How to Get Started with Concept Testing

Concept testing

Did you ever know that more than 90% of products fail before they launch? This may not be a remarkable statistic if you are a business owner. However, it can be inspirational if you want to create a successful campaign. Moreover, if you’re going to deliver the right quality, you need to ensure it’s perfect on the launch date. 

Moreover, concept testing is more important than you think. It allows you to identify how customers feel about your product and services. Furthermore, you can use concept testing to test product features before the launch date. This way, you avoid any unnecessary costs and save yourself more time. 

Let’s not wait any further because, in this article, we will show the necessary steps you need to follow to get started with concept testing. 

What is concept testing? 

Concept testing asks your users how they feel about your product, project, and ad campaign ideas. Concept testing will usually use surveys to get valuable feedback from customers on what they think about the company’s ideas. Then, concept testing identifies how your target audience reacts to a new product feature and adjusts based on their feedback. 

How to start with concept testing? 

Set a goal 

Before you even start thinking about concept testing, you need to set up a goal. Your goal is what determines how your test will be. For example, a good survey goal will answer the three following questions: 

  • First, what type of response do I want to receive? 
  • What kind of data am I going to get? 
  • Finally, how will I use this data when I receive it? 


For example, take a look at this Samsung advertisement about their camera. It isn’t enough to say if the ad is good or not. Instead, you must answer the three questions above. 

So, what is a specific goal in this case? 

A specific goal isn’t only getting feedback on your ad design but getting feedback from professional photographers on what would motivate them to buy this camera. The feedback you get will allow you to decide if you should continue with this ad or not. Taking this feedback into consideration will allow you to identify how your test is going and enable you to focus on the quality of your concept testing. 

Choose the proper concept test survey methodology. 

For your concept testing to be successful, consider the methodology you will be using. The most common survey methodologies include:

  • Monadic (single concept): participants fully evaluate a single concept 
  • Sequential Monadic (multiple concepts): participants fully evaluate multiple concepts 

Each product testing methodology has its own pros and cons, and to further assess what they are, here are a few of them. 

Single concept (monadic) evaluation pros: 

  • Fast for participants 
  • Has an unbiased view of each concept 
  • Better response rate
  • In-depth details of every concept 

Single concept evaluation cons: 

  • More expensive
  • Requires much more responses 
  • It takes longer to fill out the survey 

Multiple concept (sequential monadic) evaluation pros: 

  • Requires fewer responses
  • It is much more cost-effective 
  • Detailed results for every single concept 

Multiple concept evaluation cons: 

  • Longer response time
  • Biased about other concepts 

Concept selection 

When there is a comparative selection, respondents will have to analyze two or more concepts. After, they choose which one they think is best and explain why so. This allows organizations and companies to identify which concepts respondents prefer the most. 

Concept evaluation 

This includes combining both single concept evaluation and concept selection into one. Respondents can choose their favorite idea once they thoroughly evaluate a concept. This may take longer than a standard concept, but the good part is that it gives you an in-depth analysis of your participant’s preferences. 

However, despite the type of method you go with, you’ll need to create a survey to gather feedback from your participants. 

Set up your stimuli (consistent structure)

Concept testing depends a lot on stimuli. You might wonder what exactly stimuli is? Stimuli is a market research term for ads, names, individual concepts, and packages that you wish to test. For example, if you are testing concept A against concept B, they are both considered stimuli, and they fall into the following categories: 

  • Text (Name, messaging, and more)
  • Video (Social media ads, TV ads, and more) 
  • Images (Packaging, logos, and more) 

You need to make sure you always present your stimuli consistently to ensure you avoid biasing your participants. 

Choose the right survey components. 

Your concept tests can easily be set up once you determine the key components of your survey. Identify the objectives of your concept testing and ensure that it’ll answer your team’s questions. 

Here are some of the major components you need for a concept test: 

  • Interest, reaction to the concept 
  • How likely it is for the concept to be used or purchased 
  • Improvements over current methods of doing things 

The components of a concept analysis evaluation: 

  • The likes and dislikes of the concept 
  • Whether the concept is going to be a replacement or addition. 
  • Quality, durability, and more attribute evaluations

Components of value analysis and situation evaluation: 

  • What is the likelihood of the concept being used in specific situations? 
  • Price sensitivity 
  • The preferred payment method 
  • Current use situation 

Furthermore, you can use market segments for your target market as a component of segmentation analysis.

Likert Scale 

The Likert scale is a popular method of conducting surveys. It asks respondents to rate their answers on a scale from five to 10 points: “strongly agree” or “strongly disagree.”  With the Likert scale, you can have an easier time analyzing results. 

Here is an example of the Likert Scale regarding concept testing. 


What to not do in concept testing

Here are a few tips on what you should avoid doing in concept testing at all costs: 

  • Avoid dismissing ideas early: It’s always good to have ideas coming in but focus more on evaluating them and not dismiss them too early. You never know how much you actually may benefit from the idea itself. 
  • Don’t reject a concept too quickly: You don’t want to fall into the trap of dismissing a concept only because consumers found it difficult to grasp. It’s normal if customers don’t see the concept appealing initially, but it may get better. 
  • Don’t expect to get everything right on the first try: Innovations are there for a reason, and with consistent feedback and listening to what issues your audience may have, you can get your concept better over time. Nobody is perfect from the start. 
  • Don’t think concept testing requires lots of time: There are many quick solutions to finishing concept testing quicker than you think. For instance, there are many agencies out there that can help you with concept testing and have the required level of support. 

Examples of concept testing 


A great example of concept testing we wish to use is Tesla. A few years ago, Tesla started to make headlines when its car started to get approved by investors and many other people. All participants were presented with the Model 3, and after they learned about its features, they had the option to put a deposit for the future smart car. 

Fortunately, Tesla succeeded and raised more than $400 million for this project. Tesla gathered valuable feedback and accumulated the required financial resources to execute the project by constantly paying attention to its customers! 


Mallow & Marsh 


Mallow & Marsh make their marshmallow treats filled with love. Their creative marketing ideas bring new product innovations every single day. 

To ensure every product development process is going smoothly, Mallow and Marsh ensure that they use data to innovate their products. Moreover, this helps them justify purchase intentions. 

Furthermore, Mallow & Marsh use a marketing research tool to test and validate their products through multiple concepts in the development cycle. Considering them to be a small company, they prioritize return on investment (ROI) and have been successful throughout their campaigns because their revenue rate is $9 million as of now.

Wrapping it up 

Well, that’s about it for this article. These were our tips and tricks on how to get started with concept testing. We showed you a few examples you can use for your concept testing. After all, you always want to ensure you gather the proper feedback to perform your concept testing successfully. 

For example, Tesla was a great example of concept testing and how it gained notice in such a short time. When Tesla’s smart car was out, it had already persuaded enough people to buy it and invest in it. Thus, these examples are practical to apply in your own company.