Activate It

Activate It helps you identify your late-stage concepts with the highest activation potential — and learn how to make them even better. Use Activate It to launch new products that grow your brand with the freshest thinking in innovation. Available for Consumer goods and Restaurants.

Testing Process

  • Monadic concept test to understand the growth potential of late concepts
  • Use KPIs to understand concept performance — including concept classification based on Trial and Breakthrough Potential.
  • Test up to 5 concepts with a sample size of 400 broad category users. This will unlock a broad and targeted sample to assess the overall opportunity (according to brand growth principles).
  • Real world relevance, with features such as competitive context and progressive exposure.
  • Analysis can be done via side-by-side testing or using robust benchmarking analysis
  • Includes deep dive into purchase behaviors, actionable attributes help identify opportunities for concept improvement to increase trial.


Making Decisions with Activate It


Stimuli Guidelines

In Activate It, concept should have 4 key elements:

  1. A product / pack image (photo or digitally rendered) which looks/feels like something consumers would see in-market.
  2. A brand name and logo, which are an important context that influences decision making. 
  3. Bite-sized description, reflective of how people consume information and is more engaging than traditional long-form concepts. Focus on what’s important and describe in a conversational manner. Include a benefit statement and emotional and rational justification.
  4. Product specifications. Information about flavors or varieties (if not already specified in the description), sizes/servings (including weight or volume), where the it can be purchased, and price.

Price exposure is introduced later in the survey and  it shouldn’t be included as part of the stimuli.

A full explanation of all stimuli and inputs can be found here.

Questionnaire flow:

Late-stage concept testing can look very different from one industry to another. For that reason, your Activate It questionnaire will depend on your vertical.

Currently we have two Activate It flavors: one for Consumer goods companies and another one for Restaurants.

However, both have 5 key moments in common:

  1. Category consumption profiling 
  2. Pre-exposure brand choice exercise
  3. Stimuli exposure
  4. Concept purchase behavior (including Trial Potential and Purchase Uplift)
  5. Concept rating and diagnostics (including Breakthrough Potential, Believability, Pricing Diagnostic, Heatmaps, and more)

If you want to know more about the questionnaire, please reach out to your Zappi Representative.

Making Decisions with Activate It

Key Measures

  • Trial
  • Breakthrough
  • Incremental growth evaluation
  • Potential purchase behavior
  • Concept diagnostics

Utilizing a relevant benchmark

Choose from three benchmarking approaches to assess your concept’s ability to outpace the competition.

  • Normative benchmarks - category and country norms provide a broad view of how consumers rate your concepts in relation to a wide range of CPG products; a minimum of 20 concepts is required for a normative benchmark.

  • User defined (tagged) benchmarks - a closely related group of concepts provide a precise view of how consumers rate your concepts in relation to close-in competitors and/or other products in your portfolio; a minimum of 5 concepts is recommended for a user defined benchmark. 

  • Direct benchmarks -  when two or more concepts are tested together, statistical significance testing can be used to directly compare performance metrics between or across concepts.

Understanding the Concept Classification Chart

Strong potential with Early Adopters: Concepts listed as having "Strong Potential with Early Adopters" resonate with consumers that exhibit behaviors linked with early adoption. These concepts are listed by their Total Audience classification below.Early Adopters are consumers who try a new product or service when it first becomes available and in a shorter period of time than the average person. By understanding whether a new idea is appealing to Early Adopters, you can potentially identify breakthrough innovation, and no longer risk leaving strong ideas on the cutting room floor.

All concepts are classified into five "buckets," based on their performance across two key measures, Trial Potential and Breakthrough Potential:

  • Scale and sustain
    These concepts have strong potential for scale amongst category consumers and should be prioritized. Develop full articulation and research to understand final commercial viability.

    If concepts are Scale and sustain with strong potential with Early Adopters, they should be prioritized and exploited quickly before the opportunity to be a pioneer with this concept is lost.
  • Short term trial
    These concepts have high competitive trial potential but aren't considered innovative enough in a category context to maintain excitement for long. Develop further and understand the short-term revenue opportunities where trial is needed but longer term potential is not essential.

    If concepts are Short term trial with strong potential with Early Adopters, then Early Adopters see these concepts as being more breakthrough than category consumers. Develop further, considering how to highlight the breakthrough potential with a wider audience.

  • Seed and grow
    These concepts have breakthrough potential but more modest trial. Consider moving forwards with slower/alternative approaches to growth such as different routes to market, limited distribution or a test-and-learn approach.

    If concepts are Seed and grow with strong potential with Early Adopters, they have had their strong breakthrough potential confirmed by Early Adopters. Capitalize on the opportunity swiftly at smaller scale through alternative routes to market, limited distribution or a test-and-learn approach.

  • Emergent
    These concepts have a strong ability to drive distinction and advantage perceptions but low trial potential, suggesting a trend for breakthrough innovation. Consider monitoring and re-assess in the near future.

    If concepts are Emergent with strong potential with Early Adopters, they have on-trend potential amongst Early Adopters, suggesting a trend for breakthrough innovation. Consider developing at smaller scale to explore the opportunity.

  • Deprioritize
    These concepts have moderate-to-low breakthrough and trial potential amongst total audience category consumers. Either deprioritize, investigate potential amongst Audience Profiles or analyze, rework and retest.

    If concepts are Deprioritize with strong potential with Early Adopters, then consider exploring further potential amongst Early Adopters to confirm trend and progress with a "seed and grow" perspective if confirmed.

More details on how the quadrant chart works here.

Understanding your Individual Concept Summary

In order to extract more information from Purchase Likelihood ratings, use these three measures, all derived from the 5-point purchase likelihood rating data. From left to right in the image below, they provide (1) an initial estimate of “market size,” (2) the size of the opportunity to increase purchase likelihood, and (3) the limitation to upside potential (as measured by the percentage of respondents who reject the concept). 
We don't recommend that these measures be analyzed using norms to benchmark --  that's why you might see an "N/A" in the chart where a norm comparison might otherwise be, or why there isn't a "Norms" tab on the right hand side of the screen for you to configure. The variability of these measures can be high and distinct and therefore the conclusion you draw from them can be considered in isolation, rather in comparison to others in your category. This type of standalone analysis used in conjunction with other ActivateIt metrics that are benchmarked, like the Concept Classification chart, will provide a stable, nuanced, and predictive assessment of in-market success. Read more of our guidance on how to make decisions from concept testing here.

More on the Individual Concept Summary

This chart in your report provides an overall concept performance profile to assist you in evaluating your concept’s performance.

  • Purchase Likelihood: the percentage of respondents who would “definitely purchase” the product depicted in the concept. This percentage is an important summary of concept performance. 
    • When multiplied (as a proportion) by the size of the relevant universe of purchasers, it provides an initial estimate of “market size”, the number of purchasers who could purchase if they were aware of the product and knew where to buy it. The percentage can also be used to calculate the number of purchase occasions during which the buyer is expected to continue purchasing. This top box percentage is a static measure, providing a sense of concept acceptance. Often, that might not be good enough for in-market success. The research issue then is to think dynamically and ask how to increase interest in purchasing.     
  • Opportunity Percentage: the percentage of respondents who would “probably purchase” the product These are respondents who seem to like the idea but may not be sold yet. To re-express the research issue: how can these respondents be moved to become “definite” purchasers…
    • What product changes are required?
    • How can communication be improved?

    … while not alienating those currently “definite” purchasers. Market size increases with the successful movement of at least some of these probable respondents.

  • Rejection Percentage: the percentage of respondents who would “probably not” or “definitely not” purchase the product. This percentage is an indication of limited upside for concept acceptance. These respondents are not going to purchase this product.
    • Comparison to the “definitely purchase” percentage provides a measure of concept risk. The ratio of the “definitely purchase” percentage to the Rejection percentage is the Accepter-Rejecter Ratio, often used as a tie-breaker when comparing performance across many concepts. For example, rejection being the same percentage (or greater) as “definite” purchasers indicates polarized purchase likelihood and possibly only niche market interest.

Understanding potential with Profiles

You can use Profiles to define and create norms for your subgroups, then get a clear read on concept potential among them in your reports.

  • You will be able to customize charts in your report by selecting the desired audiences you want to explore. You will get by default a list of demographic profiles.
  • You can create new profiles based on any profiling/screener question used in the survey (i.e. brand buyers, shoppers for a specific retailer, heavy/lapsed buyers).
  • Norms will be available for any profile created (assuming at least 20 concepts available with a minimum base of n=30 per concept).
  • If your profile doesn’t exist, speak to your Customer Success rep to get it built.


Q: Does Activate It use weighting?

A: Yes. We weight and normalize respondent data before putting it into the databases to ensure (a) data is consistent, (b) results are balanced and (c) data is discriminating to ensure an accurate representation of consumer behavior.

Q: Does Activate It screen out non-buyers in my category?

A: No. While the survey automatically populates screening questions based on the category you select and so is consistent each time you test in the same category, we do not screen out non-buyers in these questions. We instead weight key measures in reporting according to the sample's representation. This has two key benefits: 1) without screening quotas upfront, we’re able to field your surveys more quickly and cost-effectively, and 2) not screening out non-buyers allows you to analyze the non-buyer respondents and seek out white space opportunities or ways to influence this group specifically.

For example, the respondent will be asked a usage question like this one for the ready-to-heat meals category:

If they select "Never," they will continue with the survey like other respondents. However, the platform then automatically weights your data when the report is populated, based on the makeup of usage in the sample, so that your decisions are made based on the respondents you care most about. That way, if you were curious as to how your concept tested with those who selected "Never," you could always filter based on this criteria. Those with high performance among non-users of the category may represent an opportunity to attract new users to the category.

If you are looking for any additional information, please check out the links below:

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