Concept Development and Testing

Involve prospective users and audiences in concept testing and development for new products, marketing and other ideas.

Allow customers and potential customers to interact with the product, advertising and digital concept(s). Do they like it? Where are their reservations – security, price, value, complexity? What is the best way to resolve these? Product refinement and / or a FAQ on the website? Explore selling models and how to optimise the value proposition. Brand testing, distribution expectations, how to scale et cera, et cetera. This may be via focus groups, face-to-face at shopping centres, on-line surveys or otherwise, depending on the best methodology for the situation. Allow customers, the audience and users to be involved in concept testing and development.

Such concept development and testing projects can be launched and reported rapidly (i.e. overnight to a week or two) providing strategic timeliness. While some concept development is more complex, often clients are seeking quick feedback to allow progress with more than blind faith.

Square Holes project examples …

  • Working with city public transport refining user digital planning tools
  • Testing and refining logo, identity and marketing strategy to grow brands
  • Support to optimise price and value perception for a major tourist attraction

Three typical concept testing key steps

1) Planning

  • Project briefing and defining needs
  • Set-up of initial idea concepts for testing

2) Insight collection

  • Focus groups and/or survey(s)
  • Analysis of findings

3) Ideas prioritisation

  • Reporting of optimal ideas to drive change
  • Debriefing of concept feedback / priorities


Better digital

Research is valuable in gaining user and potential user feedback. There is often a mismatch between internal priorities and views / behaviours, and actual users, and how to maximise repeat usage and positive word-of-mouth. Research is valuable in understanding how users navigate, key user and potential segments to target and an exploration to support design and build.

Logos and advertising

Testing of brand identity, advertising and marketing concepts (prior full cost of production and execution) is valuable to gain insights into the likely response to potential campaigns. This may be to preempt the emotional response, message take-out and impact, as well as to identify opportunities for refinement such as brand visibility, images, copy et cetera.

New product ideas

Research helps identify consumer pain points and opportunities. It is also invaluable to measure and explore opportunities for refinement, as well as which product combination is likely optimal across the market (e.g. elements, pricing and size). This will create models and direction to maximise revenue and profitability amongst key segments.

Pricing / value models

Research can model optimal pricing, and segment differentiation. Statistical approaches such as Choice Based Conjoint asks users to choose between a limited set of alternatives against fictional products or services with a number of stated characteristics, and asking respondents choose between alternatives to develop a pricing model for scenario planning.

Square Holes conducts research for a wide-range of government, commercial and other clients.

Share this: