Market Research for New Products | Home Usage Tests (HUTs)

Before you launch a new product or an existing product to a new market, you owe it to yourself and your company to conduct some pre-research. Several types of market research can be completed for new products including projects like in-home usage tests (IHUTs). These new product development projects are designed to test the product with customers prior to a full market launch.

What are the benefits of product development research and pre-research? It helps you understand new markets and different consumer behaviors. It also helps you understand potential challenges and barriers to launching the product. Through this research you better understand your chance of success and failure and it could save your company countless dollars by eliminating risk of a new product launch.

market research for new products | home usage test company

Before launching a new product or an existing product into a new market consider home usage tests (IHUTs) market research. Learn more about the benefits and process here.

Our new product development testing around IHUTs follows a structured process from start to finish. Thinking about running a market research project? Here are your steps to get you started for your IHUT market research study.


Step 1: Set Your Objectives

This first step is key. You'll want to fully discuss and understand several items before you start your IHUTs. Think about what you want to learn from the research? What are your expectations? What actions will you be taking?

Also consider who you want to target for the product testing? What are their characteristics and demographic information? How long do you want the participants to test the product? These are all key items which help drive your recruitment screener and process.

Step 2: Determine Your Scope

Scope is determined by several factors and many of these overlap with objectives. Answer questions like who you want to target? How long will the test run? What are the steps and instructions involved in the test?

When it comes to product testing and HUTs you will want to be as specific as possible when sending your shipment to participants. For example, let's say your company is sending a dish detergent to a client and you need them to download an app to log a diary of usage and feedback around the project for the course of 1-month.

The scope may need to include instructions during shipping such as:

(1) Information to download the app

(2) Instructions to register a free account

(3) Instructions to open and record feedback in the diary

(4) How often to test the product

(5) Who to call or email with questions

Step 3: Find a Market Research Partner

The most challenging and time consuming piece of new product development research (both qualitative and quantitative) is the recruiting. This is recruiting in terms of finding participants for testing or finding survey respondents for a larger study.

There are several factors you will want to look for in a market research vendor. First being responsiveness. IHUT and product testing recruitment can be a long process, find a vendor who is responsive and willing to provide regular updates on progress. Second, find a market research company who is flexible. One that is willing to work and do more to make sure your project is successful.

Obviously other items such as cost, expertise, industry experience, and others come into play as well. Ultimately, the choice is up to your company and what you deem is most important.

As far as process differentiators, find a market research company who adds rigor to the confirmation process. Simply signing up participants through an online survey is not enough. Make sure the vendor adds confirmation emails, phone calls, or even texts.

Step 4: Begin Your In-Home Usage Tests (IHUTs)

Now that you have laid out your objectives, defined your scope, and chosen your new product development market research partner, you are ready to roll. You'll want to request a proposal from the firm and sign-off on the fees and scope.

From there you should schedule a kickoff call to review all of the strategies and tactics. Also consider drafting a timeline or workplan early on to keep all teams on-task. The final step is to develop a screener or qualification document used for recruiting participants.


Choosing the right market research partner is key to running successful new product development research. We often work with clients who attempt to tackle the entire project on their own and do not realize the amount of work and daily project management required for the screening, recruit, confirmations, and shipping of products. When run correctly, no type of market research project can offer a company stronger ROI.

Contact Our Team

Drive Research is a new product testing and in-home usage test (IHUT) market research company located in the United States. Our team has assisted organizations with testing new products across the country including products like diapers, cleaning solutions, and water monitoring devices.

Questions about how we can help your company? Need a proposal? Contact us.

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