Concept test pre-testing? Is that a thing?

New Zealand Skincare company Essano tested early and often to deliver an epic result.

Stickybeak Marketing
April 19, 2024

Concept test pre-testing? Is that a thing?

It is now and perhaps it always should have been.

Deep and thorough product concept testing can be time consuming and expensive, often involving big quantitative and deep qualitative studies.

But sometimes it’s hard to know if you have given your great new product idea the best chance of being accurately assessed by consumers because of how you have presented it, rather than because of the inherent value of the product itself.

GM Marketing and Innovation Sarah Koppens of New Zealand Skincare company Essano faced just this dilemma with a new product concept (still under wraps, sorry) designed for an age-specific female audience.

“We know the impact of a product or packaging visual is immediate and sub-consciously influences how the consumer then responds to the words in the concept test. So, we wanted to ensure we were using the most appealing imagery from a range of designs we had created”, she said.

Essano is one of the fastest-growing FMCG companies in New Zealand

“It can be really hard in product testing to tease out the impact of the design or packaging that you show the consumer from the underlying concept itself.

“Are people responding to the fundamental appeal and value proposition of the whole idea or mainly to the look and feel of the packaging in which it is contained?

“Obviously in-store, consumers will come to a decision based on both, but in this case we decided to pre-test our packaging and graphic designs using Stickybeak before then placing the concept test using the winner.

“This meant we could go a long way to eliminating the variable of graphic design from the consumers’ overall response to the ideas being shown to them.”

“Stickybeak allowed us to do this incredibly quickly and easily amongst our Australian target demographic.

“Innovation is at the heart of much of what do at Essano so it’s critical that we are getting the most accurate consumer feedback from our concept testing as possible. Thanks to Stickybeak, we were able to progress into full quant confident that the concept boards presented to consumers were as visually compelling as possible”, she added.