In today's competitive market, understanding consumer preferences and behaviors is crucial for CPG brands aiming to succeed. In-home Product Testing (IHUT) offers a notable opportunity to gather authentic and unbiased insights, helping brands refine their products and marketing strategies. This post will delve into the concept of IHUT, highlighting its importance, various types, and advantages for CPG brands seeking a deeper understanding of their customers' needs. We will discuss why brands couldn't utilize IHUT in the past, and share essential components to maximize its benefits.
Additionally, we will present an intriguing real-life example of a CPG brand that successfully harnessed IHUT for a triumphant product launch. With this in-depth exploration, we aim to comprehensively understand IHUT's significance and potential for your brand's growth and customer engagement.
What is In-home Product Testing?
In-home Product Testing (IHUT) is a marketing method where consumers test products in their homes, giving brands authentic and unbiased feedback. IHUT helps you understand how consumers use and interact with your products daily, providing valuable data to improve your offerings and marketing strategies.
Why Should Brands Use In-home Product Testing?
- Identifying pain points: IHUT can help brands identify any issues or pain points their customers experience with their products, such as packaging, functionality, or overall satisfaction.
- Improving product quality: By gathering feedback from testers, brands can make data-driven decisions to improve product quality and effectiveness.
- Enhancing brand loyalty: By involving customers in product development, brands can build a stronger connection to strengthen customer loyalty. Research shows that brands that employ IHUT see a 30% increase in customer retention rates.
Which CPG Brands Should Use In-home Product Testing?
Traditionally, IHUT campaigns were primarily limited to large enterprise brands. The associated costs and resources required made it difficult for smaller brands to take advantage of this valuable marketing method. However, with recent technological advancements and cutting-edge tools, IHUT has become more accessible and affordable for a wider range of businesses.
Nowadays, even smaller CPG brands, including those in the food and beverage or cosmetic sectors, can benefit from IHUT. IHUT's increased accessibility allows these brands to understand their customers' needs better and improve their products accordingly. By utilizing IHUT, they can gather real-world insights, identify pain points, and enhance overall customer satisfaction.
With the barriers to entry for IHUT campaigns significantly lowered, it has become essential for all CPG brands to take advantage of this marketing method. This is regardless of their size. By implementing IHUT, brands can stay ahead of the competition and foster a strong connection with their customers. This will drive growth and success in the competitive CPG market.
Different Types of In-home Product Testing
There are several IHUT approaches to choose from, depending on your goals:
- Blind product testing: Consumers test unbranded products to eliminate bias and focus on product performance.
- Competitive benchmarking: Consumers compare your products to competitors' offerings to assess their relative strengths and weaknesses.
- Concept testing: Consumers evaluate upcoming product ideas or prototypes to gauge potential market interest.
- Price testing: Consumers test products at different price points to help brands determine the optimal pricing strategy for their target market.
- Packaging testing: Consumers provide feedback on various aspects of a product's packaging, such as design, functionality, and ease of use. It helps brands optimize their packaging to better appeal to their target audience.
- Sensory testing: Consumers evaluate products based on sensory attributes, such as taste, texture, aroma, and appearance this type of testing benefits food and beverage products, personal care, and beauty items.
Benefits of IHUT for CPG Brands
- Real-world insights: Consumers test products in their natural environments, providing genuine feedback that can help you fine-tune your products and marketing strategies.
- Cost-effective: IHUT is often more affordable than traditional market research methods such as focus groups or in-person interviews.
- Increased brand loyalty: When consumers feel heard and involved in product development, they're more likely to become loyal customers.
Reasons Why Brands Didn't Utilize IHUT Enough in the Past
- High costs: In the past, IHUT often involved organizing physical groups of testers, which could be expensive due to logistical and operational expenses associated with product distribution and management.
- Coordination challenges: Managing and coordinating IHUT campaigns could be difficult, as it required recruitment and communication with a large number of testers, ensuring the proper delivery of products, and monitoring the testing process.
- Dependence on large companies: To successfully execute IHUT campaigns, brands often needed the assistance of large market research companies, which could be costly and not easily accessible to smaller businesses or startups.
- Need for data analytics teams: Analyzing the large volume of data generated from IHUT campaigns requires dedicated data analytics teams, which could be an additional expense and resource strain for some companies.
- Slow turnaround times: Due to logistical challenges and the time required to analyze feedback, IHUT campaigns often had a slower turnaround than other research methods, making it less appealing for brands seeking quick insights.
How Modern Tools Make IHUT More Affordable for Brands Today
- Streamlined processes: Modern platforms and tools have simplified the process of managing IHUT campaigns, reducing the time and effort required for coordination and communication with testers. This has made it more affordable and accessible for all brands.
- Cost-effective recruitment: Online platforms and social media channels allow brands to efficiently recruit a diverse pool of testers, reducing traditional recruitment costs.
- Data analysis automation: Advanced data analytics software and tools enable brands to automatically analyze and interpret tester feedback. This eliminates the need for dedicated data analytics teams, reducing the overall cost of conducting IHUT campaigns.
- Digital communication: Modern communication tools facilitate real-time interactions between brands and testers, allowing for faster and more efficient feedback collection, which in turn accelerates decision-making, and reduces campaign turnaround times.
- Access to specialized services: Nowadays, niche market research companies and platforms specialize in IHUT campaigns, providing end-to-end solutions at more affordable rates than large market research firms. These specialized services make it easier for small businesses and startups to leverage IHUT as part of their market research strategies.
Essential Components of a Successful IHUT Campaign
A well-executed IHUT campaign relies on several key components to provide valuable brand insights. Here are the essential elements of an effective in-home product testing process:
- Clear objectives: An effective IHUT campaign must have well-defined goals and objectives, outlining the specific feedback and insights the brand aims to gather and how they will be used to inform product development or marketing strategies.
- Representative target audience: A diverse and representative group of testers that accurately reflect the target market for the product being tested is crucial for meaningful feedback. This may include factors such as age, gender, income level, and geographical location.
- Smooth product distribution: An effective IHUT campaign should have a well-planned system for distributing products to testers, ensuring that they receive the items promptly and with minimal hassle.
- Streamlined feedback collection: A successful IHUT campaign should have a user-friendly and efficient system for collecting feedback from testers, such as through online surveys, phone interviews, or focus group discussions.
- Thorough data analysis and interpretation: Testers' data must be carefully analyzed, looking for trends, patterns, and areas of improvement. This process may require data analysis tools or software, as well as input from experts in the field.
- Ongoing communication and follow-up: Maintaining open communication with testers throughout the process is essential, providing updates on the product's development, addressing any concerns or questions, and expressing gratitude for their participation.
Case Study: The IHUT Success Story of CPG Brand
To understand the practical implications and potential of IHUT, let's examine a real-world example of how a CPG brand used IHUT to achieve a successful product launch:
Brand: CPG Brand, an eco-friendly cleaning products brand
Product: An all-new, plant-based all-purpose cleaner
Objective: Gain insights into consumer satisfaction, product effectiveness, and packaging design to refine the product before its official market launch.
IHUT Process Followed by CPG Brand
1. Sample Selection: CPG Brand selected a diverse group of 200 potential consumers, representative of their target market, ensuring a blend of different ages, genders, and geographic locations.
2. Product Distribution: Each participant received a package containing the new all-purpose cleaner, instructions for use, and a questionnaire for providing feedback.
3. Usage Period: Participants were asked to use the cleaner for a month in their homes, substituting their existing all-purpose cleaner. They were urged to use it on various surfaces and in different rooms.
4. Feedback Collection: After a month, participants completed the questionnaire, offering feedback on the cleaner's effectiveness, scent, packaging design, and overall satisfaction.
5. Data Analysis: CPG Brand analyzed the feedback to identify trends, common complaints, and improvement areas.
Key Findings and Actions Taken
- 85% of the participants found the cleaner effective in removing dirt and stains.
- 70% appreciated the eco-friendly aspect of the cleaner but suggested a stronger scent.
- 65% found the packaging design appealing but suggested a more ergonomic bottle shape.
- 90% of the participants would recommend the product to a friend or family member.
Based on these insights, CPG Brand made several changes before launching the product:
- Enhanced the product's scent while preserving its eco-friendly formula.
- Revamped the packaging to include a more ergonomic bottle shape for more accessible handling and usage.
- Crafted marketing materials emphasizing the cleaner's effectiveness, eco-friendliness, and improved scent.
Outcome and Impact
After incorporating the changes based on the IHUT feedback, CPG Brand launched its new all-purpose cleaner, which quickly gained market traction. Positive reviews lauded its effectiveness, eco-friendliness, and scent, leading to a significant increase in sales and market share within the cleaning products category. The brand continued to use IHUT for future product launches, ensuring consistent consumer satisfaction and market success.
This example clearly illustrates how IHUT can significantly contribute to the successful launch and development of a product. CPG Brand's story demonstrates the importance of aligning product design and marketing strategies with actual consumer needs and preferences, and it underscores the critical role of IHUT in achieving this alignment.
In today's competitive landscape, In-home Product Testing (IHUT) has become an invaluable resource for CPG brands, enabling them to gain a deeper understanding of their customers and optimize their products accordingly. Technological advancements and the emergence of new tools have made IHUT more accessible and cost-effective, allowing businesses of all sizes to reap its benefits. By adopting contemporary IHUT methodologies and incorporating different testing approaches, brands can achieve a competitive edge, strengthen customer loyalty, and ensure long-term success in their respective markets. At Peekage we offer all the tools you need to run a cost-effective IHUT campaign. We provide a versatile platform for brands of all sizes that helps you maximize the value of consumer insight and market research.
Do you want to learn more?
Here you can learn more about How to Get the Most Out of Your IHUT Campaign to launch a successful CPG product.