Oh my product!
I carry you in my thoughts
I often wonder if you’re ready for the world
This world, is a tough place to be
Oh my product!
Is it time? Is it time to be?
Don’t worry. I will nurture you, be the best you can,
The forces will haunt you, be prepared, be strong!
This is where you belong.
Developing a product from infancy to its full grown form requires stages of rigorous testing. In this ever evolving market, where multiple forces work and pull new launches towards their success or eventual doom, it becomes even more imperative that we be doubly sure before introducing a new idea/product to the world.
Even then, brand and product managers often cringe from conducting concept tests – often times citing crunched go-to-market timelines, uncertainty around who will conduct the tests, how will it happen, is it the right way to test, will it give me a clear decision?
Given this hitch, ideas keep piling up over time and a lot of them get dropped even before seeing the light of the day. Mostly, only a few get selected on the basis of intuition to be tested with consumers.
Thus, there is a huge need to ‘test’ but test efficiently and fast. Consider the concept of ‘Fail fast’ that embraces the need for experimentation however streamlined experimentation enables quick decision making – so even if an idea has to fail, you learn that quickly and move on to the next big thing. This involves testing ‘more’ ideas at the ‘right’ time so you can focus on the ideas most likely to succeed before investing deeply in development.
When is fast and furious Testing Most Appropriate?
Time to market is always important. But it’s more important to get your best ideas to market, and do it quickly to keep your competition on your heels, instead of letting them gain the lead.
Couple of situations that benefit most from fast and furious testing.
- Pricing as a Moving TargetAre you subject to constantly shifting price points? Hotels are a great example. A big conference is coming to town—can you increase your room rate? To how much? A new competitor is opening their doors. Heck, the weather changed. It’s important to get the price right so you’re not losing market share, or worse, leaving money on the table. Test price points, offers, price ranges, or even price sensitivity to maximize opportunity.
- New and ImprovedWe see it all the time. But what compels the consumer to part with hard earned money for your improvement? When extending an existing product line, making the right promise is what inspires the purchase. But don’t just test the message; test how the message is delivered. Packaging, color, point of sale are also important purchase influencers. Testing all of this may sound daunting, but it is faster and easier than you might think. And the results—sales—are worth it.
- Trendy ProductsProducts with a seasonal dynamic, where constant product line refresh is needed to keep customers engaged, are perfect for fast and furious testing. New sports drink flavors, fashion, home décor, restaurants few examples. You have a short window of time to reap sales and you have to get it right to keep your brand fresh and alive. Perfect for fast and furious testing!
- Disruptive New IdeasAre you breaking completely new ground? Test a gamut of ‘new to the world’ prototypes to shortlist the most likeable versions and build strategies to create an uncontested market space. Blue Ocean testing, testing pretty much all your ideas, can yield shocking insights that help you bring the best innovation to market in the best way.
- Date Driven EventsThat big music festival is coming up and your audience is there in force. You want to do something fun that creates buzz and ideas are swimming around in your head. How do you decide what will give you the best bang? It’s got to be current. Fast testing of fun ideas will help you not only corral your ideas, but can improve your chances of success tremendously. Maybe you’ll even get a viral win!
How to Get There?
Testing the traditional way, with an outside consultant or agency, is a great resource with quality results. But they do tend to take a month or two to complete—sometimes longer. And they can be pricey. Lightweight free online tools are fine for simple surveys, but don’t quite provide the sophistication that gives you confidence to make big make or break decisions that impact your bottom line. New technologies are coming on the scene, like our tool, Navik Concept Test, that are changing the game. So you can test to your heart’s content and get your best ideas to market with confidence. And because, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.” – Wayne Gretzky
Authored by Sanchi Bhatia – Research Analyst, Market Research Practice at Absolutdata