Probably one of the more recognisable market research methodologies, concept testing is designed to collect and gauge user feedback of an idea or design in the early stages of development.
Concept testing can be used to gain solid data and insights from consumers/audiences about the finer details surrounding your product, marketing campaign or brand revamp via surveys or focus groups. Proper market research and validation can significantly reduce the failure rate of new products/marketing campaigns as understanding customer needs, preferences, and pain points can help companies develop products or messaging that has a higher chance of success.
Over our 19+ years of operation, Square Holes has moderated and helped guide a range of concept testing projects for both commercial and government clients like the Department for Premier and Cabinet, SA Power Networks, TAFE SA, Green Industries SA, Department for Infrastructure and Transport, NCVER, Renewal SA, SA Health, Adelaide City Council and Ekermanns to name just a few.
Jason Dunstone, Square Holes Managing Director, says that when done correctly, concept testing is key to helping brands and businesses to make bold leaps into the unknown.
“Considered concept testing is about providing illumination and guidance at pivotal stage in the design process. Research allows brands and businesses to build from a foundation of knowns,” says Dunstone.
“It allows you to be brave and bold with the knowledge that your next steps forward are backed by consumer insights.”
In 2020 Square Holes partnered with SA Power Networks to run a foundational study into the awareness of electrical safety among key demographics in South Australia. The study was the starting point for a strategic social marketing campaign to change community behaviour around downed powerlines, in traffic incidents, tingles and shocks in the home and farm safety.
Paul Roberts, SA Power Networks (SAPN) Head of Corporate Affairs said that this first round of research helped SAPN to hone their message.
“We found that people kind of thought they knew what to do, but when we actually explored it with them, in reality their assumptions were incorrect and had the potential to place them in even greater danger. So that was what guided the campaign,” said Roberts.
Using the information gleaned from the foundational study, SAPN developed the ‘You’ll be shocked what you don’t know’ campaign, which they then tested through concept testing with Square Holes before its release.
“This (campaign) is driven by the approach of understanding what the issues are, understanding what people’s perceptions are, and then tailoring a campaign to tackle those core issues. Then you check the campaign makes sense to people before you go out with it, and once it’s live, you test the waters from time to time to check that it’s actually doing what you want it to do,” said Roberts.
By simply testing ideas before investing in them, brands and companies can save a significant amount of money and time and, in some cases, avoid a decision that could be catastrophic for their brand. While statistics around the failure rate of new products varying wildly from 30 – 50% to up to 85%, what is largely agreed upon is that lack of research is the main cause of this failure.
Want to learn more about concept testing and how it can help your business/organisation? Head here.