Early Concept Testing to Reduce Time-to-Market

How the Nestlé’s Global Ice Cream R&D Unit sped up evaluating and qualifying early-stage concepts globally to streamline the process from idea to market

Nestlé used the results to decide which concepts to focus on going forward in the concept development process and which concepts to discard. Furthermore, the standardized early stage concept testing has become an internal standard to evaluate all future concepts before going into later stages of concept development.

The challenge: Reducing time-to-market

Nestlé’s Global Ice Cream R&D Unit in California, USA wanted to speedup the process of evaluating and qualifying early stage concepts globally in order to streamline the process from idea to market.

Their main targets were to qualify more concepts faster and reduce time-to-market for new products.

The solution: Setting up a concept test framework to streamline processes

In order to make a standard framework that could be used continuously, a simple and efficient questionnaire was developed standardizing the different parts. This allowed the setup to be flexible with regards to the number of concepts tested from time to time.

For the specific test, 9 different concepts were tested in 8 global key markets. Nestlé developed the questionnaire in English and we handled translations and scripting for 8 different markets. 900 interviews were performed per market amongst frequent ice cream eaters - 300 for each concept cluster.
The questionnaire included a respondent filtering part + sections of concept evaluations based on only 2 standard questions per concept. Each respondent was only exposed to 3 concepts and the concepts were rotated continuously.

Concept testing

Getting your concept performance measured on the right parameters will make you more decisive and successful in your implementation of your concepts.

Reach out to your target audience and test your ideas with real consumers. You will be left with a clear market calibration and ready to move forward with the right version of your concept to maximise the potential of your product or service.

Design your own concept test or let us help you choose the right statistical method depending to match your business challenge. We work with setups like single concept evaluation (monadic), multi-concept evaluations (sequential monadic), concept selections (MaxDiff design), and concept attribute evaluation (conjoint analysis).

The research

The concepts were shortly described and pictured in mock-ups. The concept evaluations were focused on immediate purchase intent and concept associations.

The 6 languages survey and concept translations, scripting and setup of 8 questionnaires and sampling of 7,200 interviews took 10 days in total.
Concept test quesiton preview

New standard procedure for early concept testing

Through our online reporting system, Nestlé was able to follow all results live and start analysis even before the sampling was completed. To compare the concept evaluation across the 8 markets, data was exported and merged into a single very over-viewable heatmap concluding the popularity of each concept. The heatmap visualization of the results made it easy to conclude that 3 concepts performed well in all 8 markets while further 2 performed well in several markets.
Nestlé used the results to decide which concepts to focus on going forward in the concept development process and which concepts to discard. Furthermore, the standardized early stage concept testing has become an internal standard to evaluate all future concepts before going into later stages of concept development.