Updated: Mar 28, 2022
Let's face it- you can't short-cut product testing. Sure you can go with your gut and get going on a product you think is the best thing since sliced bread. But nothing can replace getting your product into the hands of future consumers to understand where your product shines and where it falls flat. In-home usage tests (IHUTs) are a great, cost effective way to get a pulse on what your consumer is thinking. Battle-tested, they are the preferred and go-to method for research firms and top brands to collect relevant insight to help you along your product lifecycle. IHUTs give you the insight needed to guide your strategies- helping you decide to keep, scrap and iterate quickly before you invest a ton of time, money and resources into your next product launch.
Five benefits when using IHUTs:
Test before you invest: as marketers, researchers and brand gurus, we know there are risks with bringing any product to market. After all, 95% of products fail- which is why top brands continue to rely on product testing before they make any big investments. With IHUTs, they are cost effective and convenient. Products are shipped to your consumers to use at home- getting a more realistic glimpse into how consumers will use or consume your products- before you go-to-market. Individual consumers tend to be very engaged with the process from start to finish with feedback gathered online via mobile, computer or tablet, or in-person interviews. And since IHUTs rely on a real-life environment rather than a controlled location, results tend to be more honest on product satisfaction, usage and potential improvement areas- giving you the most accurate insights about the potential your product has to succeed.
Touchy feely time: While online and mobile surveys are great, nothing can replace consumers actually holding products in their hands and testing the products in their 'natural' environment. Smells, touch, feel all play an important part of how consumers perceive your products. Sensory comparisons simply can't be replicated in the online world.
Natural environment: IHUTs offer consumers the opportunity to test products at home in their natural environment with no outside influences. With Central Location Test (CLTs), which are in a controlled environment, opinions of other consumers can sway true feedback- resulting in group think and not a true, honest assessment of your products. Especially with items like consumables, household products, pet care, beauty, and sexual health products natural environment usage is vital to obtaining genuine, honest feedback on what they like, dislike or would change- which can truly drive your product's strategy and direction.
Better experience for the consumer: with IHUTs, the consumer is able to use the product in the privacy of their own home with no pressure of having to evaluate in-person with an interviewer present.
Easier to recruit: since products are sent to consumers' homes and done at their convenience, there is no commitment for the consumers to travel, schedule or incur costs to test products. IHUTs are an easy way to gain diverse perspectives and share opinions from a wider array of target consumers.