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Innovation and Shopper Research

Inspiration and validation throughout the NPD process

Innovation

From rough idea to fully developed proposition

As we see it, success in innovation is a conscious choice. If you would like your new, improved or extended product or service to be a success, you will first need to find out which of your ideas and concepts are rich enough for further development and which ideas need to be discarded, hibernated or recycled. You will want to understand which elements need improvement, and how. You will have to understand the specific drivers and barriers for acceptance of your concept or product so that you can further optimize your marketing mix and go-to-market strategy. You need to be confident that your product is going to deliver a positive return on investment. In other words: the process of concept and product development requires extensive screening, optimization and validation efforts. It is the best way, the only way really, to make sure that your final product has everything it takes for a successful launch. MetrixLab will provide direction every step of the way.

Outline

An overview of our modular Concept and Product Testing toolkits:

Diagram

Concept Testing

Screening

Our preferred method for screening larger numbers of insights, ideas or concepts is through MaxDiff (Maximum Differentiation Scaling). As an uncomplicated and enjoyable type of conjoint measurement, MaxDiff takes respondents through a series of choice tasks where they repeatedly select the most and least compelling idea. MaxDiff offers a variety of powerful outputs, including a differentiated rank ordering of your ideas and opportunity maps. It is also used for identifying consumer segments.

Optimization

Optimization is, if not the primary objective, almost always a secondary objective of any form of concept testing. We use a combination of evaluative and creative tools to help you further optimize your concepts. Insights are evaluated against the three core dimensions that determine their commercial strength (size, urgency, frequency). Benefits/RTB’s are quantitatively established on key diagnostics like purchase intent, uniqueness, understanding, believability and appeal. The creative execution is evaluated in detail through the Marker Tool, where consumers highlight key likes and dislikes and are then prompted to further explain and motivate their highlights, and to offer suggestions for improvement. This helps to identify key drivers and barriers and further optimize the idea. Associative techniques are used to map emotional perceptions. The Dot-technique (with prompted open-ended motivation) is used for the evaluation of initial product and packaging visuals. Personality typology is used to gain insight in the perceived personality of a concept. The combined findings provide a strong holistic perspective.

Validation

At some point a decision will need to be taken whether to take a concept to the next stage of development or to recycle, hibernate or discard it. It is a critical decision that leaves no margin for error either way. Our Acceptor/Rejecter analysis provides an accurate forecast of potential success by comparing scores from the tested concept with relevant scores from our benchmark database, informing recommended next steps.

Product Testing

Product Performance

In a Home Placement Test, consumers test your product extensively in their own home or on-the-go, giving you a final and most realistic check on whether it delivers a satisfying product experience. With our In Home Placement Test, we efficiently and cost-effectively use real-life consumer experience feedback to establish whether a product is ready for a full market launch. A Home Placement Test provides rich feedback on the extent to which a product delivers against the expectations raised by the concept description and packaging, as well as a full diagnostics overview on key product performance characteristics.

Product Configuration

Which combination of features and functionalities generates the highest consumer appeal? What is the ideal combination of design and functionalities in relation to price? MetrixLab gives you the means to optimize your product configuration by actively involving consumers. The online product configurator offers a visually appealing, interactive, do-it-yourself way to identify the most promising set of features from sometimes 1000+ possible configurations for your product. By allowing consumers to actively mix and match product features that they want such as product functionalities, design options, colour options and size or shape options, and by visualizing the results, we simulate realistic choices. We can make it so that consumers have to make their choices in the context of a cost for each choice and/or a total budget that they have to stay within. Consumers immediately see the consequences of their choices and are allowed to change them as they see fit. Our proven approach results in in-depth information into the relationship between alternative product characteristics and the trade-offs consumers make.

Product Identity

Your name and logo can have a significant impact on the bottom line. There can be great equity in a memorable, distinctive product name that is easy to read, pronounce and spell, combined with a matching logo that invokes interest, is easily recognizable and supports the brand positioning. MetrixLab offers you name and logo testing to maximize the appeal of your product and minimize the risk of erroneous choices, for instance as a result of differences in cultural or lingual meanings. We use screening tools and associative techniques to select the best name for your product or brand. We also help you establish the performance of your new or updated product or brand logo. Ideally this is done in a simulated shopping environment so that we can measure the stand-out, stopping power and call to action of alternative names and/or logo’s.

Go-to-market Strategy

As part of a final validation of your concept or product and well before commercial product release, you will need to start informing the go-to-market strategy for your proposition. It requires adequate and accurate insights on a variety of elements to develop the marketing mix and inform your manufacturing, design and communication briefs. Elements that are potentially covered in a go-to-market strategy development section include:

  • Target Group Understanding: Acceptor profiling in terms of socio-demographics, media consumption, lifestyle attitudes, personality, needs, etc..
  • Key drivers: Identification of key motivating benefits to be used on pack, product and in advertising
  • Pricing: Van Westendorp Price Sensitivity Meter, to be used to establish price perceptions
  • Shelf Placement: competitive context for more realistic assessment testing; alternative placements will help to identify best in-store position
  • Range Optimization: TURF Analysis for range optimization (of products and range composition)

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