Product testing, is also referred as consumer testing or comparative testing. It is defined as a method of measuring the properties, functionalities or performance of products, either new products which are yet to be launched or already launched products for their improvement. With so many products in the market, produced by manufacturers under different brands, most of the products are advertised or marketed with a message that their products are better than the others, in some way or the other. But, in reality, how do you measure which product is good or bad, or better than its competitors?
Concept of Product Testing
Product testing helps to make sure that consumers can understand which products are the best value and what products will do for them. It is basically a strategy to provide consumer protection by finding out whether the claims made during advertising or marketing strategies are in the interest of the consumers or not or it is only in the interest of the entity distributing the service.
Techniques of Product Testing
Product testing are undertaken by a manufacturer, a government agency, or a research company hired by a brand or a manufacturer etc. The varied techniques used for product testing are as follows:
Monadic testing is one of the most commonly used methods and is considered to be the best method. You are testing a product on it own. There is no interaction between products. One product is tested in real time and the respondents pay attention to one product only. You show research participants one product or concept in isolation. This provides for the most accurate information as compared to paired-comparison designs. For example, a product with a spicy taste may deaden or inhibit the taste buds so that the respondent cannot really taste the second product.
Sequential Monadic Designs
In this type of research technique, each respondent evaluates two products. This is referred as sequential monadic technique which works well in most of the cases and offers some of the same benefits as pure monadic testing. However, as compared to a pure monadic test, all the test scores will be lower in a sequential monadic design. Therefore, the outcome from sequential monadic tests cannot be compared to monadic tests’ outcome. The reason being, If one of the two products is very good, then the test scores of the second product are lower than the first product.
In this type of Product Test technique, the respondents are asked to use two products and then they have to determine which product is better, based on a set of features and a binary scale that indicates which of the two choices. It is less expensive than other methods, because sample sizes can be smaller . In a serious, ongoing product-testing program, paired-comparison testing is not of much use as it does not tell us when both products are bad.
The Protomonadic Design
It starts off as a monadic test or as a sequential monadic test, which is followed by a paired comparison test. This type of research technique is mainly used in central location testing.
Repeated Pairs Test
As the name suggests, it is a repeat test. Each respondent takes part in a paired-comparison test ( for e.g., product A versus product B), followed by a second paired-comparison test (product B versus product A). However, in the second test, the products are presented as two different products (i.e., not labeled as products A and B). The basic objective of this test is to identify nondiscriminators, the people who don’t choose the same product in both tests, and their answers are not same. Their responses will not be counted. The final results are based on the answers of those respondents who give the same answer