Rapid concept testing helps time-poor CPG companies improve the odds for new product success

Hard data and insight, not intuition and stardust, is the key to identifying winning concepts, says Nielsen

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Nielsen's Quick Predict concept testing tool can deliver high quality feedback within days
Nielsen's Quick Predict concept testing tool can deliver high quality feedback within days

Related tags Marketing Nielsen

While no consumer panel or computer algorithm can predict with 100% accuracy whether a new product will be a hit, being able to get rapid, high-quality feedback on concepts at an early stage can save a huge amount of time and money later on, says Nielsen, which has just unveiled a new tool it claims significantly improves the odds of delivering a winner.

While many market researchers will take four weeks to deliver consumer feedback on a concept, Nielsen’s Concept Quick Predict can deliver feedback within days, coupled with insights based on what is actually selling in the marketplace – data rival firms do not have access to, Kevin Daly, SVP product management and marketing in Nielsen’s innovation practice, told FoodNavigator-USA.

“We know what questions to ask based on all the data that we have. Our questions are proprietary, but in general, you’re not just trying to determine whether consumers like the product, but whether it’s something they need or desire. Is it compelling, is it solving a problem, and what alternatives to it are already on the market? Is it really a unique proposition?

“Sometimes we’ll send the concepts out to or own consumer panels and sometimes to third party panels ​[of target consumers for the concept in question]. Quick Predict uses the same ‘Factors for Success’ framework and validated methodology as our other tools, but automates the process for faster delivery, so you get results back in days not weeks.

"We also have tools that enable our clients’ teams to collaborate – like a specialized google doc – via our innovation studio.”

Everybody wants to make decisions based on data

He added: “Our clients are under severe pressure to make more rapid decisions about which innovations to launch and human resources​ [devoted to R&D/product development] are going down, but they still need quality analytics.

Does the world need my new product? Source: Nielsen

“If you are a very large company, speed is incredibly important. You can’t wait 4-5 weeks for feedback. 

"You might be launching 500 new products a year globally, so that might mean testing 2,500-3,000 concepts, so historically, we’ve maybe only been testing a small subset of these concepts. With this tool we hope that we can make the high quality feedback available to a greater percentage of these concepts, so that maybe we can move the needle ​[such that a higher percentage of new products succeed]."

Intuition is overrated

He added: “It’s always very tempting to look at a concept and say ‘I know' ​[that it will be a hit or a miss] but as long as we’ve been doing this, you always get surprises, so everybody wants to make decisions based on data. Quick Predict works three times faster than traditional screening tools to help determine your concept's probability of success and financial potential, plus, qualitative insights into how to make it better.​  

“There is a lot of technology out there ​[enabling rapid concept testing with online consumer panels], but a lot of these approaches are not validated, whereas our tools are validated and are more predictive of whether a product will succeed."

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