Testing New Product Design

In June I conducted focus group research in New York and Paris.
The research goal was to identify the product design that will grab consumers' attention and inspire purchase in the retail environment. Working with an industrial designer, we developed the following innovative solutions, using integrated qualitative and quantitative techniques and a specially designed software program.


  1. Provide a directional model by validating 4 prototypes in terms of form and color
  2. Identify the participants' preferences in form and color, the importance of these to the participants, and the differences between the geographic locations of the study.


  1. Sample. A broad demographic mix. In each market, respondents were divided into five focus groups: one = ages 23-34, one= ages 35-65, one = parents with two or more children under age 12, and two mixed.
  2. Instrument. Integrated qualitative and quantitative instrument.
    1. Respondents identify the purchase criteria for the product that are important to them and define what they mean by those criteria.
    2. They evaluate prototypes against these criteria. Evaluation is both qualitative and quantitative (semantic differential) in the following order:
      1st - form: respondents view and respond to 4 prototypes
      2nd - form + color: respondents view these same forms on a specially designed computer program which permits them to see the forms from various angles and in different body colors and accent colors. Color chips are also distributed to provide a true sense of color.
      3rd - competitor products: respondents view and respond to 4 competitor products; photographs are also distributed to show competitive product colors.
  3. Respondents make final choice including recommended modifications, rate its importance to them, and explain choice.

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