Testing a product is a critical step in the market research process. It’s also a step that can be easily overlooked by businesses reluctant to face possible criticism for a product or service in which they have invested their time and money, not to mention their hearts. Nevertheless, quality feedback on a product before it officially makes its debut can help companies identify and rectify performance issues, predict market response, increase user satisfaction and monitor the competition.
There are many ways to test a product. You can choose blinded or branded studies. You can test only one product or compare two at a time. You can view them in a sequence. The possibilities are varied and should be considered and chosen based on each product individually. It’s also important to think outside the box. Consider these six additional resources to improve your company’s product testing efforts:
Friends and Family
While the people closest to you may not be entirely objective, they can be helpful, especially if they spot a problem. Be wary of all positive feedback as family & friends may just want to be nice, but carefully consider if and when you get any negative feedback from them.
Monitor online sites for competitor reactions, read blogs, distribute web surveys, track keywords and ask for pre-orders. Each of these efforts can help you determine how people are reacting to your product and what changes you need to make in order to make consumers happier. Assessing product demand is a key component of quality product testing, and the Internet makes it easy.
Smartphones are great resources for real-time analysis of product performance. Geo-tracking can be used to target respondents as they enter or exit retail stores selling your product. Once identified, respondents can choose to complete surveys and/or submit photos, videos and audio clips detailing their experiences and opinions regarding product display, ease of product function, competitor products, pricing and more. Mobile technology is ubiquitous; make use of it.
There are many consumer neuroscience tools that can help companies gauge consumer reactions to a product: EEG, biometrics, facial coding, eye tracking and IRTs (implicit reaction time). Each test can provide interesting and relevant data about what consumers unconsciously (i.e., really) think about an offering.
Use the five senses (sight, sound, smell, taste and touch) to measure product perception. Understanding the way consumers sense a product rather than how they think about it can be very informative. You can discover this through a focus group or in-depth interview!
CASRO Code of Standards and Ethics for Market, Opinion and Social Research
Finally, it makes sense that your company will be better equipped to handle the rigors of quality product testing if you understand and follow the rules governing market research conduct. The Insights Association recommends companies adhere to the CASRO Code of Standards and Ethics, which fully details privacy, confidentiality and transparency responsibilities, as well as obligations regarding research with minors.
Whether you are trying to launch a new product or revamp an existing one, solid product testing can be your key to success. Contact our team at Communications for Research (CFR) for more information about produce testing that is meaningful and actionable and can increase your ROI.