Best Practices

How To Build A Meaningful Concept Screening Program

 2021/10/hand-pulling-bar-chart.jpg Male Hand Pulling Bar of Graph Chart
Male Hand Pulling Bar of Graph Chart

New technology is creating constantly evolving, fast-moving marketplaces.  Businesses that are thriving in this new landscape are generating dozens of new ideas on a regular basis and are consistently feeding their R & D pipeline. New innovations typically center on evolving processes, enhancing existing products, creating new offerings, building new service delivery channels, and creating new markets.

Home run ideas have the potential to create exponential growth for a firm. However, focusing on ideas that don’t drive consumer appeal or are not seen as filling an unmet need will strain resources, hurt financial performance, and negatively impact the brand. Therefore, it’s critical to use a audience-driven concept screening program to meaningfully prioritize the best ideas for further development.

Many pre-built concept testing programs and normative databases exist. While these tools provide some directional guidance for how new ideas stack up relative to others previously tested, they often miss the mark in providing insights that are specifically relevant for the business and predictive of actual market potential.

Shortcomings of pre-built concept screening programs and normative databases include:

  • Concept stimuli that are not consistent from test to test. Some concepts are only written descriptions, others include pictures, and still others will present video. Some include pricing, others do not. All of these differences create variance in how consumers react to each concept.
  • Sample composition that varies across evaluated concepts. While housed within one normative database, the concepts being tested all typically have unique targets and must be evaluated by different populations.  Even concepts within the same category often have nuances in targeting that create differences across the distribution of survey responses.
  • Norms are typically provided at more of a macro level than desired. For instance, a database may be able to provide a norm for all credit card concepts tested, but may not be able to isolate concepts targeted to rewards-based cards or credit cards aimed at a certain type of consumer.
  • Diagnostics for why ideas score highly or poorly are not available. Most normative databases will provide a score for a concept across a handful of key metrics, but will not diagnose the components of the idea that are driving the overall assessment.

For these reasons, Radius consults our clients to build custom, proprietary concept screening programs. Best-in-class custom programs offer several critical benefits:

  • Standard guidelines for the development of the concept stimuli to be shown to survey respondents. All concepts include the same elements, shown in the same order, with the same level of finish.
  • Consistent sample sourcing and framing, both within waves and across waves.
  • A coding of all concepts to allow for benchmarking at both the macro and micro level (e.g., line of business, purpose of idea, benefit to consumer, etc.)
  • Consistent key metrics (purchase interest, uniqueness, believability) and diagnostics to uncover drivers of performance.  This often includes attributes aligned to the company’s value proposition or brand positioning and a text highlighter to focus on the key phrasing that is creating positive or negative sentiment.
  • The inclusion of concepts that are already in the market (both from the company and from key competitors). This allows for a calibration of the market potential metrics using survey data and actual sales/ share data.
  • A dynamic, sortable online portal to allow for easy access to program results and normative benchmarks.

A well-designed, proprietary concept screening program will directly improve the financial results of your business by…

  • Maximizing your innovation team’s efficiency in making decisions.
  • Targeting only the ideas that are most likely to succeed in the marketplace – based on relevant and meaningful normative insights.
  • Improving success rates by raising the quality of ideas and concepts over time.

For over 50 years, Radius Global Market Research has created customized concept screening programs on behalf of the largest and most successful businesses in the world. Please contact us if you would like to speak with us about how this type of research can be applied within your business.

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