by | Apr 6, 2021

If you are like us here at InsightsNow, you enjoy the challenge of breathing new life into traditional product testing methods such as CLTs (Central Location Testing), refreshing and enhancing these age-old approaches to make them better than ever. While traditional CLTs have their place, they also have their challenges, namely the results often fail to differentiate products well enough to make a good decision. We challenged our team to give us three simple ways to refresh traditional CLT’s; to go beyond basic “liking” of products’ attributes; to gain a deep understanding of true consumer emotions in relation to your product; or even understand how to learn how to nudge and/or disrupt consumer behavior. Here are their top three recommendations.

Using Implicit Testing in New Ways

One approach we specialize in is adding implicit testing to CLTs. While the concept of implicit testing is not unique, the way its conducted and applied can make all the difference. We use a patent pending approach we call The InsightsNow Implicit/Explicit Test™. In this approach to implicit testing, we calibrate each person to ensure we can look at the score of each person independently. This allows us to set for each person a cut-off time for fast reactions, ensuring we can capture the use of System One thinking (fast, unconscious) vs. System Two thinking (rational, cognitive). Therefore we get to see what percent of people can be nudged or disrupted in their behavioral or emotional patterns—and is especially effective in measuring acceptance and avoidance behaviors surrounding the stimuli.

This style of implicit attribute and benefit testing—when added to a CLT— only adds about 30-seconds to a minute per product, therefore it is typically not a challenge to add it to an existing questionnaire.

One of the best times to apply Implicit testing to your CLT is when you are working with highly liked products. For example, if you have two samples that are similar, and the liking scores show no preference, the implicit test can help you understand if consumers gravitate toward certain attributes or benefits subconsciously. This in turn gives you a stronger story for which product should move forward or which product is the right one for more investment.

Another situation where adding Implicit testing can be valuable is when you have a set of ingredients and you need to know which ingredients are most important for your products. The implicit test identifies which benefits consumers naturally associate with various ingredients to create intuitive connections to your product and you can garner a richer picture of which ingredients to move forward with.

Gaining Deeper Understandings Through Emotions Testing

Understanding the consumer emotions—beyond “likes and dislikes”— enables development teams to creatively design cues into their products that tell consumers that the product will truly deliver the emotional impact promised by the brand. When you can go beyond product attributes and understand how the product makes consumers feel, you can tap into indicators of repeat purchase. Adding emotions testing can also help find out your emotional equity with a product in your brand and how it ties in with people’s emotions.

Incorporating emotions also allows you to dig deeper into the sensory properties—like texture, taste, visuals and more—which are driving those emotions. We have found it especially helpful in identifying very subtle negative cues. Since most products being tested in a CLT are enjoyable, the value of adding emotions is often finding those little elements which are causing a few people to have an unpleasant experience. By isolating those product elements, you can correct and take an otherwise good product and make it great.

There is one word of caution, however. Emotions testing can give you potentially misleading information, when conducting blinded CLT studies. The brand plays such an important role in how consumers emotionally connect with products, if you leave out the brand you don’t set the context well and only get a read of the emotions connected to the product itself—which is not a complete picture of the total emotional association. Learn more about our unique approach to emotions testing.

Add Richness with Exit Groups

Add richness to your CLT by adding on an exit group. They are a simple way to get into the heads of your target audience and receive feedback they might not provide otherwise. The actions, body language, and other non-verbal communication of the group can lead to useful information about your product or service. Receiving input from people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives can offer unique insight and opportunities.

At InsightsNow, we hand pick people with our real-time software, ProfilesNow, ensuring we are selecting people who fit the unique patterns we are looking for or who have comments which are surprising or unexpected. This ensures the people in the exit groups or interviews will provide an articulate discussion in line with the overall findings of the study. Due to the flexibility of selecting individuals, we can select people to discuss a wide variety of topics. For instance, a person who comments on the texture of a product may be pulled into an exit to discuss the texture, whereas a person commenting on the package may be pulled out to discuss different branding and packaging options. We offer many types of exit interviews, from groups to moderated interviews, to calls with developers and researchers, to self-led video reviews. With this flexibility we make sure the exits fit the objectives of the study.

Implicit testing, emotions testing, and exit groups are not radically new, but they are simple to include and provide a dramatic improvement in learning over just a huge list of scaled questions. They are also fantastic ways to learn more about the potential behavioral impact of your product which can be the difference between product success and failure.

To explore innovative approaches to traditional CLT’s with InsightsNow: contact us!