Key Takeaways

Given the high rate of new product launch failures, it is time to rethink the key performance metrics used in product testing.  Traditional measures such as average liking ratings and purchase intent scores may not tell the full story.

We propose additional performance metrics based on the following considerations:

  • The consistency in product performance across a number of testing contexts (unbranded vs. branded, central location vs in-home)
  • The degree of fulfillment or disappointment evident when comparing pre-use expectations to actual product performance

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Insights derived from these additional metrics have to sharpen discrimination among product alternatives and impact the business decision.

Go Deeper

We compared a client’s current product to a new prototype and several competitive products in the context of a blind central location test, a blind home use test, and a branded home use test.  The same respondents participated in all three conditions. Respondents who gave consistent responses across conditions showed a clear preference for the current product, whereas inclusion of the less consistent responders added “noise” and reduced product discrimination.

In another study, post-use results showed overall positive performance of a new product, but nearly half of the respondents showed a decline in pre- to post-use purchase intent ratings, raising concerns about the repeat potential for the product. Our analysis was able to identify the key attributes responsible for the high level of disappointment and suggested ways to better align product communication and product performance.