Home usage testing or in-home use testing (iHUT), if you prefer, is a product research method that allows brands to monitor the performance of their products within their intended environments.
By allowing would-be consumers to put their new or revamped products through their paces, brands can gain deeper insights into how their products function and how consumers interact with them during their designated function.
But apart from the obvious change of environment, what makes using this consumer research method a crucial tool on the armoury of leading consumer goods brands?
While there is always a time and a place to test products in controlled environments, they are not indicative of how a product will perform or be perceived in the real world. Home use product testing allows brands to understand what consumers think about their product in its intended place of use, the ways in which they use their product and, more importantly, assess the way consumers interact with their brand through their products.
The ability for brands to determine how these experiences affect consumer loyalty is invaluable. In-home use product testing allows them to tap into less quantifiable qualities such as the extent of brand loyalty, how a product makes them feel, or how brands can improve products to improve consumer perceptions.
Another reason brands like in-home use testing are because it provides a number of methods for soliciting feedback regarding a specific purpose. Rather than having one set method for recording results, companies can change up the way they gather feedback to suit their needs. From in-person interviews to online surveys and questionnaires, there are a myriad of options available for brands conducting home use product testing.
By implementing multiple approaches to collecting feedback through in-home use testing, brands can assess different aspects of a product in order to get a more thorough and in-depth understanding of their product and how it stands up to consumer expectations.
It also allows companies to gain in-depth insights into different consumer segments that will help target specific marketing campaigns, such as children or women.
One of the biggest fears of any company launching a new product is a design fault or performance issue that derails its potential success before it has a chance to get off the ground.
Since home use product testing can last for the entirety of the product’s lifespan (if required), brands can closely monitor the product’s performance over longer periods. This allows them to determine if their product is living up to expectations over time and, if not, make changes or corrections before the product is launched.
For example, let’s say that after several months of using a new dishwashing liquid, consumers are reporting that they can no longer get their dishes clean. After monitoring and receiving this feedback, the brand can determine that the ingredients in their product have serious longevity issues, causing them to rethink their formula.
Catching these potentially fatal issues in testing can protect your company from costly recalls and reputational damage.
At Wirral Sensory Services, we have thousands of home-based testers (covering all consumer market segments) ready to be called upon. What’s more, our long track record of successfully carrying out home use product tests stands us apart as the UK’s leading provider of this vital consumer research methodology.
So, if you want to better understand how consumers feel about your product when used in their intended home environments, please get in touch with WSS today. We are available by phone on +44 (0)151 346 2999 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.