Be creative. Or, just ask!
Often, we are creating designs for brands where there is no budget for consumer testing. That leaves us at the mercy of our own intuition and experience to determine whether a chosen design will speak to the target consumer in a way that is compelling enough to move product off shelf. Consumer testing can be time-consuming and costly, but at the expense of a first impression to the consumer, it’s priceless.
So, when there is no funding for testing, be creative. One client came up with an idea to ask a local school for consumers and in response made a donation to each participants’ favorite school club as payment for their time and input. We hosted and recorded the qual session which yielded favorable results against the control and steered the next phase of refinements in a direction that was different than what we had anticipated.
Another thoughts is to just ask! Many times, I have been in-store with comps of designs to review in context (with store manager permission of course!) with my client. This is a perfect opportunity to stop consumers who fit the target and ask them some simple questions. Although a store intercept cannot replace qual and quant results, these simple interface opportunities can provide insight that you may not have considered in the design or positioning of the brand.
Some insight is better than none. Especially when the project team is twice the age of the target consumer!