How a product testing survey will de-risk innovation

Discover the different ways product testing surveys can be used in the innovation process to minimise risk and maximise your chances of success.

A product testing survey allows companies to gain vital consumer feedback before they bring new products to market. 

There are a number of ways product testing surveys can be used in the NPD (new product development) or innovation process. In this article, we’ll go through them in detail and you’ll also find handy product testing survey templates to help you get started (you can also download our free guide to NPD below).

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Types of product testing surveys

Product concept testing survey

When you have an idea for a new product, you can minimise risk by surveying consumers to test market potential. Research has shown that concept testing is an essential step for avoiding failure.

It’s not unusual for people or teams to be more enthusiastic about their new products than the general public, so it’s important to get unbiased reactions to your idea or ideas before investing lots of money in bringing them to market

A concept testing survey lets you tell people about your new product idea and show them design mock-ups. You can then ask how interested they are in the product, their likelihood to buy it, and what they like and dislike about the idea.

It’s best to use a mixture of single/multiple-choice questions and open text responses. This lets people give feedback in their own words and will provide you with points of view you might not have considered. 

You can also ask respondents about how unique they think the product idea is to help you understand if it’s differentiated enough from what is already available on the market. And, if you’re an established brand, another point worth exploring is whether consumers feel the product is a good fit for your brand. 

Questions to ask:

  • How likely would you be to purchase this product if it was available today?
  • How would you improve this product?
  • What questions do you have about this product?

Learn more about concept testing for new product development. And download our concept testing survey template to get started.

Product feature testing survey

In addition to measuring overall interest in new product ideas, you can use a product testing survey to help refine your offering. Product feature testing helps you work out the features that customers really value and those that might be a waste of time and money implementing. 

For example, let’s say you’re developing a new laptop. Are people happy to lose USB ports in favour of a lighter, more slimline case? How long do they expect the battery to last? How desirable is a touchscreen? 

You can really dig into people’s preferences with a product feature testing survey and use these insights to shape your design. Doing this at the outset can save you from making costly mistakes  – after all, it’s far easier to add or remove features at the drawing board stage.

As well as shaping your product, identifying consumers’ feature preferences can also help you select which angles to focus on in your marketing campaigns. For example, if consumers attach high importance to cosmetics not being tested on animals, you can emphasise that in your advertising. You can also use a product testing survey to nail down the price that consumers will be prepared to pay for your new innovation.

Questions to ask:

  • Please rate how important the following features are in a [insert product type]
  • Which features would make a [insert product type] stand out from the crowd?
  • What price would you be prepared to pay for a [insert product type] with these features?

Download our pricing test survey template to get started.

Testing product designs 

Once you’ve validated your new product idea and settled on the features it will have, you’ll enter the visualisation stage. This is where you draw up various different concepts for how the product could look. A product testing survey focused on design aesthetics will help ensure your product is as attractive as possible to buyers.

You can experiment with things like the colours, shapes, sizes and locations of different features, to see which design options gain the most positive responses from consumers. As well as simply A/B testing people’s favourite design options, you can explore the impact they might have on sales.

For example, perhaps you find that women express 20% higher purchase intent when the product is designed in purple instead of green. Or maybe you can shift perception among consumers aged 50 plus by having larger buttons – understanding the preferences of different demographics can help you appeal to your target consumers.

Questions to ask:

  • Which of these designs is most appealing to you?
  • How likely are you to consider purchasing this product?
  • What do you like/dislike about this design?

Testing packaging designs

Product testing surveys can help you at every stage of the design process – including coming up with a great packaging design for your new product. Perfecting your packaging shouldn’t be overlooked, since it plays such an important role in selling your product.

Not only does packaging need to be eye-catching enough to get your product noticed on the shelf – it must give off exactly the right impression to appeal to your target customer and get them to put it in their basket. Getting this right includes featuring the most persuasive messaging on the pack.

You can test the impact of your packaging designs by embedding images in a survey and asking respondents to give you their opinions. Don’t just ask whether they like the packaging or not – go granular for more useful insights.

What impression does the packaging give them about the product and who it’s aimed at? From looking at the packaging alone, what do they think the product is and what are its key features? Which brand do they think this product is from? Questions like these will help you understand if your packaging makes your proposition clear and if it reflects your desired market positioning.  

Questions to ask:

  • What impression does this packaging give you about the product?
  • How likely would you be to consider buying this product based on what you see?
  • What do you think is the key message of the information on the pack?

Try our creative testing survey template to get started.

Get started with Attest

With Attest, you can test your new product ideas and designs with an audience of 125 million people in 59 markets – and start getting responses in minutes.

Our survey builder is intuitive to use, letting you easily add or remove questions, integrate images and videos, and choose the demographics of your audience. 
We also make it super simple to visualise – and gain insights from – your survey results. Meanwhile, built-in collaboration features let you share your research projects with everyone on your team, helping you make better decisions and de-risk innovation.

What are the key steps to New Product Development? Find out with our comprehensive 8-step guide.

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Bel Booker

Senior Content Writer 

Bel has a background in newspaper and magazine journalism but loves to geek-out with Attest consumer data to write in-depth reports. Inherently nosy, she's endlessly excited to pose questions to Attest's audience of 125 million global consumers. She also likes cake.

See all articles by Bel