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The 3 Ways Concept Testing Helps B2B Businesses

Published on Aug 01, 2023 by Ed Rodgers

Conducting Concept Testing Benefits More Than Just The Product

For B2B businesses, concept testing can help remain ahead of the competition, deliver on innovation, and ensure your strategy delivers. For organizations whose clients are other businesses, delivering on product expectations and services is critical due to smaller audience segments and sometimes hyper-competitive marketplace scenarios. That is why B2B businesses must evaluate and refine their ideas before investing significant resources, whether in a new product or a marketing campaign. In this article, you will learn about three areas where concept testing can greatly support B2B businesses when embarking on the development of a new concept. Here are the 3 ways concept testing helps B2B businesses.

The Concept: Minimize Risk Before You Launch and Enhance Decision Making

Concept testing provides insights into the viability and potential success of new ideas, products, or services. Collecting feedback from the target market can identify potential flaws, gaps, or areas that require improvement while still in concept phase. As concepts can sometimes have a long timeline of development, testing and validating the product's purpose and expectations with external audiences allows the business to remain on the right path toward success. Using a MaxDiff Analysis to identify the concept’s optimal product sets and features is one common approach. This can help make the new product more attractive to your target audience. Additionally, using a Concept Highlighter will help bring the strongest messaging and keywords to the forefront of your concept, allowing your marketing copy to connect more closely with customers.

A concept's inception often begins with a strategy or product meeting where the opportunity presented itself for the new concept. The validation of the concept internally is typically financial as well as sales-focused. But the data to support the decision from an audience, segment, or marketplace viewpoint can be achieved with concept testing. Companies can compare and contrast varying concepts' potential success rates by conducting multiple tests on them, revealing the most promising option. This will also avoid biased decision-making and increases the likelihood of launching a successful product or service. Conducting multiple concept tests is made easier by using a Concept Dashboard, where all concept iterations are compared and contrasted to identify the most compelling attributes in order to hone the concept.

The Development Process: Optimize The Product While Saving Costs and Time

Effective concept testing enables B2B businesses to optimize the product development process. By gaining early feedback from potential customers, companies identify potential shortcomings that require improvement. The data from the concept testing gives developers the confirmation that the final product meets the expectations of the target market as well as the organizations. This also reduces the chances of costly revisions or product failures.

The development process also benefits by identifying potential issues early on, avoiding expenditures on unsuccessful ventures, and allocates resources more efficiently. Concept testing allows companies to streamline the product development process by reducing time-to-market and gaining a competitive advantage. The costs of launching a product that misses the mark with clients can be devastating to an organization. The loss of business and the expense to pull the product and correct the flaws after launch can wreak havoc on sales cycles and revenue forecasts. Taking the steps pre-launch to assess internally and externally the concept's purpose and goals may slightly extend the launch timeframe but will preemptively ensure it is the best concept. One example of a quick deployment initiated without concept testing is the recent icon graphic created for Amazon's app whereby the graphic had to be redesigned post-launch, causing a great deal of negative publicity for the brand.

The Customer: Create A Customer-Centric Approach For A Competitive Advantage

Many companies mention a customer-centric approach for product development where the customer actually weighs in prior to launch. Their opinions and feedback give valuable insights into client needs, preferences, and pain points for the product to meet those expectations. The results is higher customer satisfaction, loyalty, and long-term relationships. One of the most important pieces to a successful concept test is the use of the right audience and segment for participation. Feedback from the wrong group can derail the concept's true goals, while bad actors and poor-quality respondents will mask or diminish a concept's true potential. The sample quality used for research needs to be a priority and it’s highly recommended to have provisions that reduce or eliminate poor quality respondents from the data during the research effort.

Another important consideration is to keep your competitive edge in the market. Companies can create innovative products or services that address unmet needs or outperform existing solutions by thoroughly evaluating and refining ideas. Applying a competitive review allows the respondent to differentiate you from competition so you can strategically position offerings, in turn creating value propositions that  extend beyond the concept into branding and overall marketing efforts. Because your product might actually compete with your existing products, the ability to gauge not only your direct competitors but also your current product lineup, the NCURA methodology can help identify what cannibalization could occur along with market share against the competition.

Concept Test For Long-Term Success

Concept testing plays a pivotal role in the successful launch of any new product, service, or campaign. B2B businesses that aim to stay competitive need to make informed decisions, optimize product development, and leveraging new products. These 3 ways that concept testing helps B2B Businesses through minimizing risk, saving costs and time while delivering a customer-centric approach can be a good starting point for a research program. Additionally, concept testing empowers companies to create innovative offerings that address market demand and customer expectations. When a B2B business embraces concept testing as a regular practice, it significantly enhances the likelihood of success and maximizes the return on investment. If you would like to learn more about how to get started with a concept test for your upcoming project, contact us, and we will be happy to assist you in getting started.

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