Removing the unconscious bias in product testing

The history books of marketing are filled with dramatic failures. Botched product launches and major misjudgments lose brands millions every single year, but the same mistakes continue to be made. The interesting commonality between them all is that, when you take a closer look at the causes of these big failures, they are almost always down to something very small, and very simple. 

Getting product testing right is clearly very important. Just how important, however, seems to be widely underestimated. Despite the clear significance of this process in any business decision, product testing is often somehow seen as an area in which corners can be cut in order to save money. Time and time again, brands either neglect product testing altogether, or opt for in-house, believing that it can be tackled with an uniformed DIY approach. Then, the same brands are confused when their launch doesn’t go as planned, and they have to go back to the drawing board. 

To really understand how your product performs, you need full control over all variables in the testing environment. In order to close the gap between what people say they do and what they actually do, product testing environments need to be expertly fine-tuned to yield maximum accuracy. A wide range of contextual factors and biases need to be accounted for to ensure that the responses you are receiving from respondents actually reflect reality. DIY testing does not acknowledge and mitigate against the hidden biases at play, from positional bias and the framing effect to response bias and the halo effect – and many more. Attempt it yourself with no expert guidance and you might get answers, but to the wrong questions.

The success of product testing can be boiled down to one crucial element – context. If your research questions and environments don’t consider the context in which your products are seen, bought, or interacted with, then the responses you are going to get from respondents will not give you useful insight into real world purchase decisions. Similarly, without understanding all the behavioural biases at play in that moment, you won’t be able to understand how your customers think or do, despite what they seem to say. 

If you want to understand the full scope of product testing, and get the right answers to the right research questions, get in touch with us today.