Life Science Industry Market Research

Product Concept Testing

The first step in a successful product-development strategy is to determine what customers need, what they want and what they are willing to buy. BioInformatics can quickly and effectively test your product idea and gather this type of information directly from your potential customers.

Product/Service Concept Testing can be used to:

  • Gauge the reaction of potential customers to a proposed concept
  • Determine the relative importance of various product attributes/features
  • Understand the customer's definition of product quality and its relative
  • importance to price
  • Identify the market segments and/or customer applications most receptive to the new product
  • Encourage, or discourage, the development of specialized products and/or applications

Using a combination of online surveys, focus groups and/or telephone interviews, Product/Service Concept Testing provides a company with the opportunity to present a new concept to a specific market—before investing significant amounts in development.

Case Study: Which product attributes are most important to my customers?

In a recent study, a client asked BioInformatics to conduct a market opportunity assessment for a product they planned to introduce within the next year. The client wanted to know which product features are most important to their customers. We were able to analyze the importance of each feature selected by the client using the Kano Model. This analysis provides a detailed picture of the customer's ideal mix of product features.

The Kano Model
BioInformatics uses the Kano model to discern essential and differentiating product attributes, which provide direction to the product development process. The responses of scientists are used to classify product features into one of four quality categories, as follow:

Attractive
These qualities are considered "surprise and delight" features. Customers receive a high degree of satisfaction from them, but if they are not present, customers will experience no dissatisfaction. They are often unanticipated by the customer and can be considered unknown or latent needs. Customers are willing to pay a price premium for attractive features.

One-dimensional
These qualities result in satisfaction when fulfilled and dissatisfaction when not fulfilled. Increased performance of these qualities is correlated with higher levels of customer satisfaction. Customers usually request one-dimensional features.

Must-have
These qualities must be present in order for a product to even be considered by a customer. They are taken for granted when present, but result in dissatisfaction when lacking. Customers typically assume that companies know what are must-be features.

Indifferent
These qualities do not result in either customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

Using this analysis, BioInformatics can identify which features suppliers should improve or enhance, thereby lowering risk of failure at product launch. Product differentiation can also be achieved by increasing the number of attractive product features in a single product offering.

The four categories, Attractive, One Dimensional, Must-Have and Indifferent are mutually exclusive and based on two factors: customer satisfaction and the necessity of the feature being fulfilled. The Kano Model outputs (below) display customer satisfaction on the Y-axis, and the fulfillment of required features on the X-axis. The combination of these two factors determines the category in which each feature is classified.

Our analysis indicated that of the five product features tested for our client, two were considered by respondents to be "must-have" features and one was considered an "attractive" feature. The client was then able to focus their product development on these features, which when included, strongly increase customer satisfaction. A summary table of these sample findings is included below:


The Product | Feature/Price Tradeoff | Pricing Strategy

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