Product Optimization

Product Optimization

Product Optimization


Product optimization research is a form of concept testing, in which we are identify the mix of features and individual benefits that maximize customer interest. Optimization research generally works best in categories with features and benefits that are clear and easily understood, or that are driven by performance, as compared to categories that are more image-driven.

Typical Client Questions/Issues

  • What level of reduction in ingredient quality can we substitute before consumers notice, and our perception of value and quality decline?
  • How much are consumers willing to pay for an added feature to their online banking app when compared to the free version?
  • What is the optimal level of tartness, sweetness, sugar, and thickness in a tomato sauce?
  • How much are airline credit card users willing to pay for enhanced benefits at airport lounges above the annual fee they pay now?

InnProbe's Approach

  • InnoProbe’s unique approach to concept screening involves evaluating and diagnosing complete ideas.
  • A test may involve a single idea or several ideas. The method of exposure varies depending on the category and target audience.
  • InnoProbe has extensive experience in testing and interpreting results.
  • Both “evaluative” and “diagnostic” measures are used, so concept tests include both hard metrics and reasons why.
  • Different options are constructed, and then evaluated using an experimental design.
  • Reactions to each product element are teased apart, with the optimal configuration then identified.

InnProbe's Measures

  • Purchase interest and reasons why.
  • Main point communication.
  • Voluntary positives (e.g., likes, advantages) and negatives (e.g., dislikes, disadvantages).
  • Value, uniqueness, superiority, believability, relevance.
  • Degree of fit with company image.
  • Expected frequency of use, HH members who might use, anticipated purchase frequency.
  • Usage occasions/situations.
  • Attitudinal, classification, and demographic questions.

Case Studies

Hand Tools:

A diversified hand tool company head invented a set of attachments that could be used in combination with a power drill. The attachments would convert the rotational movement of the drill bit into either a reciprocating motion or a cutting motion. One of the particular attachments required input from contractors and builders in order to better refine the product design, as well as identify a range of possible prices that would be acceptable to the buyer. Research was used to identify relevant competitors, but perceived benefits of existing products, and the specific superior features of this new concept. In addition, pricing sensitivity analysis was conducted in order to target a price point that was significantly higher than what was initially considered. As a result, the company was able to introduce the product at a higher price point and not leave money on the table.


Medical Equipment:

A global manufacturer of optical equipment he is also a major player in the medical field. Specifically, this company manufacturers cleaning machines for medical equipment known as reprocessors. Reprocessors are used in GI laboratories for endoscopic procedures, and they may come with various features and characteristics, but not all of them are equally desirable. Further, the inclusion of these particular features include a cost component, so the most desirable features are often the most expensive. Optimization research was conducted among gastrointestinal nurses who are typically managers of these lab areas, to determine the kinds of features and the tradeoffs they are willing to make between them. In the end, the optimal set of features was identified and the manufacturer then altered its product configuration and optimal price for the medical market.

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