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CONCEPT TESTING

Prof M R Suresh

Consumer purchases for end benefits Concept testing seeks to understand consumers' perceptions of characteristics, end benefits and acceptance of the concept Marketing manager's job is to bring in the voice of the market New product development involves marketing, R&D, and production
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Concept
Is an idea to satisfy consumer need Essence of the product

Concept testing
a system to redefine, reshape and coalesce ideas to arrive at a basic concept for a product that has good chances of market acceptance.

Concept tests are conducted to


Qualitatively assess relative appeal Provide information for further product development and advertising Indicate potential segments
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CONCEPT SCREENING TEST


to get a feel of market acceptance to identify potential ideas for further development New product screening test Alternative buying incentive

PROCEDURES
Use concept statement Interviewing - mall intercept New product concept screening (8 ideas) Alternative buying incentive (12 to 15) Questions asked - purchase intent, frequency, uniqueness, believability, importance of sales message Sampling - non probability Purchase intention score
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Concept
Six possible combinations of concept communication mode and tone Mode can be words only, visual only, words plus visual Tone can be factual, persuasive Studies in USA in the context of Pfizer indicate use of visuals increased purchase intention scores by 20% Implication is that nave comparison of concept scores across types is risky
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Concept Evaluation tests


Conducted after initial screening and modification of concepts Objectives Assessment of market potential Identification of market strengths and weaknesses Indicate potential market segments Also used to take decisions on test marketing
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Procedures
Concept presentation: Sheets, advts, actual prototype of products. No. of concepts is few. Description of the product.

USE A CONTROL CONCEPT


Interviewing : Central location, mall intercept, cost constraints Questions asked - purchase intent, frequency, key benefit, believability, uniqueness, attribute ratings, overall rating Non probability sampling Purchase intention scores For non durable goods, the frequency of purchase is important Purchase intent is an indicator of trial, but does not tell whether the proposed product is part of a consumer's daily life or special occasion item Concept test ought to throw light on % households inclined to try, expected number of purchases, expected units per purchase
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Concept screening - diagnosis


Managers seek to understand purchase intention measures. For this purpose standard questions on uniqueness/differentiation from other products etc are included Specific attribute diagnostics seek to probe which attributes/benefits contribute to purchase intention using open ended questions or on scales measuring perception /importance of attributes

e.g. ease of preparation ( excellent to poor) ease of preparation ( very important to not important)
The above data can be used for quadrant analysis. Rating (excellent to poor on X axis), Importance (Not important to very important on Y axis ) Concept testing does not differentiate purchase intention of triers and repeat buyers. Satisfaction is not an aspect in a concept test
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PRODUCT TESTING
Provides a critical measures of a new product's market potential Extremely important in FMCG Cos. Product testing for four purposes Against competition: which of the alternatives offered is preferred relative to competition Product improvement: whether an improved formula could replace the current product Cost saving: whether a less expensive product could replace the current one Concept fit: whether the product variant resembles the selling message
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Product testing procedures


Blind Vs Branded test - a key issue Blind test - Reactions to "pure" product No brand name as yet Branded test - Difficult to conceal Measurement of effects of brand etc.

Four basic principles


Representative of the product that will be in the market ultimately Name, packaging should be similar If different formulas are used, size, shape, colour to be identical Avoid labels that bias (e.g. sequence of letters etc.)
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Procedures for product tests


Monadic - designs where a consumer evaluates one product, having no other product for comparison Comparison - Consumer rates 2 or more products Sequential monadic - rates one product and then is given a second product (rated) independently then compared Protomonadic - rates one product, is given a second product and compares both Paired comparison - directly compares two products
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Repeat-paired comparison - consumer is given two or more sets of products to compare against each other at two different points of time Round robin - tests where a series of products is tested against each other Triangle designs - is given 2 samples of one product and one sample of another to identify the one that differs Duo-trio - a standard product is given and asked to determine which of the other (two) products are similar Difference - asked to determine if one product is different from the other
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In - home testing Vs Central location (expensive) 1. Unrealistic 2. Opinions of other family members ignored Periodicity - usually a week, depends on the product, purchase cycle Sales wave extended product test consumers encouraged to buy at intervals coinciding with normal product cycle
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Advantages:
Identification of novelty product wear outs Identification of problems Market share prediction Potential segments

Monadic Vs Paired test


Monadic is realistic. Typically a consumer uses a product at a time and decides Monadic tests are difficult to interpret. (e.g. 80% say "excellent") Comparison tests concentrate on product differences In certain situations involving sensory evaluations, comparison tests are impractical.
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Questions asked - Preference, overall rating attribute rating, likes-dislikes, uniqueness, usage pattern etc.

Sampling
non-probability 100-200 for in-home CLT around 20 Cost is a factor

Action standards
preference that is statistically significant Where claims of superiority are made should have significant preference. Conventions may vary with MR agencies
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A few important aspects


A systems approach needed : Methods and procedures of product testing should constitute a standardized system for like products Normative databases need to be built over time for better interpretation Same research company Real environment tests Relevant variables from consumers' perspective (particularly while using qualitative methods) Conservative action while dealing with established products
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