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Best Practices for Concept Testing

Performing concept testing is a necessary step in the successful launch of new products or services

Do you know, according to Harvard business research, 95% of the product launches fail because of poorly conceived and launched products?

Innovation acts as a driving force for businesses and is conceived to solve the most fundamental problems of a specific group of audience. Companies strive for innovation to stay in the game and are always on the lookout for new ways of doing things. But, this process is often risky and expensive if they fail to resonate with the voice of their customers.

This is where concept testing comes into play. Concept testing lets you do the reverse engineering of how people and businesses would consume your idea. This innovative method of collecting customer feedback significantly reduces the risk of failure and increases the likelihood of success. Well-planned concept testing leads to more successful product launches by getting customer feedback before large-scale production starts.

This post discusses what concept testing is and how you can implement its best practices to avoid costly mistakes and become one of the lucky 5% of the businesses that differentiate themselves from the rest by launching successful products.


What is Concept Testing?

Concept testing is a crucial step in the product, service, or project development life cycle where concepts and ideas are evaluated to determine their potential before releasing to the market.

This process involves the use of surveys to ask for the audience’s response to a particular concept and to adjust the product based on that feedback. Not only does this help to uncover insights from your actual audience but also helps you to understand the most favorable product concepts.

Thus, concept testing lets you hear the key opinions that matter to your business. Here are the other benefits of concept testing:

  • It helps you to focus on your best idea. Whether you have two or many different ideas, concept testing lets you identify the strongest concepts which have the capacity to scale your business and justify investments.
  • It helps you obtain customer feedback. Apart from that, when you work directly with the customers, you understand their likes and dislikes better and this helps to further progress the concept.
  • It helps you reveal your marketing strategy. Concept testing gives you an accurate idea of how to optimise your content strategy because it helps you learn which marketing messages and techniques reverberate most with your audience.
  • It helps you identify your target customer segment. Concept testing also helps you to determine which target segment would like your product the most.

Concept Testing Best Practices


Concept testing can be conducted in a variety of ways depending on your preference in terms of time, audience, and methodology. The following best practices help you to get started with the process and increase the chances of your launch success.

  1. First, plan for testing


Brainstorm ideas and establish goals of your study, this way, it becomes easier to identify your target audience. Think through every possible question or assumption that a concept would require; this helps by reducing the chances of errors. Create a meaningful approach by looking at it through the lens of desirability, viability, and feasibility or DVF.

Is the concept a minor change or an entirely new product/service?

What problem will the concept solve?

Is the concept capable of achieving the right business goals?

Is the concept feasible?

Once you have the questions ready you can prioritize and set the order in which the concepts will be tested. Group the questions which are related to each other to make the survey flow smoother.

The next step involves understanding your target audience and recruiting respondents who closely match the profile of your end-user. This is a vital step in concept testing, hence to select the right people many criteria are taken into consideration like demographics, behavioural traits, etc.


  1. Next, design and test


Develop a script by following the best practices for survey questionnaires. This step is important as you validate your assumptions to minimize the risk of inadvertently forcing the respondents to answer inauthentically.

  • Avoid leading or loading questions
  • Avoid questions that lead to one-word answers
  • Use easy and non-technical language to make sure every participant fully understand the context before answering the questions
  • Use scales ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree” to let the participants rank their range of opinions accurately.

Decide on the methodology you want to implement. You can choose from a variety of approaches which will determine your survey length, and how many responses you need.

Decide what platform is the best for this test – this should be wherever loyal customers are.


  1. Finally, analyse results


Now that you have the survey results, it’s time to make sense out of the collected information to unleash insights for your team and stakeholders.

Analysing concept testing results is a vital step in the process

Accurately analysing this data is a critical step in concept testing. Manually manipulating this data is a time-consuming process and requires a great deal of technical expertise. To address such complexities researchers and marketers can make use of automated research and survey platforms like Bolt Insight which uses AI techniques and machine learning to uncover actionable insights from your survey data.

Once you have the scorecard and significant metrics in place, you can decide whether to move forward with the new concept or make changes and test again. Sometimes, it is important to consider many factors other than simply analysing which concept won. Assessing the survey result from every aspect of the collected data is necessary to make an informed decision.


Concept Testing with Bolt Insight

Concept testing is an important exercise at every stage of product development. Whether you are launching a new product or renovating the existing one, with insights from concept testing you can carry out detailed tests to innovate your business processes and augment your resources.

Concept testing can be beneficial to every organisation and serve in many ways. By utilising the expertise of an innovative and trusted platform like Bolt Insight you can customise your concept studies, surveys, and methodologies to quickly and easily collect feedback from your target audience. Bolt’s built-in modality helps you design and customise your surveys and choose the attributes you want to consider in your study.

Want to learn more about how we can help to test your concepts in a simple, affordable, and super-fast manner? Get in touch with Bolt.




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