How Product Testing Your Services Can Greatly Improve Your Business

Product testing is the value-added endeavour in marketing that can lead to product superiority amidst competition. It is the systematic process of testing the products against various benchmarks such as quality, safety, life and consumer acceptance. The ways and means by which objective testing of products can impact the bottom line have been set forth.

Testing is that branch of marketing research that can prompt manufacturers to identify lapses, save costs, learn on mistakes and improvise. It is carried out  during various stages such as product development, design and final launch. The following factors have been responsible for the popularity of testing in the current marketing scenario:

  • The advent of mass production and heavy capital required for the same makes testing a safe haven before manufacturers and launch them appropriately.
  • The onset of the consumerism wave that has made it mandatory for businesses to satisfy themselves as to the soundness of all claims made in advertising, as to features, attributes and life.
  • The element of objectivity and neutrality that in-built in product testing by independent researchers protects consumer interests and is also a strong weapon to fight competition.
  • The upsurge of technology and engineering has led to the rise of cost-effective prototyping tools and testing strategies, which make testing a revenue centre and not a cost centre anymore.

Various product testing tools and technologies are available that aid manufacturers to carry out testing of products  economically and boost their customer-centric image. In addition to the conventional uses of gauging a product for its performance, following are a few ways in which can have a direct impact on brand assertion and market share.

Product differentiation

Unless manufacturers invest on getting their products tested and validated by an independent research organization, they cannot differentiate their products from those of their counterparts.

  • When the trust badge from a neutral researcher is affixed to your brand, customers are bound to feel that the manufacturer has gone the extra mile in safeguarding their interests.
  • Launching a flawless product in the market will ease the potential threat from competitors who use every opportunity to exaggerate product flaws and turn it to their advantage.
  • Testing the product among a group of end-users will result in obtaining valuable and critical feedback from them. This exposes avenues for refinement and improvisation in such a timely fashion that final products will emerge with needed uniqueness and compatibility with market expectations.
  • By measuring and valuing potential threat level from competitors, thanks to adequate level of testing, aggressive marketing strategies can be planned and optimized.

Entering new and global markets

The mandatory legal compliances for manufacturing and marketing of products differ from country to country. Still there exists an element of commonality between international markets.

  • Manufacturers who have completed product testing will have already completed at least a part of compliance criteria, by conforming to the needs of testing.
  • They are bound to be way ahead of their competitors attempting to enter into the same markets along with them.
  • Launching the same product at the same time in multiple countries becomes swifter and more economical when testing standards have been duly met.

Earning the trust of retail distributors

Mass manufacturers find it difficult to place their products and services in the hands of retailers and distributors who will take their brand across various political and geographical borders.

  • Retail distributors find it worthwhile to tie their inventory investments in those products and services that have been properly tested and can be marketed with confidence and credibility.
  • Technically tested products and services fetch ready markets. Retailers find this instant market access as a boon when they stock-up on products that have been validated by bench tests.

Provision of safe-to-use products makes for enhanced goodwill

The concept of testing assumes special importance in health and cosmetics industry where safety of products has a direct say on the health and appearance of customers. The FDA has issued copious instructions and directives for the testing of such products.

  • Products claiming the use of natural ingredients must conform to stipulated standards. Once a manufacturer convinces the safety of his “natural” and “organic” ingredients, testing can enhance value of this USP in the product.
  • In case testing facilities in a business are not satisfactory, external consultants can be used for the purpose. The FDA is empowered to carry out inspection of the manufacturer’s facilities. By conforming to testing guidelines, manufacturers can save themselves of huge litigation costs that might ensue at a later point in time due to non-compliance.

Measuring effects of aging on the product line

One of the most crucial claims made by manufacturers is with regards to age of the products. Any flaw in this claim as a severe reputational damage to the image of the business. One of the long term ways to improve performance and profitability of businesses is to ensure that

  • All products and services are tested in a randomly selected sample universe.
  • Such products stand the test of time and longevity as promised can be guaranteed to customers.
  • Accelerated life testing of products is done, especially in the case of technology based businesses, in order to measure the aging effects accurately. Customers can then plan on their costs of maintenance and upkeep.

A guide to add new features in existing products

For an enterprise on the verge of expanding product capabilities and productization, testing will throw deep insights into the optimum scale and time in which features can be introduced. It will be a gauge to determine customer acceptance of new product attributes.

Product testing is no doubt the secret formula to become the King of product superiority. By investing in independent third party testing of products, a business sets in apart and above its competitors. This is because customers are assured that the business has considered the product from the perspective of customers and not manufacturers alone. The key to successful testing are the selection of a representative universe, the quality of data and the research company chosen as well as the critical variables indicating product value and customer satisfaction that are embedded into the testing strategies.