Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images
Trialing or testing a product allows a company to gain customer feedback and insights on strengths and weaknesses prior to a full product launch. It is better to identify errors or concerns prior to distributing a product to the broad market, rather than finding out about them after the fact.
Identify Flaws and Defects
During a product trial, test market users experience your product and share input. Companies want to learn about any flaws or defects in the user experience. By learning about bugs in a new software product, for example, you have time to correct the bugs and fine tune the product before full launch. Customers also may identify certain attributes or features of a product that they would like you to modify. Making the modification may contribute to better success when you release the final version to the market.
Attract Early Adopters
Some customers seek opportunities to participate in product trials. Early adopters, those customers who like to be the first to buy a new product, may become loyal to your business when you allow them to constantly participate in trials. Getting these cutting-edge buyers on your side is especially beneficial in creating a domino effect through word-of-mouth advertising after a product launch. Even if the trial participants find flaws, they may feel loyal based on the fact that they were invited to share their opinions.
Gather Marketing Insights
Companies gather data through product trials that is used to reveal the features and benefits users like, as well as those they don't like. Such data is valuable when preparing promotional strategies. In advertising, the company wants to focus on communicating benefits that were most valued by the test subjects. If a high percentage of trial users were inspired by certain benefits, it is likely that many consumers in the broader target market feel the same.
Avoid Major Errors
In addition to detecting basic flaws, product trialing may protect your business from major mistakes that ruin the brand. For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires clinical trials of new food products and medications to prevent negative public health consequences. If you launch a product without testing, dangerous features could cause much greater public harm than they would during trials. By minimizing the number of consumers who test the initial product, you also minimize the potential for serious injuries and even death. Hundreds of products are recalled every year because of health risks. Trialing can prevent the need for such a recall.
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.