Concept Testing

Marketing Research Terminology

In Marketing Research terminology, Concept Testing usually relates to the testing of an advertising concept before launching the campaign; However, any idea that needs to be put to a test basically follows a similar research design.


Any Marketing idea related to the possible launch of a product or service needs to undergo a Concept Test if its likely level of success is to be established.  In other words, to establish what proportion of the market is likely to try the product given certain parameters such as specifications, price, service level and identity of the company offering etc.

Many enquiries are directed at asking customers and potential customers whether they would buy or use a particular product or service.  And the answer can be “yes, “no” or “don’t know” – a simple answer to a simple question.  However, a well known phenomenon of human nature is its inaccuracy in answering anything clearly, concisely and irrevocably.  Quite apart from the hesitancy of the answer at the time of interview there is the fickle nature of the respondent, who can quite easily change his mind when finally faced with the purchase decision.

The word “yes” has many shades and can even sometimes mean “definitely no” or “ yes, but …”, such as in the Afrikaans expression, “ja/nee”.  So how can the market researcher, the keen analyst of the hidden meaning, really know when “yes” means “yes” and when it means “no”?

How does the marketer accurately gauge the mood of market prior to launching his product?  There will never be a foolproof method of forecasting sales of new a product but marketing research has provided techniques that will go a long way to reducing the risk of launching “lemons”.

When measuring the likelihood of a consumer purchasing the product, the researcher needs to approach the subject carefully and to introduce the benefits of the product step by step, one benefit at a time, all the while measuring the likelihood of the respondent purchasing until the final answer should give a clear indication of how likely the product is to be purchased.

Concept test market research surveys allow marketers to pretest any marketing idea before becoming involved in costly product launches which may have hidden flaws that could cause the product to fail. 

Remember - next time you ask your customers for their opinions - “yes” man mean “no” and “no” may mean “yes” and if you are lucky “yes” will, in fact, mean ”yes”

George Klein and Associates is experienced in market research in South AfricaContact us today for more information on our marketing research services

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