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Concept Testing

What is Concept Testing?

Concept testing is essential in developing the communication of ideas, government messaging, policies, product development and marketing to ensure that your concepts resonate with the target audience and have the potential for success.   Identifying any turn-offs and barriers that may impact the success of a campaign, new product, or service is vital before investing in final production and media.

We understand tight deadlines and can implement a fast turnaround concept testing approach if needed.

concept testing

newfocus can assist clients with concept testing and can provide a full service consisting of the following steps

Stage 1 Design the concept testing

  • Define Your Objectives:  Clearly outline the goals and objectives of your concept testing. What do you want to learn? What specific information are you seeking to gather? Understanding your goals is crucial to designing a successful concept test.
  • Identify Your Target Audience:  Determine the demographic, psychographic, and behavioural characteristics of your ideal customers. Knowing your audience helps you select and recruit the right participants for your concept test.
  • Create Clear and Concise Concepts:  Develop concepts that are easy to understand that are presented in a clear and concise manner. Avoid jargon and complexity. The concepts should be focused on the key messages, unique selling points and benefits of your product or idea.  Discuss with the newfocus team the best way to communicate concepts to ensure an objective evaluation.
  • Choose the right methodologies for testing concepts: There are various methods for concept testing, including surveys, focus groups, online platforms, one-on-one interviews, online panels, and A/B testing. Discuss with the newfocus team the best method that best aligns with your objectives and target audience, time frame and budget.
concept testing
concept testing

Stage 2 Implementation

  • Develop your research instrument: If you are using surveys, create a structured questionnaire with a mix of closed-ended and open-ended questions. For focus groups or interviews, prepare a discussion guide with open-ended questions to encourage in-depth responses. Ideally, benchmark against similar campaigns.
  • Recruit Participants: Ensure that your sample size represents your target audience. Random sampling or carefully selected segments of your market can reduce bias. Recruitment can be an expensive and time-consuming job, so ensure it is well-planned.
  • Pilot Test: Before conducting the full concept test, pilot test your survey, discussion guide, or other materials with a small group to identify any issues and make necessary improvements.
  • Conduct the Concept Test: Execute your chosen methodology with participants, keeping track of responses, feedback, and any relevant observations.

Stage 3 Concept testing reporting, analysis, insights and action

  • Analyse the results:  Use quantitative data to measure preferences and trends, while qualitative data can provide deeper insights into participants’ thoughts and feelings. newfocus has a range of benchmarks across crucial measures that can be used to assist in interpreting results.
  • Iterate and Refine:  Based on the results, adjust your concepts, marketing strategy, or product design as needed. Iteration is a crucial part of concept testing, and the feedback received should guide improvements.
  • Communicate Findings:  Share the findings with your team and stakeholders. Use the key takeaways and actionable insights to inform decision-making. The newfocus team are experts at producing concise, insightful reports tailor-made to client requirements.
  • Make Informed Decisions:  Use the insights gained from concept testing to make informed decisions about moving forward with the concept, modifying it, or abandoning it.
  • Continuous Testing:  Concept testing should be an ongoing process, not a one-time event. As your product or idea evolves, periodically retest to ensure that it continues to meet the needs and preferences of your target audience.
  • Document the Process: Record your concept testing process, findings, and actions. This documentation will serve as a valuable resource for future projects.
concept testing

Best practice in concept testing involves a systematic and data-driven approach to ensure that your ideas align with your audience’s needs and expectations.

Our experience: Government Research Case studies.

newfocus has extensive experience with government clients in concept development, testing and tracking of a wide range of campaigns. Examples of similar work we have completed within this sector includes:


newfocus was selected in a competitive open tender process in 2016 as a sole provider of research services to Motor Accident Commission (now SAPOL). As part of that ongoing relationship, SAPOL engaged newfocus to conduct concept development and testing research of community attitudes towards the proposed (at the time) new drink drive campaign concept Selfish Prick.

This campaign won national advertising awards including the AMI Awards for Marketing Excellence’s State and National awards in the Social Change category and National Campaign of the Year.


newfocus has worked with CFS on a range of their prior education and behaviour change campaigns over several years, including the recent Be Bushfire Ready campaigns. Research has covered strategy development, concept testing and tracking.

The recent research was conducted via a two-day online platform consisting of at-risk residents to measure the standout, appeal, messaging and likelihood that the campaign would encourage action.


The Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC) was seeking to launch a media communications campaign for the upcoming Valo Adelaide 500 (2022). newfocus conducted concept testing on several creative concepts to provide insights on the ideal approach to communication of this important event.

The concept testing was undertaken by newfocus via a two-day qualitative online discussion platform to their target audiences.

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