Testing new product ideas

Date of publication: September 1, 1966

Author: Bud Sherak


There is a limit to what one should expect from concept testing even under the best of circumstances. Often it is difficult to develop a product that will live up to the promise of the concept, or to develop a presentation of a concept that will do justice to the product. Even if product and concept match exactly, there are too many other variables operating in the marketplace to expect concept testing to predict accurately all the time. Despite these limitations concept testing does appear to work and companies are generally pleased with their test programs. What is needed is much more methodological research to develop and test alternative techniques. At present, there is scarcely any objective evidence in support of one concept testing method over another. I lean toward tests which use finished presentations of concept statements and simulate purchase behaviour to some degree. When the evidence is in, I am confident we shall find that these techniques are the most predictive.

Bud Sherak


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