Product Placement Tests: How They Work and When To Use Them

With the ability to skip an ad at a click of a button, modern consumers are blinded by most advertising and marketing efforts. Product placement tests are quickly becoming a foolproof way for brands to reach their target audience in a less direct avenue.

What exactly are product placement tests, how do they work and when is the best time to use them? Hang tight, these answers and more will be with you momentarily.

Drive Research just finished completing an 8-week product placement test with a 96% full participation rate. Here's an inside look at this project!

Are product placement tests right for you? Learn why this market research method is quickly becoming a foolproof way for brands to reach their target audience.

What is a product placement test?

Now that we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming, let’s uncover what a product placement test is and the different product placement types. A product placement test or study can refer to two different types of tests:

① An in-home usage test (IHUT)

② A test where products are placed in retail stores onto shelves.

A home usage test enables participants to use and evaluate products in their own homes, or in another natural usage environments. In this blog, we will focus mainly on the former.

Also called a product test or an in-home usage test (IHUT), a product placement test asks consumers to try products in their own homes. This enables research participants to use the product as they normally would, instead of in a lab setting.

The purpose of the product placement test is to give research participants the ability to evaluate a product after using it for a long period of time rather than just a few minutes. Many consumers will use a product differently in their own homes rather than in a testing setting.

How do product placement tests work?

The test product is placed in households of target-market consumers. Research participants are asked to use the product as they normally would. Typically, the product is shipped to research participants for ease of use and an easy entrance into their daily routines.

Many product placement tests require an extended period of time to fully gather results, however, the testing time varies from study-to-study and product-to-product. Most product placement tests take between 4 to 12 weeks to complete.

A product placement test company would recommend placing the product in 25 to 30 homes. This provides a sample size for usage trends and data interpretation.

Sometimes, an interviewer will make an in-home appointment with the research participant. This allows the researcher to talk to the consumer and see how they used the product. This conversation can inspire new ideas and ways to use products which can be very valuable to the company conducting the product placement test.

At the conclusion of the product placement test, consumer reactions to the product are collected and measured using a follow-up online or telephone survey or an in-person interview.

When to use a product placement test?

A product placement test is useful in several different scenarios. The most common situation in which a product placement test is used, is when a company wants real-time and real-life feedback on a product before it is fully launched.

Product placement tests can be used for a fully-fledged product, prototype, or new version of an already-existing product on the market. The findings from the product placement test can be put into the development or advertising of the product going forward.

Companies can also use product placement tests for products that are used on a daily basis. The objective of these studies is to understand how usage changes over time and can keep tabs on satisfaction levels. This acts as a check-in so companies can make changes to the product if need be.

Lastly, companies use product placement tests to learn about product appeal, as well as to gauge if there is a desire for feature modifications. These studies help a company strategize based on consumer purchase intent and product pricing elasticity.

Contact our Product Placement Test Company

Product placement tests provide a unique way to gauge consumer thoughts and habits. A market research company like Drive Research can conduct product placement tests for companies. This allows our clients to keep their thumb on the pulse of their product’s life and usage.

Companies rely on the information gathered from product placement tests to maintain effectiveness and relevance. Additionally, aside from the initial cost of shipping the product to testers’ homes, product placement tests are much more cost effective than an in-lab test process.

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