Product testing consists of an objective appraisal of the product performance, free of subjective associations created by other elements of the marketing mix, such as price, image, style and presentation. The actual nature of product testing depends on the product itself, but essentially a method to find how well the product will perform in actual use. Daxue Consulting provides product testing in China with an objective goal to ascertain the market response to the proposed product so that the management team can decide whether or not the product should be further produced and sold in Mainland and Hong Kong.
Once the product concept has been validated, a detailed market study should be conducted before the begin of real, big business. To market the product, the study will help to form the foundation of the marketing plan. Whether testing product is useful depends on the resource-intensiveness and the easiness to make alteration to the product. Product testing are of great use to many products that are not resource intensive and easy to make changes, for example, FMCG products.
Product testing includes test marketing. Basically, test marketing consists of launching the product on a limited scale in a representative market. thus avoiding the costs of a full-scale launch of new products thanks to in-time collection of market data which may subsequently be used for predictive purposes.
The higher the price of a product, the more the buying criteria customers may concern. These criteria include price, design of the product, key attributes of the product, the after-sale service, etc. Thus, it is vital for the company to think on the customers` side before marketing the product on a public basis.
In seeking to establish how prospective buyers will perceive the product, certain marketing tools are used by Daxue Consulting, such as suggestion box, questionnaire, personal and group interviews or online panel.
Some developers prefer to test a product concept at the design stage whereby the product is exposed to the prospective buyers and feedback received. For example, a survey may informs the surveyed group to advertise the proposed product development and then enquiries gathered from the public can be used to evaluate marketability of the project.
Some developers may want to use certain products as a test for other similar products in the same product line, to seek possibilities of further improvement in future production. For instance, the development of a newly-designed kimono in one place may be used as a test to define the possibility of pursuing similar product offering in other locations. Especially when the developers are not particularly sure about the acceptability of the product, it is essential that testing be undertaken before detailed market studies and the final design.
Testing product should be differentiated from trial-and-error marketing in that the former is part of product development process as the former is part of product development process while the latter is a kind of marketing approach. For a marketing manager, the essence of product testing is, in view of potential risks associated with new product introduction, product testing could logically precede company`s commitment to large-scale production and marketing. One way of managing this is to include the product concept in the feasibility study, on-going research and development, marketing research, or marketing intelligence activities.
By Amy Wang