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How to take concept validation to the next level - Just listen to your customers

20.06.2017

So you are nearly at the last stages of your product development. Your team has invest a lot in developing new ideas - not just time and money, but also thought, effort and emotion. And imagine you have come up with four really good ideas. All have a good rationale, all could work. But, say you only have resources to bring one to market now. What is the best way to decide which one?

Time for a wider audience

At this point, although you know absolutely everything about the logic behind these 4 new concepts, you need people who look at your ideas with fresh eyes and from their unique point of view: Your consumers!.

Most screening uses rating scales – for appeal, relevance and so on - and our spontaneous response to an idea is rarely a “4”. We need to know which of our ideas excite and engage consumers. Following the usual route and using rating scales puts a barrier between what people really want to say and the information they give us.

Literally, listen to what consumers say

That is why we have turned to recording how people talk about concepts. Capturing their voice directly, you are able to get consumers spontaneous reaction to an idea telling us both how they feel about your concept and what makes them feel like that. Emotion clearly drives decision making for packaged goods.  For more considered purchase, like Smart Home tech, we do need to capture more deliberate decision making and understand how to influence that decision. But even the most considered decision making starts with that crucial spark of interest.

So, which of our ideas will spark most interest? Only consumers can tell us.

Smart home case study

We recently developed four concepts that emerged from qualitative research into the needs of the ‘Sandwich Generation’ – those with responsibility for both their children and their parents. We used our new technique, MarketBuilder Voice, to capture consumers’ reactions to the four ideas. As we expected, all the ideas did better than a control Smart Home concept we included for comparison. However, reaction did vary as people told us how they saw each idea fitting in their own life.

Conclusion

The results showed the value of a technique that combined quantitative results with qualitative understanding, uncovering the emotional underpinning of one concept and the assumption that puts another in the niche category. 

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