A Concept Test is a survey-based method of evaluating customer needs and acceptance of a new product, service, communication or idea prior to its introduction to the market. It essentially focuses on the basic concept and is used to help screen and refine new product ideas as well as gauge their potential success in the market. (Crawford and Benedetto).
This article explains how a Concept Test is carried out.
Before expending money and resources developing an idea, organisations prefer to do concept tests to predict if it will be successful in the market. Usually, a product is successful if it fulfill a need or want in the consumers.
Prior to the outset of Production, organisations test the concept/idea, commonly in a visual format (be it a poster or an actual schematic of the product) with a group of potential consumers to see if, and how much they like the product or the service.
To understand the appeal of a potential product, marketers use a monadic or sequential monadic survey model. When evaluating a new idea, the survey asks a group of respondents’ various questions to evaluate the likability or applicability of the current concept in relation to the current product/service that they use most often.
When deciding between two ideas, both the concepts are shown in relation to each other to see how they fulfill a need or want. Although, this process examines if the concept product will better fulfill specific consumer needs than the current ones, it does not divulge which need (or attribute) is the strongest and the most sought after.
Therefore, sometimes it’s better to initially do a Choice based Conjoint Analysis on a current product to discern what the most significant need/attribute is, for the consumers. This makes it possible for the marketer to understand the hierarchy of needs/ attributes and evaluate if the concept product is beating the available products, in the more critical needs criteria.Since, this method forces potential consumers to make tradeoffs, it is a much better representative of the real world market place, as compared to other traditional methods. Forcing tradeoffs between various needs/attributes also helps in refining the Product Concept, leading to a much better product than what the marketer started with.