More than 25% of total revenue and profits across industries are generated by the launch of new products. Yet, the new product launches are often difficult or unsuccessful.
Less than half of all product and service launches actually succeed in meeting their targets. This is consistent across both product launches of completely new products and releases of new features to existing products.
What does that mean? Launching incremental improvements to already familiar products can often be fraught with risk.
So how can brands better understand user preferences and reduce risk for new product and concept ideas?
Enter, the concept test.
Concept testing is the process of understanding how consumers feel about your product idea prior to its creation or release, and is one component of the larger innovation cycle. This process helps you accurately evaluate whether your product is ready for market.
Companies typically conduct this research in the form of concept test surveys. But concept tests can also come in other forms: customer interviews, focus group discussions, observational studies, and more.
Agile research processes during product development is more crucial today than ever, since early stage concept testing can quickly provide answers to crucial questions, like:
Concept testing seems feasible - but how have prominent brands used the method to boost profits, remain customer-centric, and produce successful products? Here are a few examples.
70% of customers say understanding how they use products and services is very important to winning their business. - Salesforce
Lego realized that, despite attempts to market their products to females, only 9% of their toy users were young girls.
In an attempt to change their user demographic, Lego embarked on an extended period of concept testing and market research. The goal was to better understand the play habits of young girls.
They realized girls paid more attention to interior layouts and structure details. Girls also preferred building entire environments rather than single structures. These insights allowed new product features to be designed around direct input from Lego’s target demographic.
Lego Friends - a new Lego series marketed at young girls - launched in 2012 and quickly became a hit. The new product tripled the value of construction toys for girls from $300 million to $900 million between 2011 and 2014.
In 2017, NASCAR changed the format of their biggest race. They wanted to gauge viewer experiences following the change. This was an especially important project, since advertising dollars can be influenced positively or negatively based on audience and viewership – and, since NASCAR's audience holds some unique benefits for advertisers.
NASCAR conducted a live Remesh conversation with 200+ super fans to understand viewers’ experiences, thoughts, and reactions to events and advertisements. The conversation helped NASCAR confirm that viewers enjoyed their new structure. They also gained actionable insights that led to the successful roll out of the new race format.
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