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Concept Testing. Concept Testing Conjoint Analysis February 15 & 20, 2007. Evaluating with Customers. Concept Testing is used to help screen and refine new product ideas Conjoint Analysis used to determine the combination of attributes that maximizes appeal. Determine Customer

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Concept testing

Concept Testing

Concept Testing

Conjoint Analysis

February 15 & 20, 2007

Evaluating with customers
Evaluating with Customers

  • Concept Testing

    • is used to help screen and refine new product ideas

  • Conjoint Analysis

    • used to determine the combination of attributes that maximizes appeal

Concept testing1




Concept Testing

  • A concept is composed of attributes and benefits for a particularusage situation

  • Attributes incorporate a specific product form and technology

  • see Page and Rosenbaum (1992), “Developing an Effective Concept Testing

  • Program for Durables,” J Product Innovation Mgmt

Purposes of concept testing
Purposes of Concept Testing

  • To identify very poor concepts so that they can be eliminated.

  • To estimate (at least crudely) the sales or trial rate the product would enjoy (buying intentions, early projection of market share).

  • To help develop the idea (e.g. make tradeoffs among attributes).

Procedure for a concept test
Procedure for a Concept Test

  • Prepare concept statement

  • Clarify specific purposes

  • Decide format(s)

  • Select commercialization

  • Determine price(s)

  • Select respondent type(s)

  • Select response situation

  • Define the interview

  • Conduct trial interviews

  • Interview, tabulate, analyze

Concept testing cautions and concerns
Concept Testing Cautions and Concerns

  • If the prime benefit is a personal sense (aroma, taste).

  • If the concept involves new art and entertainment.

  • If the concept embodies a new technology that users cannot visualize.

  • If concept testing is mishandled by management, then blamed for product failure.

  • If customers simply do not know what problems they have.

The concept statement
The Concept Statement

  • The Customer Value Proposition:

    • FOR{the ideal customer}

    • WHO{have the following problem}

    • MY PRODUCT IS A{product category}

    • THAT{key differentiating benefit}

    • UNLIKE{the major competitor}





The concept statement1
The Concept Statement

  • Format

    • Narrative


Here is a tasty, sparkling beverage that quenches thirst, refreshes, and makes the mouth tingle with a delightful flavor blend of orange, mint, and lime.

It helps adults (and kids too) control weight by reducing the craving for sweets and between-meal snacks. And, best of all, it contains absolutely no calories.

Comes in 12-ounce cans or bottles and costs 60 cents each.

1. How different, if at all, do you think this diet soft drink would be from other available products now on the market that might be compared with it?

Very different ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Not at all different

2. Assuming you tried the product described above and liked it, about how often do you think you would buy it?

More than once a week ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Would never buy it

The concept statement3
The Concept Statement

  • Format

    • Narrative

    • Drawing / Diagram

The concept statement4
The Concept Statement

  • Format

    • Narrative

    • Drawing / Diagram

    • Model / Prototype

    • Virtual Reality

Virtual reality
Virtual Reality

  • Information Acceleration


Developing concepts to test

Working Model



Paper &


Developing Concepts to Test

Number of items








Time to prepare

test materials


What is generally tested



Is it


Is it


Does it solve

a “problem”?


Would it be

bought at one

of several tested

price points?



What is generally tested?

Can measure potential customer reactions using:

(1) 5-pt “definitely not” - “definitely” scales

(2) sorting tasks

Considerations in the concept test
Considerations in the Concept Test

  • Core Idea vs. Positioning/Commercial Concept Statement

  • New Brand vs. Old Brand vs. No Brand

  • Concept statement: narrative, drawing, model?

  • Respondent group: Lead users? Large users?

  • Response situation: Where? How?

  • Purchase Measure Decisions:

    • Buyer Intent

    • Frequency

    • Price

  • Product Diagnostics

  • Attribute Diagnostics

Ask the right people
Ask the right people...

The Chasm


Lead Users

and Innovators

vs. Mainstream Market


Early Market

Mainstream Market






See (1) Rogers (1995) Diffusion of Innovations

(2) Moore (1991) Crossing the Chasm


Ask the right questions
Ask the right questions...

  • How important is the product “experience”?

    • Does the customer have to “touch & feel” the product to understand the benefits offered?

“Simulate” the Experience

How can concepts be tested
How can concepts be tested?

  • Focus Groups

  • One-on-One Personal Interviews

  • Mall Intercept

  • Phone Interviews

  • Postal Surveys

  • Internet Surveys

  • Hybrids (e.g., phone-mail-phone)

Compare in terms of:

sample control, concept flexibility, cost

see: (1) Pope (1993), Practical Marketing Research

(2) McQuarrie (1996) The Market Research Toolbox

Typical analysis
Typical Analysis

Category or Industry

Purchase Intent Concept Norm

Definitely Would Buy 27% 20%

Probably Would Buy 43 40

Top Two Box 70% 60%

Might or Might Not Buy 22%

Probably Would Not Buy 5

Definitely Would Not Buy 3

Summary of concept testing
Summary of Concept Testing

  • Advantages

    • relatively easy to get customer input

    • can be used as an early screen for new product ideas

  • Limitations

    • not that helpful for the design and development of specific product forms

    • not as reliable for discontinuousinnovations

Conjoint analysis
Conjoint Analysis

Primary benefit in addition to

(or in lieu of) concept tests:

forces a trade-off

Conjoint analysis1
Conjoint Analysis

  • Can be used to quantify the relative importance of attributes

  • Can be used to help determine the combination of attributes that maximizes appeal

  • Relatively easy for incremental innovation

  • Requires experts or information accelerationfor discontinuous innovations

see (1) Page and Rosenbaum (1987), “Redesigning Product Lines

With Conjoint Analysis,” J Product Innovation Mgmt

(2) {Sawtooth Software}

Major assumptions
Major Assumptions

  • An offering is a bundle of attributes and benefits. An offering can be decomposed into a bundle of “features” for which “utility values” can be calculated.

  • The utility value of an offering is some simple function of the utilities of the offering’s “feature” levels.

  • Customers prefer the offering with the highest utility value.

Conjoint steps 1 and 2
Conjoint: Steps 1 and 2

  • Identify Relevant Attributes

    • Survey/Focus Group/Intuition

    • Salsa Example (Thickness, Color, Spiciness)

  • Identify Relevant Levels of Each Attribute

    • Thickness: Regular, Thick, Extra-Thick

    • Color: Red, Green

    • Spiciness: Mild, Medium-Hot, Extra Hot

Create profiles for each combination
Create Profiles for each Combination

  • 3 thickness (reg., thick, extra-thick)

  • 2 color (red, green)

  • 3 spiciness (mild, med/hot, extra hot)

  • Leads to 3X2X3 = 18 Profiles

Conjoint step 3
Conjoint: Step 3

  • Choose a Sample

    • Considerations:

      • Consumer Involvement

      • Typicality

      • Diversity (if multiple segments)

      • Expertise (if complex or discontinuous)

Conjoint step 4
Conjoint: Step 4

  • Obtain Customer Judgements

    • Rank Order

      • Sort into categories

      • Rank the profiles within each category

    • Pair-wise Comparisons

      • Use a computer package to quickly hone in on important attributes

Conjoint step 5
Conjoint: Step 5

  • Compute Individual Value Systems

  • Use MONANOVA for rank order data

    • Output in the form of standardized utilities

Conjoint step 6
Conjoint: Step 6

  • Find the average utilities (part-worths) for each attribute

    • Intuition: Find the attribute with the biggest range in utilities across the different levels

    • Use graphs/calculations for importance measures

    • Be careful with averages

      • Segments may exist

      • Cluster Analysis can tell you

Let s consider golf balls
Let’s consider golf balls...

• distance and durability

• durability and price

• distance and control

Conjoint analysis2
Conjoint Analysis

  • Average Average PriceDriving Ball Life Distance

  • 250 yards 54 holes $3.00

  • 220 yards 36 holes $4.00

  • 200 yards 18 holes $5.00

Your optimal product design
Your“Optimal” Product Design

Driving Distance

of 200 yards

Average Ball Life

of 54 holes


See also Titleist’s Ball-Fitting and

Wilson’s Custom Fit

How can conjoint analysis be conducted
How can conjoint analysis be conducted?

  • One-on-One Personal Interviews

    • written or verbal concept descriptions

    • multimedia presentation of concepts

      • RTI’s TradeOff VR; Sawtooth’s Sensus TradeOff; MIT’s Information Acceleration

    • networked computer facilities

      • Moskowitz Jacobs

  • Mail

    • written concept descriptions

    • disk by mail

  • Internet

    • the future??

Summary of conjoint analysis
Summary of Conjoint Analysis

  • Advantages

    • the relative importance of product features can be quantified using customer input

    • only need to test a relatively small number of actual product designs

  • Limitations

    • output is usually not directly linked to actual purchase