Gauging the reception of new products with a core target consumer group is an important part of the development process, and feedback can lead to tweaks and changes that give products a greater chance of success when they hit the shelves.
Leatherhead has a long history of conducting consumer testing on behalf of food manufacturers, and completes “thousands of tests each year”. The new software tool SenseReach is designed to make the consumer testing process faster, as it can deliver results to the customer as soon as testing is complete.
It allows Leatherhead’s team of 25 consumer researchers to conduct the in-depth, targeted studies using iPads in hall settings – or with consumers in their own homes, or indeed anywhere with online access.
Cindy Beeren, head of consumer research at Leatherhead, said: “We work hard with our clients to ensure that their objectives are met, this determines if home testing or on site testing is more appropriate. We also offer clients a tailored approach to help deliver the most effective results.”
The decision to test in a home setting or at a central location depends largely on how controlled the setting needs to be. In the case of home-testing, product samples would be sent to consumers’ homes in advance, and they would report their views online. Trials can vary hugely in size, from just 20 for qualitative studies, through to thousands for quantative assessments.
It can also be used to glean opinions from consumers all around the world, which is critical for products to be introduced across different markets, where preferences may vary.
Beyond gathering views on products in development, SenseReach can also be used to monitor product quality, compare how products perform against the competition.