Proposition / concept testing

Proposition / concept testing

Market research has a critical role to play in optimising new products, services or brands. Mustard’s research services have helped clients proceed with confidence, knowing their new proposition or concept is commercially viable, meeting needs and appropriately priced or positioned. We get involved in the early stages to help short-list ideas or to test the market. We also get involved in the later stages to refine propositions or concepts ensuring they are launch-ready.

Why use proposition / concept testing research?

We have broad experience in proposition and concept testing, but each project has a common goal – understanding the possibilities for delivering a return on investment. So whether we are testing new snacking products, loyalty programmes or new theme park rides / attractions, there are a number of core principles we adhere to.

Testing Chance

We need to ensure the research design or method does not unduly favour one concept over another, so we work closely with our clients and partner agencies to ensure all stimulus (or propositions / descriptions) are fit-for-purpose. We often phase fieldwork, so we can avoid concepts being rejected on the grounds of a minor issue with final execution.

Every concept or proposition we have tested has been different in some way. Quite often we are involved at subtly different stages of the proposition / concept development process. Plus every target audience is different hence there should be no “off the shelf” solutions for proposition or concept testing.


Given the differences that exist between every project, concept and target audience we often discourage clients from placing too great an emphasis on comparative benchmarks. We will always take a measure of things like appeal and consideration, but the relative “success” of each test has to be taken in context.

Appeal and consideration are important measures for testing propositions and concepts, but of course we do far more than this. We use other quantitative measures to understand fit with and impact on brand, impact on behaviour (to understand cannibalisation risks), etc. Our approach is also grounded in ensuring the research is as “real” and as tangible for the research participants as possible – getting them in the mind-set of when they would make decisions regarding those products and services. Hence we also use qualitative methods – digging deeper, playing “devil’s advocate”, using techniques to access emotional responses.

How proposition / concept testing helped Visit Aberdeenshire

Mustard provide Visit Aberdeenshire with recommendations on how to shape and develop the new brand position. This research also helped develop further marketing communications.

Discover how Proposition / Concept testing can make a difference to your business

How proposition / concept testing research helped Aviva

Mustard undertook research with key audiences to test options for improving one of its key investment products.

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