If you are an ISV business, pursuing a new software product idea, here’s a quick quiz for you:
- How much does it cost you on average to develop a new product, including development, tooling, inventory, and launch?
- How many of the new products that your company introduced last year have failed?
- How much money was spent on building these products?
- How much money was spent “fixing” them in the aftermath of the failure?
With those figures in mind, do some quick math and determine if all the money spent in the product development process aligns with your expected ROI.
If your answer isn’t as pretty as you had hoped, think about how advantageous it would have been if you had dug up some data to truly evaluate your product idea before you started development. This is where concept testing steps in as the most important factor in the New Product Process because better decisions begin with data.
Why is Concept Testing for Software Solutions important?
- Concept testing presents you with a wealth of information and details that are required for both the screening step as well as the business analysis step. As an ISV business looking to launch a new product, your biggest goal is to minimize risk and maximize revenue. Concept tests will revolutionize your thought-process to meet that end goal!
- Concept tests help you determine various product specific approaches and implementations which include advertising, sales, packaging, distribution and pricing. They provide intelligence and direction to both identify and communicate key product and service benefits and uses.
- Another great feature of a concept test is that it enables you understand the persona of your potential product user, which includes their existing perceptions, wants and needs and so on which help you to directly influence them and enable them to make a decision that would potentially be in your favor.
- In terms of cost, concept testing is comparatively inexpensive, atleast when taking into account the mammoth costs of development, tooling, inventory, and launch. And when you also consider the fact that concept tests help you decide even whether you should launch a product, you’ve just saved yourself a huge chunk of money instead of the colossal damages you’d have faced with a potential failure.
- Concept tests reshape and refine ideas so they have greater potential for market acceptance. It helps you drop weak concepts; identify various market segments and which ones specifically are interested in your product and also the size of this potential market. It helps you gauge where your product would stand compared to both your products (to avoid cannibalization) and other products in the market that are similar to yours (which helps you with positioning yourself in the best possible manner with respect to price, promotion and distribution)
Having a concept test in place will help you really focus on getting the best product out there because through testing, you are able to not just improve your product, but set priorities and also understand better how to market your product and to who.
One way of performing a concept test is by creating a simple functional prototype whenever there is a product plan, and have about 20-30 users live testing the app and provide feedback on design, functionality and what features they think would add value to the user.
As an ISV business, the key takeaway for you would be this: concept testing is going to help you make better decisions that are based on high quality and relevant data and the end result of that is going to be superlative software products. Isn’t that what you’re going for?