Idea and Concept Consumer Screening—Done Correctly—Plays A Critical Role and That’s Why It’s SOP for Savvy Innovators and Developers

When it comes to evaluating new ideas or concepts...

"Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward: they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game."

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

...those either intended as a new offering or a line extension, efficiency is paramount to optimizing R&D time and budgets. The world is filled with too many cautionary tales that should give any member of an innovation team nightmares. No one wants another New Coke and Wow! potato chips. A common suggestion for insuring against a costly (and humiliating) product launch is to idea screen it. Succinctly, the goal for prudent marketers is to use idea screening to scrutinize as many potential ideas as possible, thereby segregating the products with the most potential to succeed from the ones with the least.

Not every marketing research firm is able to implement an effective idea screen program that goes beyond identifying “most preferred” and identifies “why.” Understanding why an idea or concept resonates with consumers lends a lot to the go or no-go decision. In addition to a battery of A&U questions, respondents are usually asked to complete at least one MaxDiff exercise to help the client determine which concept is most preferred. Ultimately, a menu of concepts is winnowed down to a select few that research reveals are the most motivating for customers to purchase. Herein lies a seemingly semantical but crucial point of differentiation between most screening programs and what Marketing Workshop offers. When Marketing Workshop’s multi-analysis screening program is complete, analysis exceeds purchase intent.

Marketing Workshop routinely conducts idea and concept screening for clients representing various industries, among them restaurants; by example, major QSR clients vetting ideas and concepts. For these clients, we custom design consumer screening studies, including a variety of proprietary metrics, to ascertain which among upwards of 60 options are “champions,” “opportunities” and “underdogs.” Our WISEtrial™ metric, for example, is used to develop a more holistic measure of each concept’s future potential to better discriminate between concepts. Resulting is an index score to help determine the percentage of customers who would be expected to purchase (or try) the product if it were made available, a subtle but important distinction between just purchase motivation.

Additional metrics—including an advanced MaxDiff, WISEtrial™, as well as TURF (Total Unduplicated Reach and Frequency)—are typically employed to determine preference and leverage those results to calculate reach value. The final output includes an advanced, but user friendly “snapshot” that focuses on the “champions,” their strengths, how they fare among target customers, presentation likes/dislikes (e.g., with or without melted American cheese) and recommendations on next steps (e.g., proceed to sensory testing).

Ultimately, every new idea deserves only the accuracy and thoroughness that a Marketing Workshop idea or concept screening program can deliver. Do it right the first time so your next new idea (or ideas) aren’t simply for redemption, and your concept prioritization is optimized.

~ Marketing Workshop

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