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Concept Testing. Concept Testing Approaches Branding Decisions in Concept Testing Conjoint Analysis. Concept Selection. How can the team choose the best concept (even though the designs are still being developed)? How can a decision be made that is embraced by the entire team?

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concept testing

Concept Testing

Concept Testing Approaches

Branding Decisions in Concept Testing

Conjoint Analysis

concept selection
Concept Selection
  • How can the team choose the best concept (even though the designs are still being developed)?
  • How can a decision be made that is embraced by the entire team?
  • How can the “good” attributes of “weak” concepts be identified and used?
  • How can the decision process be systematic?
selecting concepts
Selecting Concepts
  • All teams use some method
    • first concept considered; external decision; product champion; intuition; voting; pros & cons; prototype & test; decision matrices
  • Potential benefits of a structured method include:
    • objectivity in decisions
    • a customer-focused product
    • a competitive design
    • reduced time to product introduction
    • effective group decision making and coordination
    • documentation of process
concept screening scoring
Concept Screening & Scoring
  • Prepare the selection criteria and create the selection matrix
  • Rate the concepts
  • Rank the concepts
  • Combine and improve the concepts
  • Select one or more concepts
step 1
Step 1
  • Prepare Selection Matrix: What are possible criteria for evaluating your “automotive dining” concepts?
    • Ability to meet each interpreted need
    • Manufacturing costs
    • Market need, growth, size
    • Compatibility with firm’s other products/culture
    • Compatibility with firm’s current technology
    • Market competitiveness (cost to maintain position)
step 2
Step 2
  • Rate the Concepts
    • Using a reference point
    • Relative performance
      • much worse than reference = 1
      • worse than reference = 2
      • same as reference = 3
      • better than reference = 4
      • much better than reference = 5
step 3
Step 3
  • Rank the Concepts
    • Use criteria weights (if multiple segments)
    • Total score for each concept
next steps
Next Steps

4. Combine and Improve the Concepts

5. Select One (or More) Concepts

6. Move on to Concept Testing

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 and to insure that customer needs are focused on throughout the project
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
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
the concept statement3
The Concept Statement
  • Format
    • Narrative
    • Drawing / Diagram
the concept statement4
The Concept Statement
  • Drawing/Diagram
the concept statement5
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
  • 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
what is a brand
What is a Brand?
  • Name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or groups of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competition.” - AMA
why brand
Why Brand?
  • Identify product
  • Reduce risk
  • Reduce consumer search cost
  • Signal quality
  • Legal protection
  • Create product associations
  • Differentiate product
brand equity
Brand Equity
  • Sources of Brand Knowledge
    • Brand Awareness
    • Brand Image
      • Strength of Brand Associations
      • Favorability of Brand Associations
      • Uniqueness of Brand Associations
types of brand associations
Types of Brand Associations
  • Attributes
    • Product related
    • Non-product related
  • Benefits
    • Functional
    • Experiential
    • Symbolic
  • Attitudes
why extend a brand
Why Extend a Brand?
  • Immediate brand awareness
  • Transfer existing associations
  • Faster trial
  • Reinforce core brand
why not extend a brand
Why Not Extend a Brand?
  • “Boomerang” potential
  • Dilution (e.g., Samsung)
  • Bad “fit
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