4 Tips For Creating A Concept Testing Survey

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    Concept testing is essential when developing successful products and campaigns. It ensures that concepts are feasible and valued by consumers before investments, time and resources are spent.
    Online surveys can be used to test both a product or service concept and the price that it will ultimately be charged for. The success of both types of surveys depends on a variety of proven best practices. Concept testing is the process of evaluating how a target audience perceives an idea before it is made available to the public or is fully developed.
    From there, businesses can identify the strengths and weaknesses of concepts and make better decisions moving forward. Concept testing is used to evaluate products, services, campaigns or really anything that is presented to one’s target market.
    There are several best practices that should be followed to successfully implement a concept testing survey.

    Tips for developing a concept test survey

    person working on computer The most straightforward way to test concepts is using surveys. Online surveys gather feedback quickly and give businesses a good grasp on how their audiences feel. Further, online surveys allow businesses to make data-driven decisions and move forward with confidence. Here are four tips for developing an effective concept testing survey.

    1. Establish goals.

    Researchers must first establish goals in order to design the concept testing survey. Choose which elements of the concept need to be evaluated, such as a specific product feature or a design theme. Narrowing down the elements that need to be evaluated will make the process smoother and simpler. From there, researchers can choose the right survey methodology.

    2. Pick the right survey methodology.

    Depending on how many concepts need to be tested and the way in which the researcher wants them to be evaluated, different methods may be chosen. Here is a breakdown of possible options:

    • Single concept evaluation (monadic). This method is used to assess a singular concept in its entirety.
    • Multi-concept evaluation (sequential monadic). Respondents evaluate multiple concepts in one survey.
    • Concept selection (comparative). Concept selection presents respondents with multiple concepts and asks them to choose their favorite.
    • Concept selection and evaluation (comparative monadic). This method is a combination of multi-concept evaluation and concept selection. Respondents choose their favorite concept and then complete a thorough evaluation of that concept.

    3. Clearly convey the concept to respondents.

    The quality of a concept testing survey greatly relies on how the concept is presented. It is important to present the concept in a straightforward and easy-to-understand format so that respondents’ true opinions and feedback can shine through.

    Incorporating images, videos, detailed descriptions and example scenarios can help researchers clearly depict the concept to respondents. Researchers should also remember to leave their own bias out of the concept depiction in order to get the most impactful results.

    4. Diversify the question formats.

    In a concept testing survey, it is important to ask different types of questions to optimize the results. Here are a variety of question formats and how they can be used in a concept testing survey. Choice questions. 

    Choice questions can be used to understand the general appeal of a concept or the likelihood of the concept initiating action from the target audience. A choice question can be asked after the concept is shown:How appealing is this (insert concept type)?

    • Very unappealing 
    • Somewhat unappealing 
    • Neither appealing nor unappealing 
    • Somewhat appealing 
    • Very appealing

    A choice question such as this one displays the general interest in the concept. Additionally, the data gathered from this question is easy to organize and analyze. Open-ended questions.Open-ended questions give researchers deep insight into how the audience is feeling. These questions allow respondents to explain themselves in their own words.

    For example, a researcher can ask: When you see this (insert concept type), what words, phrases or thoughts come to mind? [Text box]The responses from this question will reveal emotions, associations, and initial reactions from respondents that the concept initiates. This gives researchers valuable insights that influence the next direction for the concept. Open-ended questions can also be used to allow respondents to elaborate on their responses to choice questions.
    For example:[If respondent answered appealing] What are some specific reasons why you find this (concept type) appealing? [Text box]These follow-up questions provide more information on why respondents feel the way they do, giving researchers a better understanding of their feelings. Likelihood to purchase questions.
    Likelihood to purchase questions can be presented as a choice or open-ended question. These questions allow researchers to understand how much the audience genuinely feels about the concept as it shows how likely they are to purchase it.
    Likelihood to purchase questions can be presented like this:How likely would you be to purchase [this product/product with this marketing element]?

    • Very unlikely
    • Somewhat unlikely
    • Neither likely nor unlikely
    • Somewhat likely
    • Very likely

    [If likely] What are some specific reasons why you are likely to purchase (this product)? [Text box]The responses to these questions can be used to learn whether respondents like the concept enough to buy it, and their reasoning.

    It must be considered, however, that willingness to pay is heavily influenced by other factors such as price. Pricing surveys are helpful to better understand willingness to pay and discover more detailed data.

    Concept research delivers insights 

    Product or service concept research is essential to a successful launch, and can deliver the best possible insights through a combination of setting realistic goals and choosing the best methodology to achieve them, clearly conveying the concept and asking the right set of properly diversified questions.