The Value of Product Testing Essay

The Value of Product Testing Essay

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Based upon 30 years of marketing
research experience, spanning
thousands of research projects,
I am convinced that product testing
is the single most valuable marketing
research that most companies
ever do. The great value of product
testing is, perhaps, best illustrated
by some of its many uses. It can be
used to:
• Achieve product superiority over
competitive products.
• Continuously improve product
performance and customer
satisfaction (i.e., to maintain
product superiority, especially as
consumer tastes evolve over
• Monitor the potential threat levels
posed by competitive products to
understand competitive strengths
and weaknesses.
• Cost-reduce product formulations
and/or processing methods, while
maintaining product superiority.
• Measure the effects of aging upon
product quality (shelf-life
• Implicitly measure the effects of
price, brand name, or packaging
upon perceived product performance/
• Provide guidance to research
and development in creating new
products or upgrading existing
• Monitor product quality from
different factories, through
different channels of distribution,
and from year to year.
• Predict consumer acceptance of
new products.
Companies committed to rigorous
product testing and continuous
product improvement can, in
most instances, achieve product
superiority over their competitors.
Product superiority, in turn, helps
strengthen brand share, magnifies
the positive effects of all marketing
activities (advertising, promotion,
selling, etc.), and often allows the
superior product to command a
premium price relative to competitors.
Most companies, unfortunately,
do very little product testing.
Few companies really u...

... middle of paper ...

...he structure
and mechanics of execution will
vary greatly from product category
to product category. For example,
computer software can be tested,
furniture can be tested, store environments
can be tested, dog food
can be tested, airline service can be
tested, equipment prototypes can
be tested, etc.
Competitive Advantage
The ultimate benefit of product
testing is competitive advantage.
Product superiority is the surest
way to dominate a product category
or an industry. Companies
dedicated to ongoing product improvement
and product testing can
achieve product superiority, and
achieve a competitive advantage of
great strategic significance.
Companies that ignore product
improvement and product testing,
on the other hand, may wake
up one morning to find themselves
on the brink of extinction from a
competitor who has built "a better

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