the beginner's guide to: animated concept testing

by: Sarah Kneebone


So you’ve got an awesome new concept and there’s nothing like it on the market. Of course once it’s created everyone will ‘get’ it, but how do you ensure your market research respondents will understand it.

More importantly, how can you ensure your testers can evaluate your ground breaking concept and give you the feedback you need?

That’s where animated concept testing comes in.

Why you need animated concept testing

Traditionally new products are tested in the stock standard way; the client develops a flat concept and a few rough pictures, along with a brief written synopsis of the product. Respondents are taken through the material and give their thoughts.

For straightforward products this approach works just fine. But every once in a while, we’re given a more complex idea to test – and then, this basic approach just doesn't cut the mustard.

In today’s competitive market, getting your new product right first time, every time, is vital. That’s why the team at PLAY is always looking for fresh, clever ways of testing products. Seriously, it keeps us awake at night!

What is animated concept testing?

Animated concept testing basically means creating an animated version of your concept.

Bringing it to life with moving pictures, sound, illustration, 3d models or virtual tours – whatever you need to more fully explain it to your potential customers.

If your idea, product or packaging is unlike anything else currently out there, animated concept testing can help walk your research participants through the idea.

It removes ambiguity, improves feedback and helps create those all-important ‘ah, I get it’ moments.

The key benefits of animated concept testing

Animated concepts don’t just look good; they’re often an essential tool for companies looking to break new ground with their products. This market research methodology works particularly well for:

Testing concepts close to final development

If you’ve already passed through the initial stages of research and settled on 2 or 3 concepts, animated concept testing is a great next step.

By animating these final choices, you’ll enable your respondents to fully understand the ins and outs of your product or idea. The result? More informed, useful feedback.

Testing unusual concepts

The companies we work with usually have internal success benchmarks that any given concept must hit to be considered for development. However, if your concept is confusing its audience, these benchmarks will never be hit.

We’ve seen many unique concepts that failed in normal concept tests. Yes, they scored well for their ‘uniqueness’ but the results for ‘intent to purchase’ were poor due to lack of understanding.

Animating the concept makes complex concepts clearer and drives an increase in ‘clarity’ scores.

In summary

Animated concept testing, allows your market research respondents to get a real feel for the product. They can view your concept in totality before any actual physical prototypes have to be developed. 

This kind of testing, saves our clients time and money, as when the prototype product is finally developed, it’s often much closer to the mark due to the feedback from the animated concept testing research.

Is animated concept testing for you?

Animated concept testing, when used properly, can be a useful tool in your market research toolbox.

If it sounds like a testing method you’d be interested in trying, why not call PLAY on 02 8097 0200 and we’ll help you decide if it’s the right fit for your product idea and objectives.

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about the author

Sarah Kneebone

Sarah is PLAY’s go-to content writer with a passion for marrying creativity and communication with clever strategy. A former marketer with PLAY and for international brands such as QBE Insurance and General Motors, Sarah moved home to the UK to raise her little family and start a health coaching business. Luckily for us, she continues to share her talent for the written word with the team in Australia.

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