to find the underlying needs we use methods like laddering (see In-depth interview) and Consumer Observations.
Communication or advertisement concepts are somewhat more challenging. Here, more or less matter-of-fact information needs to be vitalized emotionally. An otherwise “dry” verbal concept can thus be charged affectively by a good text writer and additional mood pictures. Useful for the development of TV-spots are short audio clips similar to radio commercials (so called narrative tapes), as well as story boards and animatics that simulate a TV-spot. As a matter of principle testing ad concepts will leave out the emotional impact that usually is strongest in the finalized commercial when visual (e.g. actors, images, colors, cut etc.) and auditory effects (e.g. speaker, music, jingle, sound logo) are integrated. The emotional impact can be measured implicitly with appropriate methods when the finalized ad is available.
Depending on the degree of completion of the concept market research can continually accompany its development up to the final product or advertisement with quantitative or qualitative methods.
MWRESEARCH THEREFORE USES BOTH QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE TOOLS:
During an early stage of concept development in-depth interviews, focus groups or workshops are used. If the marketability of a product idea (or the possible success of the communication power of an advertising material) needs to be evaluated, then quantitative methods are used.
One such quantitative method is CARES for Concepts, a conjoint analysis, in which all relevant product features and variants (package, price etc.) incl. benefits and RtB’s are included in order to evaluate their respective meaning and weight in a later purchase decision. Furthermore, AdUp® is the method used for analyzing a communication’s understanding, relevance and general acceptance, especially of a commercial idea or story.
Quantitative concept tests are conducted in the form of personal, computer-assisted interviews when there’s a more profound need of exploration or when package dummies need to be shown. Of course, concept tests can also be done online.
Computer-assisted interviews allow the use of our special marker tools:
Consumers can highlight words or phrases according to relevance or acceptance, for example. When testing print commercials or packages consumers evaluate their liking including open-ended reason of various pre-defined areas (e.g. logo, headline, sub-line, claim, copy text, visual elements etc.).