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What is Concept Testing?


Market research 04 12
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When you have an idea for a product or logo design you want it to be something that is well-liked and approved by your audience. You don’t want to waste effort and money on a concept that may fail, only to come up with another idea.

Concept Testing allows you to ensure that you move forward only with the right concept. It helps validate your idea for product, design, or marketing and saves your resources.


Defining Concept Testing

When you have too many ideas for a new launch you and your team may feel confused and overwhelmed about which concept to go for. Whether it is at the beginning of product development or deep into the process you want to make sure that your concept is worth all the resources.

Concept Testing allows you to evaluate your idea and ensure that you only use the one which will be well-received by the audience.

In the process of concept testing, you can conduct a survey to test your ideas on different segments of customers. You can collect insights that can tell you

  • Why is the concept appealing to your target audience?
  • Which concept should you invest in for further development?
  • How strong is your concept against your competitors?
  • Is it effectively communicating the benefits of the new idea, to the target audience?

Concept testing survey helps to evaluate the ideas for product development, ad campaign, logo design, package testing, etc. You can test a single concept or compare multiple concepts. Concept testing allows you to tailor the product, campaign, or design appropriate for the right segment and potential audience. The right concepts appeal to the target customer and benefit the company with the ROI.

Methods of Concept Testing

There are four primary methods used for Concept Testing. These four methods are created on the basis of the manner of displaying the concepts for the survey.

  • Monadic Testing
  • Sequential Monadic Testing
  • Comparison Testing
  • Proto-monadic Testing

Monadic Testing: The customers are separated into multiple groups and each group is only shown one concept. They are given some time to look through the concept and then they are asked questions.

With each group evaluating and focusing on only one concept it helps gather in-depth insights. Researchers can later compare the data to understand why one concept is better than the other.

Sequential Monadic Testing: The customers are separated into groups and are shown all the concepts. The concepts are displayed in random order to avoid forming a biased opinion.

The questionnaire is longer because all the respondents are surveyed about all the concepts.

Comparison Testing: As the name suggests, respondents are shown two or more concepts for evaluation. They are asked to select the best concept. They are asked questions based on some attributes of the concept by using rating questions.

Comparison tests help to conclude which idea is better. However, it lacks context on ‘why’ one concept is better than the other.

Proto-monadic Testing: This is a combination of Sequential Monadic Testing followed by Comparison Testing. This ensures that the concept selected in the comparison test validates the insights obtained about each concept.

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Why should you conduct Concept Testing?

The purpose of conducting Concept Testing is to evaluate an idea with the help of target customers before it is made available in the market. This helps prevent many risks and in return provides benefits for the brand.

Prevents moving forward with a Bad Idea:

  • Not testing your ideas and making decisions based on assumptions can lead to bad ideas. Bad packaging can decline sales. A bad logo can offend the customers. A company with an annoying ad can lead to a loss of customers.
  • While all these will reduce your customers, the investment you made on these bad ideas will lead you to a loss in revenue. The brand will suffer in more ways; negative reputation, stagnant growth, loss of employees, etc. The cost of retaining customers increases by 20% for a company with a bad reputation
  • Concept testing prevents a brand from suffering through such a fate. It allows you to discuss with the customers the best concept for the brand. As a result, you can appeal to the audience in a successful way.

Save Resources:

  • When a product fails in the market, the money invested and the effort exerted all go down the drain along with it.
  • It is important that the company validates the concept before they start to build upon it. If the development team has to go back to the concept board, it would lead to more waste of time and resources. It will also harm the motivation of the team.
  • A failed product or concept costs more than administering concept testing.
    • With concept testing, you can figure out any issues or gaps in the user experience and the concept before launching it. As a result, the team can fix the issue before it is sent to fail in the market.
    • On the other hand, it costs more to correct an error when the product is already launched. For example, if a company finds a bug in their company after it is launched, it will cost them more to solve it in all of their products.
  • With concept testing, the team can avoid such situations.

Make decisions confidently:

  • With the data from customers, the team can make data-driven decisions with confidence. The concept testing helps validate why the concept is better than the other ideas. The data helps you to back up your decision and convince the stakeholders and management. With the research from your concept testing, you can convince even the most skeptical member about the potential of the concept.
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Famous Companies and their use of Concept Testing


  • Yamaha, the instrument manufacturing company used concept testing when they were making a new Electric Keyboard. They could not decide whether to use a knob or a sliding fader for the keyboard. They asked for their customer’s help to select the feature that the customers find most suitable. This helped them meet the preference and expectations of the target customer.


  • NASCAR wanted to change the format of its 2017 race. The race was significant and the project was critical as well. NASCAR generates its revenue from the advertisement which is influenced by the viewership.
  • The company conducted a Concept Testing survey with 200 fans. They examined and collected the thoughts, responses, and experiences of the fans about the events and the advertisement. As a result, the company could validate its new format. The insight obtained from the fans also helped NASCAR to launch a new race format.


Uses cases of Concept Testing

Logo Testing: If you want to know how your customers feel about your logo? How might they respond? Or, how does the new logo benefit the company? You can use Concept Testing. This can help you come up with a logo that helps customers recognize your brand and never forget it.

Website Design: When you are redesigning or launching a new website, you can use concept testing. Letting the users experience your website concept can let you see what they think. This will help you gain knowledge about which website provides a better user experience.

Pricing: Whether it is offering discounts to your customers or pricing a new product, concept testing can be of great help. You can test and identify what kind of price they think is worth the product. Also, you can figure out what discount can excite the customers.

Ad Testing: Concept Testing is very commonly used for ads, banners, and image testing. It helps identify the best combination for the company. You can gather insights on which ad attracts the customer’s attention. Insights from customers validate the potential of the advertisement.

Package Testing: The package can attract your customers but it can also repel them. With concept testing, you can learn what customers think about your brand when they see your product’s packaging.

Product Development: Use concept testing to understand and determine which features your products should have. You can test your product to see if the quality and ease to use meet your customer’s expectations before beginning the process.

Don’ts of Concept Testing

  • Don’t dismiss ideas, keep the focus on ideation. You should not start evaluating and analyzing ideas right off the bat. Generate ideas and keep them all for customers to test.
  • Don’t reject an idea that is maybe complex for your customers to understand. The customers may enjoy and love the idea when they experience it. You can also take it to a panel of experts for review.



Concept Testing helps you determine if your target customers will like your product or not. It prevents you from developing or launching a product that will be disliked by the customers. Concept Testing helps you ask the customers what they want in their product in order to provide them that.

Concept Testing asks the customers “Which idea they prefer”.

Usability Testing asks the customers “Which (idea) is easier to use”

Concept Testing can be used for the following cases:

  • Logo Testing
  • Website Design
  • Ad Testing
  • Pricing
  • Product Development
  • Packaging

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This post is also available in French.