How do you evaluate a product that you wish to launch in the market? How do you decide which variant of the said product will be best suited for your target customers?
According to a Forbes’ article, millions of dollars are spent yearly developing and launching new products. However, only one in 10 prove successful and even fewer enjoy a long shelf life. A report in the Harvard Business Review titled “Why Most Product Launches Fail” claimed that about 75% of consumer packaged goods and retail products fail in their first year.Evidently, the market is saturated with an abundance of products. In such a situation
Product Tests are extremely essential as they allows marketers to access the viability of their product. They makes available information and factual data that is otherwise difficult to access.
How do you do Product Tests?
A select group of consumers are allowed to interact with the product in a controlled environment (example, a room in a shopping complex). This process is referred to as CLT or Central Location Test. It allows the consumers to interact with the product without any distractions and evaluate it on specific parameters
For instance, product test for a chocolate would include evaluating its taste, texture, packaging et cetera. For a bulb, it would mean assessing its shape, size, luminance, colour quality et cetera.
There are two major techniques for testing out a Product- Monadic Technique and Sequential Monadic.This article explains these and explores their relative advantages and drawbacks.
The Monadic Testing technique or survey involves providing a sample size of your target audience with one, individual product. The product is shown in isolation, without influence from other products. Then, a follow up questionnaire is given to the respondents to evaluate and assess the product.
The advantages of this testing are-
- Since a product is evaluated in isolation, the responses are free from any sort of comparison bias
- In depth feedback can be extracted because the respondents have to focus on only one single product
- The questionnaires are generally short and do not consume a lot of the respondents’ time
- As it does away with (Bengston and Brenner, Product Test Results Using Three Different Methodologies)
However, because the Monadic method introduces a respondent to only one product or stimulus, it requires a large sample size of your target audience.
Another drawback is that because it requires a large sample size, it can prove to be infeasible and unaffordable.
Sequential Monadic Method involves showing a sample of your target audience more than one or all of your product variants. The respondents are shown various stimuli and then provided with the same follow up questions for each one of them.It is worth considering that Sequential Monadic method allows the marketers to-
- Draw comparisons between various variants of a stimuli or product
- Since the respondents are shown multiple variants, it requires a smaller sample size
- Compared to Monadic, it is more much cost efficient and feasible
However, because a respondent is being asked to evaluate many variants of the same product, there is a very high risk of order bias. However, this can be minimized by randomizing the products for each respondent.
Using Predictive Analytics for Product Tests
After an organisation has performed its preferred method of testing and launched the best variant of the product in the market, it should-
- Store the test results in a data warehouse, and
- Also put in the Marketing Mix parameters (like sales numbers, money spent on and channels used for product promotion et cetera) after the market performance numbers of the product are in.
What this exercise does is that it allows the marketers to check how effective the Product Test ultimately proved to be. Furthermore, the next time a product testing needs to be done, you can use the historic data and the same marketing spend data to make an accurate prediction of if it will work in the market or not.