Views from the Hills by R. E. Stevens, GENESIS II (The Second Beginning) E-Mail

Concept Testing & Testing Concepts

I have probably written about this topic in the past but after a series of phone conversations during the past two weeks, I thought it might be appropriate to reiterate my thoughts ((views), on the topic.

It is generally accepted that early in the development of an idea, that we use Concept Testing to evaluate the merits of the idea rather than waiting for the development of the solution (usually a product).  By using the concept to convey the vision of the product, we can save time and money.  If the idea does not have merit, we drop it, we save the time and money.  However, if it has merit, we again can move forward with the development.

Concept Testing, if done well, will not only evaluate the IDEA, it will help in the development of the product by:
But for all this to work in your favor, a departure from how Concept Testing is usually approached must be addressed.  I have watched and read about how many companies do Concept Testing and I believe there is one potential flaw in the way Concept Testing is approached.  Most companies will uncover a potential market opportunity and immediately draft a concept for Concept Testing.  Concept Testing as most companies use the technique is not about testing the concept as much as testing the IDEA.  They quickly write the concept and proceed to test it.  If the scores are low, the IDEA is abandoned.  If, on the other hand, the concept scores are favorable, the project is moved forward.

My problem with this approach is that there is little effort put forward to make sure that the CONCEPT as it is written, adequately conveys the intended vision of the IDEA.  We should test the concept before we conduct the usual evaluation of the IDEA, utilizing the concept.  I often wonder how many really good ideas are rejected based on the execution of the Concept Testing rather than the IDEA itself.

Test Your CONCEPT Before Concept Testing

A little concept for your consideration:

Life is like a coin.  You can spend it any way you wish.  But you can only spend it once.

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