Designing A Product That Sells Out Immediately

The Problem

A utility company wanted to design a program to encourage electric vehicle ownership. With past research showing that a major obstacle to purchase was easy access to vehicle charging, they sought to develop a home charging program for residents in their service territory. However, they needed to first validate that such a program would improve electric vehicle purchase consideration. And, if they did develop a program, they needed guidance on how best to design the program to increase the chances of residents signing up.

The Approach

Knowing that the team needed objective data for a go / no-go decision, as well as to inform the overall product design should they move forward, we designed a research study to: 1) validate the overall idea; 2) measure the relative benefits of different potential features; and 3) determine the ideal configuration of features that would result in the highest consumer interest.

Concept Testing We first supported our client in developing a high-level concept—a product name, description, and basic benefits—that could be tested with potential consumers. After seeing the concept, respondents were asked about its overall appeal and their interest in using it. They were also asked to rate it on a variety of dimensions to gauge more nuanced interest.

Conjoint Analysis Upon seeing strong interest in the high-level concept, we then put respondents through a conjoint analysis, also known as a trade-off analysis, to hone in on particular features hat had strong impact on purchase decisions. We could test how much features like price, length of ownership, or installation configurations mattered in general, and then also how individual levels within each feature (e.g. a $29.99 vs. $39.99 price point) impacted purchase intent.

Resident Segmentation Knowing that any region is made up of diverse residents, we ensured that we captured data from individuals in different home settings and home types. This provided a more granular view of product interest and the extent to which the product did or did not resonate with different resident segments.

The Results

Ideal Product Configuration By the end of the research, the team had a clear understanding of exactly which product features mattered to residents and how adjusting those features could increase or decrease interest.

Internal Validation To Run A Trial The results provided the core team with the necessary data to drive approval within a large, consensus-driven organization to move forward with an in-market trial.

Sold Out Trial Within one month of marketing the program to area residents, the trial sold out. There is now an ever-building waitlist of residents that want program access following the test run.

Did You Know...

Conjoint analyses are an ideal way to mimic the real world experience consumers make when choosing between multiple products. Research respondents are shown multiple product configurations at one time and asked to choose their preferred option. By showing each respondent many configuration options, and repeating this process over a large number of respondents, market researchers can hone in on the components that really matter and help product teams launch products that consumers will be excited to buy.

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