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Going to the Source: Consumer Testing Groups

By: Alisa Marie Beyer
Posted: November 5, 2010, from the November 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

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If you’re using questions designed on a rating scale (for example: strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, strongly disagree), be sure the scale is comprehensive and speaks to as many outlooks as possible, and always offer opportunities for self-directed answers. Also, don’t be afraid to go with an e-mailed version of your questionnaire. Whether a link to a survey engine or a Word document, an e-mailed version will ensure the fastest return rate, and is generally the most convenient method for participants.

Above all, you want to make the whole process as easy as possible for the participants, so take any chance you get to save them time and make answering questions simpler.

Launching a new product or brand can be tricky business, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be a negative reality. To truly position your brand or product for success, and to side-step as many potential pitfalls as possible, go to the source. A consumer testing trial is one of the best and most reliable methods for discovering these potential hidden problems or flaws with your new product (and maybe even a few perfections) that you may not have anticipated. In addition, consumer testing also helps alleviate the guesswork of what consumers want vs. what they say they want, and helps you get to the holy grail of consumer behavior: repeat purchase. Think your brand is ready for full-scale launch? Without powerful feedback from a consumer testing trial, you may not be as ready as you think.

Alisa Marie Beyer is the founder and creative director of The Benchmarking Company (TBC), a global beauty consulting firm offering business, strategy, consumer intelligence and branding. As publishers of the “must-read” Pink Report and WomenTrends, TBC keeps its fingers on the pulse of the industry and offers unparalleled consumer insights and intelligence. E-mail:;