What are the steps to successful product testing?

You’ve got it! After weeks of effort you’ve nailed the idea for a new product or service concept; great! It feels like all of the hard work is done and now you can make some money! It is very tempting to rush off and launch it to the market, but it is wise to slow down and do some product testing first.

I’m not trying to kill your idea or dishearten you; what I’m suggesting will improve the idea and make it better. The time invested in concept screening, concept testing and prototype testing will return your investment of time and money many times over. Quite simply, good research will ensure your product or service sells better.

There are 3 steps to good product testing. You will learn something at each step, so at the Product Lab we always allow time between each step so that you can refine and improve your idea.

1. Concept screening

Good product development should start with a list of new propositions which is then reduced to 2 or 3 contenders. At the Product Lab we make sure that consumer research is at the heart of this process so that your shortlist reflects what people want and will buy. We use a survey to evaluate which products are interesting and unique. If a large group of customers find your idea both interesting and unique, you have a potential winner.

2. Concept testing

From the concept screening you now 2 or 3 options. Work on these some more; detail each of the propositions; create mock-ups of them, if you can; develop example marketing materials, product explanations or designs – anything that you can show people and use to explain the concept. At the Product Lab we love to use focus groups or one-to-one interviews for this stage. And remember; they don’t have to be expensive, they can be run online too. What you are looking for is to gather reactions, feedback and suggestions from people who represent your target market.

3. Prototype testing

Now choose the one idea that has the most potential. Refine the features it will have from your concept testing and then set about creating your prototype. It is worth investing some time and money in getting this right. But leave enough resources to do a proper prototype test with real consumers. Give them some of your prototype to use over a period of days, weeks or even months.

Use all of the research and feedback of the steps you have gone through when you go to get funding for your launch; all of it will help convince your investors and demonstrate your commitment.

The most important bit is the hardest: Take the feedback on board. Listen to what your future customers are telling you. If you choose to hear it, your product or service will be better for it.

Increase your ROI: Ask us how we can help with your product testing today!

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About the Author

  • Paul Hudson

    Paul Hudson - CEO

    The Product Lab is Paul's brainchild. In a long standing career working alongside some of the leading brands in the UK today, his business foresight is legendary. Paul is passionate about the partnership between market research and innovation at every stage of business process having witnessed the compound benefits first hand.

    Telephone: 01539 565452

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