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Consumer sensory testing: fail forward or innovate fast?

by: PLAY


Is it time to cut your losses on a product that’s missing the mark? Or perhaps a simple tweak could unlock unprecedented levels of success? When budgets and timelines are tight, you need meaningful answers about what to do — fast. And that’s exactly what we’re giving you today.

Agile consumer sensory testing is a simple way to understand which elements of your product profile are delivering and which you might want to rethink. In this article, we chat about how to take the slow out of sensory.


consumers are crucial.

Yes, you read it right: there is a quick solution to improving your product’s success. The key? Listening to what consumers have to say.

It might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how often the consumer's voice is completely cut out or deprioritised by brands — at their peril. The reality is that consumers are a crucial part of the process and their say is pivotal in your product’s success. Because ultimately, they’re the ones buying it. 

Whether you’re benchmarking against competitors or trialling a totally new flavour, listening to your consumers will ensure any potential risks pay off.

consumer sensory testing

stress-free consumer sensory testing.

Are you still trying to go at it alone? In our fast-paced world, slow and steady no longer wins the race. That’s why, if you want to keep up with those speedy start-ups, you must get the right support from your agency.

You not only need to know how to get started, but also what it takes to keep the momentum going once you have your answers.

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PLAY Innovation’s rapid sensory research can help you get the insights you need and plug them into the next stage of the innovation process. The result? You get to take an elevated version of your product to market at breakneck speed (no actual neck-breaking required).

consumer sensory testing

CLT or in-home?

When speed is key, you need good guidance quickly. Both our Central Location Tests (CLTs) and In-Home Usage Tests (IHUTs) can make this happen, as long as we’re clear on our objectives, what we’re comparing against and the sample size required to feel confident in the results.

Need more? Pair it with some online focus groups or in-depth interviews and you’ve got yourself a newly informed perspective straight from your consumer.

Of course, we can do bigger, fancier and more complicated sensory appraisals too. There is certainly a time and a place for getting extra technical. However, focusing on the fundamentals of consumer sensory testing for product development is great push toward an even greater product.

While we’ve got your attention, remember that it’s also important to understand what you’re up against. Do you know your product (and category) well enough to take the findings and move forward? If not, perhaps conduct a competitor benchmark to see how you stack up versus a well-known entity. The aim here is to hone in on key areas that are performing and underperforming to guide your product towards icon status!

consumer sensory testing

we’ve Australia’s largest sensory testing facility. 

The truth is, consumer sensory testing doesn’t have to be tedious or expensive. In PLAY Innovation’s proven process, there are many quick options to help you get ahead of your competition — rapid sensory research being just one of them.

It’s time to take your products further with the help of Australia’s largest sensory testing facility. Explore how PLAY Innovation can help you make it happen.


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about the author


As the experts in consumer-led innovation in FMCG, we partner with manufacturers and retailers to lift the productivity and effectiveness of their NPD. It’s all in how we blend innovation advisory with tailored consumer insight using an agile, consumer-first approach. Think of us like the connective tissue within your innovation process. We guide you at every step of the journey, helping you align, focus and develop ideas and products that sell.

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