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How to Develop Concepts that Will Pass in BASES, but Fail in Market

So many marketers are trying to write concepts that will pass BASES. In fact it often seems like passing is the end goal, when really what marketers want is products that will succeed in the marketplace.

At Ideas To Go, we work with thousands of concepts every year, so we've seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. We've seen what works where, and what doesn't work at all.

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Here are ways to create a concept that will pass BASES, but fail in the market:

1. List ALL The Benefits.

Why It Will Work In BASES: Are you kidding? This product does everything! For everybody! This product is even handier than a Swiss Army knife!

Why This Won't Work In Market: The thing is, everyone can find something they like about this product—and that's not a compliment. You’ll never be able to communicate all these benefits in real life—not on the package, not in a commercial, not even by word of mouth.

INSTEAD: Focus on the ONE main benefit that is most compelling.  If you don’t know what that is, do qualitative work to find out.

2. Make It Magical.

Why It Will Work In BASES: Everyone wants to lose weight without effort or get rich fast.  If you can come up with something with a huge claim or amazing returns, consumers will want it, even if they don’t quite understand how it will happen.

Why This Won't Work In Market: Do you have a clear line of sight on how to make it a reality? Or is it science fiction? Don’t go through the trouble and cost of testing if you won’t be able to do it.

INSTEAD: Rather than using a high-powered claim, just focus on the benefit. You don’t need to know how you will make the product, but there needs to be a vision for how it could happen, even if you think there may be obstacles. Shoot high, but don’t live in a fantasy world.

3. Create a Really High-End Product For a Really Low-End Cost.

Why It Will Work In BASES:  Everyone wants a great value. The most common way to do this is to show an illustration with really upscale packaging and graphics at a base product price.

Why This Won’t Work In Market:  New and sophisticated packages are often the first things to be cut during product development and materials pricing. If you can’t make money on it, you shouldn’t make it.

INSTEADEither come up with a great package and price it as a premium product, or make a reasonable package for a reasonable price.  

About the Author: Christine Haskins is the Vice President of Customer Experience at Ideas To Go. She facilitates customer-centered innovation for Fortune 500 companies across all market categories and industries. christine.haskins@ideastogo.com

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