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Package Testing – Attention is Everything

Product packaging once served narrow objectives — containing and protecting the product on its journey from manufacturing facility to retailer’s shelf to the consumer’s home. Early packaging was monochromatic and package construction was utilitarian. But that all changed with the rise of agency creative teams and colorful new printing techniques. CPG innovators fired a barrage of primary-colored and star-bursting packages at newly prosperous post-war suburbia.

And it worked. In fact, in 1962 pop artist Andy Warhol would paint a wall of Campbell’s Soup cans (on 32 separate canvases), recreating the experience of “being in a well-stocked supermarket” and “glorifying consumption.” Packaging was no longer about shipping. Packaging was now a beacon for consumption.

Telling and Selling

Packaging is a critical communications lever and an important billboard for your brand. Effective packaging should communicate your brand’s benefits and, most importantly, generate sales. The most successful packaging accomplishes a host of other goals, including:

  • Standing out at the shelf
  • Providing brand and product recognition
  • Presenting the product in an appealing manner
  • Identifying key product attributes and benefits
  • Communicating variety, flavor and size

Context

Most packaging research ignores the fact that environment and competitive set have a major impact on consumer purchases. From a shopper’s perspective, a product is never seen in isolation. To effectively measure shelf presence a package must be viewed in the context of the competitive set. Other factors as influential as the packaging itself are the size of the product category, your brand’s equity (awareness over time) in its packaging, and the equity of your competitors’ packaging.

Shelf Impact

The distinctiveness and appeal of a product package when placed on an actual shelf can make a significant difference in product sales. This can be tested by placement of your package design on a virtual shelf and surrounding it with competitive products. The more distinct your package, the better it sells. This virtual shopping exercise provides the most important learnings: How does the packaging impact what shoppers buy?

Improving Product Visibility

Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to improve shelf presence. With hot spot analysis and eye tracking, we can identify package elements consumers notice — and if they are positive, negative or confusing to shoppers. From eye tracking studies, we know that shoppers are instinctively drawn to color, shape and familiarity. The best packaging often wins by appealing to shoppers at a subconscious level — in packaging, attention is everything.

Online Challenges for Packaging

The challenge online is even greater — a product has only a few seconds to be noticed. Without the benefits of multiple shelf facings and endcap displays in the store, one single image must catch the shopper’s attention and communicate the product attributes. Read more on optimizing product presence for eCommerce in our recent newsletter, posted here.

Decision Insight’s Virtual Package Testing was specifically developed to include context within the store environment. Combined with DI’s proprietary diagnostic tools, our clients are provided a complete perspective of new packaging implications. This includes strategic guidance on potential risks and recommendations to improve sales performance through research-informed packaging decisions.

 

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Extreme Marketing Makeover: And the Award Goes to…

Product, the Reason for the Other Ps to Be!


Product, you were the star of the show. Each day you brought your A-game under the bright, fluorescent retail lights. From shelf to shopping cart, nobody did it better. But, the world is changing, it’s all about the digital channel now. And online, you’re just another face on the grid, watching as the crowd scrolls on by.

Optimizing Online Product Presentation

In online shopping, a product has only a moment, just a few seconds really, to be noticed. Online, the retail advantages of product placement, multiple shelf facings and endcap displays are gone — as are adjacent products that give context to size differences. Online it’s the product image that must immediately catch the shopper’s attention — and clearly communicate the product’s most attractive attributes (from features and benefits to sizes and efficacy).

With legions of consumers deciding what they’re going to purchase based on a single product image presented in a crowded online “Category” page, choosing exactly the right product image for display is crucial. This hardworking image must almost instantly convince shoppers that your product alone will best fit their needs. The reality: This online image is more than important, it’s a requirement for survival.

Product Testing Example: Snack Bars

As an example, take Snack Bars. In online search results, products are presented in various different sizes and packages, often resulting in shopper confusion. An image of a single snack bar may actually represent a 6-pack or a 12-pack — the visual is not a true representation of the product offered for purchase. Similarly, on the Product page, it’s important that primary product images, alternative imagery and product descriptions quickly convey the true size and form of the product. If not, the result may be loss of sales and shopper dissatisfaction.

As an example, consider the Snack Bar category below. Can you tell which product is a 12-count box?

Decision Insight’s Digital.IQ™ tests digital shopping presentation strategies (like the above) quickly, efficiently, and effectively — producing reliable, projectable sales results and shopper metrics without the inventory, costs and competitive risks associated with A/B testing. Participants enter a simulated website where they shop as they would in real life, interacting with digital store pages and available products. The virtual shopping experience measures what shoppers buy, so you can reliably project and understand the impact of various online strategies on sales. Then we follow up with rich diagnostics to provide an understanding of specific elements that drive success and those that may be improved.

Be Certain Your Product Makes the Cut

At Decision Insight we’ve been testing and optimizing the Four Ps for over 30 years — keeping up with the pace of retail and the changing shopper. Our virtual research solutions deliver confidence in product development, packaging, POS and merchandising, while determining how products should be priced within context to SKUs, package size, bundles, and adjacencies — for brick & mortar and online channels.

DI Virtual Shopping studies are mobile-compatible, enabling us to reach your shoppers wherever they are — on PC, smartphone, or tablet. Whether developing brick & mortar or digital strategies, the Shopper experts at DI have you covered.

Contact Leslie Downie at Decision Insight to discuss the impact of eCommerce and how we can help develop and test marketing strategies to optimize your PRODUCT at retail.


Product — Fourth in a Four-Part Series

In this series of articles, we examine the “Four Ps” Price, Product, Place and last month’s topic, Promotion, and their relevancy in today’s Digital world. As researchers and strategic advisors to a variety of brands and businesses, Decision Insight is highly vested in understanding the changing shopper, the impact on retail — and providing guidance to optimize for future opportunities, especially in relation to eCommerce, mobile and technology.

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Online Promotion and the New Product Launch
New Marketing Makeover Part 3

Promotion, you were the P the other three wanted to be. Your billboard spectaculars! Your full-page magazine spreads! And on TV — you were Prime Time! Then the Internet stage was even bigger, but somehow you were smaller. Promo — how did you not see this coming?

As the Internet age evolved, traditional advertising — the tall pole that traditionally supported the weight of the big top tent that was Promotion — weakened mightily. Newspapers, magazines, radio, and broadcast television have struggled to maintain core audiences, and new audience growth has been anemic, especially among millennials. Product “Attention” — the mouth of the funnel in the AIDA Hierarchy Model (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) — was once the strength of Promotion. But those days of domination are fading.

Promoting a New Product Online

Today most product categories are heavily affected by some form of online engagement. Shoppers compare brands, features, pricing and value online. For a new product to be successful on the eCommerce path-to-purchase, understanding and optimizing online sales promotion is a must. That promotion needs to be razor sharp!

Some online promotion opportunities that may spark product trial:

  • Cross-Promotion: Cross-selling, influencing purchase of a product that’s related to what’s already being purchased, can influence first time trial for new products. One example is the use of online recipes. A cross-promotion may include a new sister-brand salsa “popping up” online as a suggested item when the shopper selects the manufacturer’s tortilla chips. Or newly introduced croutons popping up when a shopper selects a salad dressing.
  • Occasion Bundles: Cross-category occasion bundle-promotions, from meal solutions (Breakfast, Dinner), to Holiday parties (Thanksgiving, Christmas), to sports gatherings (Super Bowl) can effectively build the basket and encourage new product trial by offering products from around the store in one online area — without the physical limitations of bricks and mortar.
  • Checkout: Like traditional retail, impulse purchases often occur online. Consider items in a retail checkout lane and the physical interruption of the checkout pause that enables the impulse purchase. Since online the physical checkout interruption doesn’t exist, can a new impulse product still make it to the online basket? Checkout offers suggesting related items other shoppers have purchased may activate impulse product trial.

Testing a New Product Launch and Online Promotion

Consider a beverage manufacturer developing a new energy drink, one fortified with vitamins, low on sugar, and with a marvelous taste. The question: Which online promotion strategy would pay the greatest dividends — new product trial — at the least cost? And would one online promotional strategy work better for one shopper segment than another?

With Decision Insight’s Digital.IQ research platform developed for the eCommerce channel, manufacturers can test their ideas to understand which maximizes trial before going to market. In the study, online shoppers shop a virtual eCommerce site where they are exposed to alternative promotional strategies such as the order products are shown and variations in featured items. Some could receive a checkout offer on their virtual online shopping trip.

The results for new product launches in similar online promotional tests? Checkout offers and featured items were extremely effective at building baskets online. And, while more seasoned online shoppers can be less sensitive to the order the products are presented, newer online shoppers tend to be more easily influenced by the order products are shown.

Promotion in Motion

At Decision Insight, we’ve been testing and optimizing the Four Ps for over 30 years — keeping up with the pace of retail and the changing shopper. Our virtual research solutions let you ask “What If?” and deliver confidence in new product development, packaging, POS and merchandising, while determining how new products should be priced within context to SKUs, package size, bundles, and adjacencies — for brick & mortar and online channels.

DI Virtual Shopping studies are mobile-compatible, enabling us to reach your shoppers wherever they are — on PC, smartphone, or tablet. Whether developing brick & mortar or digital strategies, the Shopper experts at DI have you covered.

Contact Leslie Downie at Decision Insight to discuss the impact of eCommerce and how we can help develop and test marketing strategies to optimize your PROMOTION at retail.


Promotion — Third in a Four-Part Series

In this series of articles, we examine the “Four Ps” (Product, Promotion, Place and last month’s topic, Price, the building blocks of marketing) and their relevancy in today’s Digital world. As researchers and strategic advisors to a variety of brands and businesses, Decision Insight is highly vested in understanding the changing shopper, the impact on retail — and providing guidance to optimize for future opportunities, especially in relation to eCommerce, mobile and technology.

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Best of 2017

SHARING OUR TOP STORIES >>> REVIEWING THE BEST OF 2017


Beyond_TURF
Measuring Passion and Volume: Beyond TURF


Dreaming_of_digital
Brands Should Dream Big When Developing Digital Strategies


Virtual_Conjoint
Virtual Conjoint™ Enables Game-Changing Product Innovation


SKU_Rationalization
Less is More: Eliminating SKUs and Increasing Sales

 


CDT_Best_Practice
Craig Hodnett Shares How to Build a Best Practice CDT

 


 

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High Stakes eComm Pricing Games 


Extreme Marketing Makeover: The Price is Right, Right?


Price, you were the bedrock of brick and mortar, but the Internet changed you. Free Shipping. Annual Membership Fees. The more you buy, the more you save. (The games you play!) Your clever use of psychology and timing in the digital age are impressive. Just asking, Price, can you be trusted?

For the manufacturer and retailer, how pricing is presented online is often a key factor in converting sales. From bundles and SKU breadth to complementary product adjacencies, premium placement in search results, auto-fill subscriptions, and free shipping – there is shopper confusion online and true price is often obscured.

eCommerce Price Bundles: And the Winner is…

Certainly, with the complex pricing variables of today’s eCommerce channel, it’s not entirely clear who wins. Consider just two factors – unique to eCommerce – that may wildly affect shopping behavior:

  • Free Shipping: Many retailers have minimum purchase thresholds to activate free shipping. To reach the free shipping threshold, the shopper often adds unplanned items to their basket. To activate free shipping with some mega-retailers, there is an annual fee that must be weighed against savings before the actual discount is realized.

  • The more you spend, the more you save: With this pricing model, deeper discounts are applied as more items are added to the cart. Consumers may also agree to delayed shipping or other complex combinations to gain a discount. The criteria required to get the best deal is not always clear and the online retailer’s “low price” claim may also be in question.

Price Optimization: Testing Alternatives with Digital.IQ™

Without physical limitations, complementary bundles and product adjacencies that are difficult in brick and mortar (consider occasion-based destinations such as Breakfast, Super Bowl, Back to School) are reasonably simple in eCommerce. But what bundles at what prices are optimal? The options are almost unlimited.

Decision Insight helps clients make better eCommerce decisions with Digital.IQ – our proprietary eCommerce test & learn platform. With Digital.IQ, multiple variables may be tested simultaneously to predict the best mix of product bundles, featured items, adjacencies, and discounts. This allows the retailer and manufacturer to optimize sales and improve the shopper experience.

Price Testing Example: Premium SKUs as Defaults

One online pricing model that has shown effectiveness in some categories is testing premium items as the default in search results or sort attribute. The test presents higher-priced premium items as the standard – effectively hiding premium pricing in plain sight.

For example, a deluxe detergent SKU formulated for whiteness, freshness and scent is slotted in the test as the default item – or first on a list in a drop-down design when shopping the Laundry Care category. In one recent price and arrangement testing scenario, this default change increased purchase of the premium item vs. the base liquid detergent SKU that historically had greater purchase frequency.

What Price Hesitation?

At Decision Insight we’ve been testing and optimizing the Four Ps for over 30 years – keeping up with the pace of retail and the changing shopper. Our virtual research solutions deliver confidence in product development, packaging, POS and merchandising, while determining how products should be priced within context to SKUs, package size, bundles, and adjacencies – for brick & mortar and online channels.

DI Virtual Shopping studies are mobile-compatible, enabling us to reach your shoppers wherever they are – on PC, smartphone, or tablet. Whether developing brick & mortar or digital strategies, the Shopper experts at DI have you covered.

Contact Leslie Downie at Decision Insight to discuss the impact of eCommerce and how we can help develop and test marketing strategies to optimize your PRICE at retail.


Price – Second in a Four-Part Series

In this series of articles, we examine the “Four Ps” (Price, Product, Promotion and last month’s topic, Place), the building blocks of marketing – and their relevancy in today’s Digital world.

As researchers and strategic advisors to a variety of brands and businesses, Decision Insight is highly vested in understanding the changing shopper, the impact on retail – and providing guidance to optimize for future opportunities, especially in relation to eCommerce, mobile and technology.

 

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Extreme Marketing Makeover: The Four Ps Edition

First in a Four-Part Series

There is revolutionary change in today’s retail landscape. Various thought leaders in the industry have expressed equally varied points of view regarding the future of Shopping. As researchers and strategic advisors to a variety of brands and businesses, Decision Insight is highly vested in understanding the changing shopper, the impact on retail – and providing guidance to optimize for future opportunities, especially in relation to eCommerce, mobile and technology.

Meet the Ps: Price, Product, Promotion and Place

In this series of articles, we’ll examine the building blocks of marketing, the “Four Ps”, and their relevancy in the Internet Age. We believe it’s not the concept of the Four Ps that’s lacking, it’s the definition of each of that needs expansion. The four Ps may even be more relevant today than they were when conceived – nearly six decades ago.

First up… Place! This is arguably the most disruptive P and is making a significant impact on the rest of the Ps.

Place: You’ve changed.

Place, you were solid – you were bricks, you were mortar. And your new friends, that… online crowd. You were Big Box, you were packaged goods central – you had it all, you were retail! Now? You’re a concept store, a pop-up store – an automated bodega. You’re an endlessly-scrolling-product-grid on an iPhone. Yes, Place, you’ve changed.

A Place in the Sun

At a recent office lunch, a colleague received an enticing email from a favorite luxury retailer. There was breaking news, the perfect, low-heeled sandal was: On sale! The colleague deftly clicked through the site on her mobile phone, quickly located the sandal in her size, added it to her cart, and placed the order – barely a bite or a beat missed in the lunchtime get-together.

For the lucky sandal buyer, the right Place was conveniently held in the palm of her hand. No one thought the transactional aside rude – it took only a few seconds. And there was no trip to the mall, no search for parking, no fitting, no waiting.

In short, “Place” for today’s manufacturers and retailers means reaching the shopper with nuance, acuity and flexibility – meeting the shopper wherever he or she may be.

There’s no Place Like Home

Understanding each of these Places and how the shopper uses them provides significant research advantages that lead to more accurate real-world outcomes.

Best practices for engaging the shopper, regardless of Place, can be elusive. One recent testing solution tries to simulate Place using VR in centralized testing centers. Wires are attached to cumbersome VR goggles worn on the participant’s head, and shoppers must sign waivers, in case of injury while wearing the goggles. Not exactly ideal.

But the most agile virtual simulation research platforms immerse the shopper in Place, whether it be a store or website, using the shopper’s own tools: PC, laptop, tablet, or smartphone – at their convenience, whether at home, waiting to pick up their kids from soccer practice, or anywhere between. These research tools “cut the cord” and offer significant advantages as they: 1. Provide for a natural shopping experience and 2. Reduce bias – leading to research results that represent real shopper behavior.

Just the Place to Get Started

As the fourth P – Place – evolves, it stands to reason so should research around Place and today’s shopper. When designing best practice Shopper research, two important questions emerge for consideration:

  1. What percent of my shoppers are using a mobile device to order online?
    Consider how many shoppers order with their phones. For an eCommerce order, this is often 1 in 5. And, for a quick-serve restaurant, this may be 50% – or even more. Shouldn’t your research include mobile shoppers? Likely so. Savvy retailers – especially those with an integrated eCommerce platform – want key predictive analytics built into their research based on shopper behavior.
  2. What percent of my shoppers are using their mobile device to participate in my shopper survey? Today, as many as 30% of research participants access surveys using mobile phones. These participants tend to be younger and more ethnically diverse than their PC or tablet counterparts. Is your current shopper research methodology capturing the full spectrum of shoppers?

At Decision Insight, we’ve been testing and optimizing the Four Ps for over 30 years, keeping up with the pace of retail and the changing shopper. Our ShopperIQ virtual research solutions deliver confidence in product development, packaging, pricing strategies, POS and merchandising, and where products should be placed within the store, aisle, shelf, and grid. Our Virtual Shopping studies are mobile-compatible, enabling us to reach shoppers wherever they are – PC, smartphone, and tablet. Whether developing Brick & Mortar or Digital strategies, the Shopper experts at DI have you covered.

Contact Leslie Downie at Decision Insight to discuss the impact of eCommerce and how we can help develop and test marketing strategies to optimize your PLACE at retail.

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New Date for CMA Webinar: You Can’t Automate the Shopper

What Makes Your Automation Tools Unpredictable? The Shopper.

The Category Management Association is hosting the following webinar featuring Craig Hodnett, our SVP of Client Solutions, on October 12th – we hope you can join! Sign up here: CMA Events (select Solution Demo Webinar).

You Can’t Automate the Shopper, October 12th at 10am Central

Shopper nuances matter in today’s complex marketplace. Even the best CatMan software tools can only inform and automate strategies up to a point. In this session, Craig will share examples of using custom virtual shopper research for eCommerce, Consumer Decision Trees, Category & Shelf Optimization and more.

If you are interested in learning more or have questions about registration, please email Leslie Downie or call 816-437-9852.

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Urban Assault on Aisle Assortment

The urban core is making a comeback – a phenomenon Alan Ehrenhalt coined as “the great inversion.”
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His book, “The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City,” is a progress report on the rearrangement of living patterns. According to Ehrenhalt, it’s not even necessary to be downtown to realize a sense of the new urbanity. Many suburban shopping areas are now being built that suggest the compact feel of a city center. “Much of suburbia,” he argues, “will seek to reinvent itself in a newly urbanized mode.”

The rapid growth of supercenters is a thing of the past… Assortment and Space will continue to shrink smaller than ever before as retailer footprints diminish while the urbanization of America unfolds.

Innovation Elusiveness

A recent Nielsen report on consumer packaged goods cited 18 brands that have met their criteria for achieving breakthrough innovation in the industry. Against fantastic odds of failure (only 15% of newly introduced consumer packaged goods have success in the market), these 18 brands’ products have captured consumer acceptance and achieved successful sales. Co-author of the Nielsen report Rob Wengel explained in Forbes that “although many CPG products have successful launches, many also have difficulty maintaining sales after the first year.”

While Innovation is a major growth driver today across all manufacturers, the question for today’s reduced Assortment and Space retail world is: How do I provide the Innovation shoppers want without eliminating the base products they still buy?

Eliminating SKUs – and Increasing Sales

Decision Insight tests alternative assortment strategies and ranks their effectiveness at retail so manufacturers can make shopper-centric, forward-looking decisions within a rapidly changing retail world. DI’s ShopperIQ®-Assortment research allows manufacturers to incorporate virtual shopping to determine the economic impact of SKU rationalization, Innovation, and optimization of product assortment scenarios. The result: Manufacturers are able to determine the best assortment combination to maximize sales and increase overall product visibility.

According to one recent DI client, a Consumer and Customer Insights Manager, “We have so many package sizes and types. We had to make the options simpler. The benefits pushed us over the edge to look for effective solutions.”
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The client had been offering three kinds of packaging types in multiple sizes that often confused the consumer and resulted in increased production costs. Not to mention the push from retailers to reduce shelf space. The challenge for the client was to rationalize the various package types and sizes and produce an optimal assortment that would be a win for shoppers and retailers alike.

Decision Insight’s ShopperIQ virtual shopping platform enables product manufacturers to test assortment options on the shelf and measure actual shopper behavior by testing tactical approaches in the context of a virtual shopping experience.

Testing multiple assortment scenarios resulted in two particularly significant conclusions against the three package designs:

  • First, when a particularly innovative package type was removed, there was a loss in buyers, volume and overall sales.

  • Second, removing the smallest size posed a risk, as a few shoppers switched to a national competitor rather than purchasing a larger size.

Ultimately, it was determined that the manufacturer could reduce packaging types from three to two, reduce SKUs by 25%, and introduce a smaller-sized version of the innovative package design to satisfy even more shoppers. The optimized line-up maintained brand buyers and maximized revenue and profitability.

According to the client’s Market Research Manager, virtual assortment was very powerful: “You are observing real shopper behavior rather than asking what they would do. Asking questions is not enough. What people say is not what they do. And this methodology is more reliable, faster and much more economical than in-market testing.”

ShopperIQ-Assortment

Whether rationalizing SKUs, testing Innovation, or facing urban retail footprint shrinkage as a result of “the great inversion,” optimizing product selection, sizing and related pricing is on the near-term horizon for manufacturers and retailers alike. Decision Insight’s ShopperIQ-Assortment solution is an effective tool to:

  • Test alternative assortment strategies prior to implementation
  • Validate innovation projections
  • Convince retailers not to de-list a brand
  • Verify market structure/consumer decision tree work
  • Having the right product assortment on the shelf makes it easier for shoppers to find the items they want, enhances loyalty to the retailer, and ultimately, improves profitability. If you need to develop effective assortment solutions, or need help creating alternative assortments to test, DI’s shopper experts can help.

    Jordan
    Jordan Henderson is Director, Client Relations at Decision Insight.
    He can be reached at jordanh@decisioninsight.com or (816) 437-9850.

    Contact Leslie Downie at (816) 437-9852 to learn more about ShopperIQ-Assortment.

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    Virtual Conjoint™ Enables Game-Changing Product Innovation

    Settling for Fresh vs. New

    The consequences of product failure are so high, that truly “new” innovations have been replaced by strategies that settle for keeping the brand “fresh.” Product changes in many CPG categories often consist of little more than minor incremental product innovations – updated package graphics or minor branding adjustments. Because the changes are minor, if the change does gain traction with shoppers, competitors quickly release their own versions – and store brands trail not far behind. The result: Product me-too-ism.

    76765409Parity Does Not Build Loyalty

    For one category, the “me-too” aisle is a very fragrant place. It is a loud and vast runway with a multitude of boxed and bottled brands. It’s jam-packed with DayGlow color and shooting-starbursts (Bigger! Better! Best!), each package clamoring for a moment of “Your attention, please!” While no grocery aisle works harder to attract attention, 4 out of 5 who shop this aisle think the store brand is as good or better. Welcome to the laundry detergent aisle.

    While there have certainly been innovation victories in the detergent aisle over this category’s long history (liquid detergent comes to mind), bold change is the exception. Because of cost or testing scale issues associated with research methodology, consumer product R&D investments are often limited to incremental product improvements – all too often, made just to catch up with competitors.

    Virtual Conjoint from Decision Insight Enables Innovation

    DI continually works to create innovative new research methodologies to help clients better compete. With Virtual Conjoint™, DI has combined virtual shopping with choice analysis to create a very powerful research tool to enable major product innovation instead of minor iteration. This proprietary approach applies the principles of shopper marketing to test product development, packaging, pricing, and product placement solutions. The process offers numerous benefits:

    • Reveals the underlying structure of decision making. Decision Insight can then build mathematical models of what shoppers are likely to do – and why. With Virtual Conjoint, clients not only gain testing outcomes, they also learn the shopper decision-making that brought it about.
    • More efficient than concept testing. Concept tests are static and require large sub-samples to evaluate ideas one at a time, independently of all others. The Conjoint study can simulate thousands of concept evaluations, each within the context of all others.
    • Can be used to predict choices and marketplace activity. Virtual Conjoint allows reliable and cost-effective testing of new products, ideas, and concepts.

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    Test More Combinations, Achieve More Innovation
    The advantages of Virtual Conjoint are most evident in concept and package testing. Traditionally a manufacturer vets a myriad of possible innovation ideas during internal brainstorming sessions. Because traditional research methodologies limit the number of concepts that may be tested, ideas are discarded and narrowed, sometimes with the help of an ad agency, leaving two or three final options for testing. The result is that most concepts are discarded well before they are thoroughly explored with shoppers. Virtual Conjoint allows clients to test hundreds – or even thousands – of concepts and combinations.

    In addition to the product innovation validation gained with Virtual Conjoint, the Decision Insight team works with clients to activate the solutions by delivering a specific set of “guiding principles” for each variable tested. For example, the optimal “Acme Soap Position” with the “Pure White Brand” is “100% clean, 50% of the water, 100% of the time.”

    Virtual Conjoint works because it determines how important each feature is to shoppers and the preferred combination – enabling major product innovation instead of minor iteration.

    Contact Leslie Downie at (816) 437-9852 to learn how we can put DI’s Virtual Conjoint™ to work for you.

    AlexAlex Sodek is Chief Research Officer at Decision Insight.

    He can be reached at alexs@decisioninsight.com or (816) 437-9834.