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How IHUTs Can Drive Better R&D, Marketing, and Innovation

  • May 24, 2023
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What do consumers love about your products—and what are they merely tolerating because it’s part of the overall package? For companies that do product testing, in-home usage tests (IHUTs) are a great way to discover what motivates customers to buy and use products. Because IHUTs reveal how real people use products in authentic settings, they can provide much more accurate insights into consumer opinions than surveys or focus groups ever could.   

With well-designed IHUT market research, companies can collect both quantitative and qualitative data about their products—and then use that data to improve every aspect of their business. Here’s how.  

Using IHUT Surveys to Inform Research and Development 

Your research and development (R&D) department is responsible for optimizing your existing products’ best features and identifying what’s due for improvement or a straight-up overhaul. But how do they know what’s working and what isn’t? 

IHUTs give the R&D team a window into exactly what consumers like about their products and what they wish were subtly—or dramatically—different. Those insights help R&D focus on the features that matter to users while cutting out those aspects of a product that aren’t inspiring joy or loyalty. Whether you want to reevaluate a product’s design, packaging, appearance, or functionality or see how it compares to the competition, in-home product testing is the way to zero in on what matters.  

Using IHUT Research to Create More Effective Marketing and Advertising Campaigns 

So, R&D has created a new and improved version of a classic product. Now, how is your marketing and advertising team supposed to spread the word about it?  

IHUT market research can shape your messaging. By combining quantitative and qualitative research questions in your home product testing study, you can learn when people are reaching for your products and then dig deeper to find out what they’re thinking at those moments. What’s motivating them to use a product? How do they feel before and after? A well-designed IHUT can explore these questions, giving the marketing and advertising teams deeper insights into the emotions they should tap into. That leads to campaigns that address real user concerns and messaging that resonates. 

Using IHUT Product Testing to Generate New Insights and Stay Ahead of Trends 

But you can’t just focus on your existing products—you need your insights and innovation team to stay ahead of ever-changing customer preferences. How can they see around corners to design new products that customers are going to want? 

Again, IHUT testing offers solutions. First, because IHUTs give you access to real people who are using products in their own homes, you have an ongoing opportunity to hear where their needs aren’t being met. That lets you perform meaningful gap analyses that can power true strategic innovation. And you’re not limited to sending out one product at a time for in-home testing; you can test multiple prototypes at once, evaluating how each performs to identify new products and new value streams. Checking in with IHUT participants and testing new products lets you anticipate trends and outperform your competition.  

Level Up Your IHUT Testing With Precision IHUTs 

But not all IHUT studies are created equal. The traditional IHUT study—where you ship a product out, have participants use it, and then collect information after the fact—may not be much more informative than a standard focus group, and it certainly isn’t dynamic or agile enough to identify emerging trends. 

QualSights enables IHUTs like you’ve never seen before. We start with passive collection of precise, accurate in-home usage data through groundbreaking sensor technology. We then follow up with our mobile qualitative platform, which enables study participants to upload videos showing their use of the product and in-the-moment reactions to it, providing extremely valuable contextual details you need to create products that truly delight your consumers. Reach out now to schedule a Precision IHUT demo with one of our research experts, and experience consumer insights like you never have before. 

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