Will My Product “Go Viral?”: What to Look for in Concept Tests

concept testing

Could these be the products that takes your sales viral? Concept testing helps you find out.
Image source Flickr user Thomas2047

As more and more companies do concept testing as a core element of their product development processes, success margins will increase overall. Companies competing in tight-margin industries, such as CPG firms, have the most to benefit from improvements in this cycle. Incorporating concept testing into your business model has several advantages, namely those related to mitigating risk. It helps you avoid spending limited resources, both human and financial, on developing products that fail. It also helps prevent the brand erosion that happens with a product launch failure. Yet concept testing can also be used to help you pinpoint the potential level of product success. How can companies analyze concept tests to determine which products or services have the potential to go viral? Continue reading

On Trends: 4 Strategies for Using Industry Data to Develop New Product Concepts

new concept development

Are you reading all the right publications to keep track of your industry and generate new concept ideas?//Image source: Flickr user greyloch


Earlier this week, we discussed two strategies that businesses use to develop new product concepts – mining consumer data and keeping track of their competitor’s activities. A third strategy that’s critically important is keeping your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in your industry. There are many ways to do this, including a dialogue with your customers and other companies in your space. But there are numerous other sources that companies can use to track the latest trends in their industry, which may inspire ideas for new concept development and concept testing. Continue reading

How Concept Testing Can Support Your Innovation Pipeline

innovation pipeline

What new product concepts does your innovation pipeline hold?
Image source Pipeline by Flickr user Randi-Shooters

Does your company use the phrase “innovation pipeline?” If the answer is no, maybe you should consider it. The term refers to an internal process that businesses use to generate new ideas constantly. It’s especially relevant in highly generative industries like consumer packaged goods and electronics, where new product development and deployment is critical to staying relevant. As management thought leader Peter Drucker has famously said, innovation is “hard, focused, purposeful” work. Here’s a closer look at how companies are building innovation pipelines and where concept testing fits in that overall picture. Continue reading

Scoping Out Opponents: How New Product Concepts May Take Shape Using Competitive Analysis

competitive analysis

Are your competitors swimming ahead of you?
Image source Flickr user Jayhem

Yesterday, we discussed the role of customer surveys in developing new product ideas. Another aspect of the picture that consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies can use for generating new product concepts is to develop a strategy that allows them to analyze the competitive market. By watching the trends that are picking up steam and strategically evaluating where your competitors are investing, what products they are releasing, and what messaging they’re testing with their audience. Each of these can point to clues about the broader consumer landscape and give you insights that serve as launch points for innovation in your own concept development process. Continue reading

How to Put Consumer Surveys to Work When You’re Developing New Product Concepts

customer insights

What insights can your customers offer for your product development efforts?
Image source: Flickr user 10ch

New product development is the lifeblood of consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies. One of the best ways to develop new product ideas is by reaching out to your customers. In many cases, your customers will actively approach your company and ask for specific modifications to existing products or suggest product categories that they wish you provided. Opening these communication channels on an ongoing basis, as well as investing in market research agendas that get consumers thinking along these lines, can help you develop a rich pipeline of product concepts to test. Here are several ways that creative companies are using their customers to come up with new product concepts to test in the wider market. Continue reading

How Surveys Will Save Your Company When Consumers Go Dark

consumer privacy

Surveys are the best form of market research that preserves customer privacy.
Image source: Flickr user Sean MacEntee

Leveraging survey tools and concept testing platforms that engage with your existing customers or the broader public to solicit feedback is one of the next big trends in marketing. You heard that right: the good old fashioned survey is making a comeback. But hasn’t the business media been buzzing with discussing of how embedding cookies or covertly gathering data from users’ browsers and mobile devices would change market research as we know it? It’s true that big data is big business. But the public has gotten wind of these potential privacy violations unfolding, and major pushback has started. That’s why it’s important that your market research agenda focuses on surveys and other research formats where consumers consent to participate to keep dialogues open and trust levels high. Continue reading

Using Market Research to Promote Brand Awareness: Why It Matters and Taking Effective Steps

brand awareness

Does your brand stand out from the crowd?
Image source Flickr user Eva Rinaldi

Brand awareness is a market research measurement metric that refers to the degree to which consumers and the public at large are familiar with your brand. Awareness of your brand has several implications, but mostly it connects to intent to purchase. When a buyer defines a need in an area that overlaps with your products or services and your brand comes to mind, you’re at least in the running as they consider options for making a purchase. The more visible your brand and the clearer its brand promise and values, the better positioned you are to make a sale. Here’s a closer look at the elements of brand awareness, how to cultivate it, and why it matters. Continue reading

Alternative Sweeteners and Soda: What New Trends Can We Expect to See?

vintage soda

What direction can we expect soda development to go in the years ahead?//Image source Flickr user Woody1778a

A number of new soda products have hit the market in recent months. The glut of new products is being influenced by two major shifts in the CPG beverage market: a drop in soda consumption overall and an interest in healthy alternatives to low calorie and low carb sweeteners that have acquired bad reputations. The trends, which were explored a bit in our most recent Shelf Score piece, range to include everything from beverages sweetened with sugar to those sweetened with natural plant alternatives like stevia. Here’s a closer look at how the trend is unfolding, and the steps that CPG companies are taking to ride the wave of interest in healthier soda alternatives.

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Use Market Research to Get Beyond the Facts and Into the Customer Journey

market research

How well are you connecting your market research to the buyer’s journey?
Image source: Flickr user h.koppdelaney

According to one study, 83% of marketing executives stated that one of their top priorities was developing a process to map content assets to the buying journey. One of the major focuses of market research is unveiling the “customer journey” through the collection of facts and data. But structuring your research agenda, questions, and analysis to allow you to dig deep enough to get that information can be a major strategic challenge. It’s tempting to ask surface-level questions that don’t allow you the right level of insights. Here’s how to frame your research and analyze your results to get the information you need to enhance your understanding of the buyer’s journey and streamline your marketing funnel.

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Will Starbucks Have a Winner With Cold-Brew Coffee?

cold brew coffee

Cold-brew coffee is taking the coffee drinking world by storm. Will it be Starbucks’ next big product?
Image source Flickr user joyosity

Caffeinated beverage lovers everywhere are buzzing about cold brew coffee. Unlike traditional iced coffee beverages which are brewed hot, cold brew coffee is made by soaking ground coffee in cool water for several hours. Coffee drinks that are cold brewed are supposedly less acidic and more flavorful. Recently, coffee giant Starbucks announced that they have begun testing out their own cold brew product at select store locations. The unique beverage has also been popping up in specialty supermarkets like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods in recent years. Here’s what’s behind the sudden cold brew coffee craze, and some important takeaways for your business. Continue reading