Updated: Jul 13
Creating and maintaining top notch products is the surest way to stay ahead of the competition. But to be top dog, smart companies test before they invest- engaging with consumers for valuable feedback to fuel their product decisions. They are looking to differentiate. They want to dominate the market. And they ultimately want to build a loyal customer base that spawns repeat purchases of their products. We have seen this with our clients- from CPG, food and beverage and beauty- product testing is at the heart of their success.
Specifically, in-home usage tests (IHUTs) are a great, cost effective way to get a pulse on what consumers are thinking. Every day, our clients rely on our IHUT expertise to help determine what aspects to keep, scrap and iterate before investing time, money and resources into product development. At MarketView, we have run thousands of product tests across categories throughout our 25+ years, and IHUTs certainly stand out as a preferred method for our clients. Here are five reasons why our clients love IHUTs (and we do too!):
1) Natural Environment
One of the biggest benefits of IHUTs is that consumers use the products in their natural environment- namely the real-life home setting. Product testing mimicking real-life produces more honest, more faithful evaluations as consumers utilize products in their everyday lives. IHUTs are also conducted in a less controlled environment than CLTs (Central Location Testing)- giving consumers added flexibility to evaluate products for real-life use situations. This leads to more effective assessments by consumers- giving brands deeper insight into their preferences, attitudes, and future satisfaction with the product(s).
2) Wider Geographic Reach and Access to the Right Consumers
With IHUTs, you are not limited to specific geographic areas as you would be with a CLT. Want to survey only females, age 45+ with income over $100k? No problem. You can recruit from wherever your eligible target audiences are and get to the right respondents by using detailed screening surveys to pinpoint specific respondent criteria to include as part of your test panel.
3) Ability to Measure Extended Use
IHUTs afford the possibility of a longer test period than a CLT provides. Consumers have time to really experience and evaluate products in-depth over a given test period (e.g., days, a week or even weeks), log their experiences, and receive follow-up evaluation questionnaires. Longer evaluation times also provide brands with additional reflection points across the product lifecycle- giving the ability to track use over a period and understand any changes in consumer behavior and experience. For instance, measuring a consumer’s first impression compared to subsequent uses within the test period, or even a final overall impression at the end.
4) Depth of Survey Content and Flexibility
With the ability to tailor usage periods, IHUT respondents can be questioned for longer periods and/or over multiple rounds of questioning on a variety of topics. This ability to evaluate multiple aspects of the product within a study lends itself to a deeper understanding of the user experience, as well as better product decisions and greater customer satisfaction.
5) Begin Cultivating a Positive Customer Experience
IHUTs give consumers the opportunity spend extended time interacting and experiencing the product, and also gives brands the ability to directly interact with their target audiences early in the development process. This extended time is invaluable- as it can be a starting point to cultivate customer relationships and connections- which can ultimately lead to higher customer satisfaction and future loyalty.
Why Choose an IHUT?
It goes without saying- product testing is an important and critical component for product success. IHUTs offer invaluable insights into customer attitudes and preferences- enabling brands to improve product design, innovate based on respondent’s feedback, and facilitate more effective marketing campaigns to create differentiation and capture greater market share.
At MarketView, our clients lean on us for our IHUT expertise. Named a Top 20 IHUT firm by Quirk’s Magazine, our dedicated in-house team ensures that every detail of our client's product test is managed with care. We have fine-tuned our processes over 25 years to take great care of our clients' products- handling EVERY aspect from start to finish- making it easy to get products tested safely and easily. Clients simply deliver their product(s) to our facility, and we manage all aspects including:
· Survey development and analysis
· Participant recruitment
· Product packaging/labeling
· Address verification
· Product delivery