An in-home usage test, or IHUT for short, is a popular methodology for consumer product research. In short, IHUT market research allows participants to use food, product, or service in the environment in which the product is intended to be used.
For example, Windex may choose to conduct an IHUT research study where participants are given a bottle of Windex to use on their windows at home. Once they’ve done their given tasks, they share their feedback for what they liked (or didn’t like) about the product and what improvements they’d like to see be made.
IHUTs offers product developers to obtain real, honest feedback rather than observing consumers in a facility where participants know they are being watched.
Need to learn more about in-home use tests, before understanding their advantages? Watch this video first.
Think you understand the basics of what an IHUT is? Let’s dive into the benefits of conducting this type of market research.
IHUT Benefit #1: Pre-test a product before a full launch
There are many tests a product must go through before being placed on shelves for consumer purchase. While an IHUT is not enforced for product launches, it is highly recommended.
IHUTs allow product innovators to fully test their consumer packaged goods before launching them to the masses. In doing so, manufacturers can work out any kinks or make major improvements. For many consumers, first impression of a new product is everything.
Although you may think your product is perfect, consumers may think otherwise.
- Does your product work as expected or advertised?
- Were the instructions easy to follow?
- Did consumers like the smell and/or taste of the product?
- What about the packaging that would influence a consumer’s purchasing decision?
Pre-testing a new or improved product before introducing it to a much larger audience will surely save you the hassle of inevitably having to remarket a newer model down the road.
IHUT Benefit #2: In-the-moment feedback
There may be no better type of feedback than in-the-moment. With any type of market research, it is important to capture feedback in real-time. When more time passes, there is more of a lapse in judgment.
By lapse in judgment, we mean, consumers providing inaccurate feedback or not remembering exactly how a product made them think or feel.
Being that IHUT market research does not take place on-site at a focus group facility, but at home, it seems as though instant feedback would be near impossible.
With the help of a third-party IHUT market research company, analysts can join participants in their homes and ask a series of questions while consumers are using the product. Within minutes of participant use, your team can collect the crucial feedback you are seeking to instantly refine or perfect your product.
IHUT Benefit #3: Collect unbiased feedback
When working with an IHUT market research company, your team can be as involved as you want during the duration of the project. Whether you prefer a hands-on or hands-off approach a third-party company can adjust their processes.
Drive Research, a national in-home usage market research firm, often works with consumer packaged goods companies to execute an IHUT study from start to finish. At a very high level, this often involves the following steps:
- Kickoff meeting: Our team will meet your stakeholders to discuss the objectives and specifications of your project needs
- Recruitment: Drive Research will create a screening survey to be approved by your team. Once approved, we will program the survey and begin recruitment. After qualified participants are recruited, our IHUT research company will begin scheduling time for consumers to complete any tasks.
- Discussion Guide: We will create an interview guide in which project moderators or analysts must follow for the duration of the project. This includes questions moderators will ask consumers while they participate in the IHUT study.
- Reporting: Our market research firm will provide an in-depth market research report for your team. This includes an executive summary of key findings, break down of question by question results, an infographic, consumer profiles, and more.
Partnering with a third-party will allow your team to take a step back and obtain true, honest consumer feedback without bias impacting those results.
Because you build this product from the ground up, it is hard to take your own opinions and feelings out of the equation.
It is important to ask consumers unbiased questions, follow-up questions, and see the results with fresh eyes. A third-party IHUT research company can help!
Drive Research is a national market research company located in Syracuse, NY. We work with clients and industries across the country to assist with their in-home usage test (IHUT) studies.
Interested in receiving a proposal for IHUTs? Contact us 1 of the following 4 ways: