• Screen a Good Range of Ideas
    Our experience has shown that finding winning ideas can be a “numbers game”, and that you need to screen at least 20 ideas in order to find 3 or 4 ideas that have true potential. So when screening ideas, try to expose consumers to a range of ideas that are linked to different consumer insights, but ensure that you have a system and process that randomises the ideas that consumers see. 
  • Include a Benchmark Idea
    When screening a range of ideas, always look to include at least one benchmark idea.  This could include an existing idea that is working well in the market for your current brand or for a known competitor.  But do re-write the idea in the style of all the other ideas that are shared with consumers.  We also recommend that all ideas are unbranded at this screening stage. 
  • Keep Ideas Short
    When screening a list of 20+ ideas, we strongly recommend that the ideas are written in a way that is short and simple.  Our copy editing team uses a format with no more than 350 characters to describe “what is the idea” and “what is the benefit” to the consumer. A few words of “support” are also added for credibility. However, we don’t include the full insight until we write full concepts.
  • Select the Right Consumer
    We typically recruit 100-200 target consumers for each screening panel, against agreed recruitment criteria. And it is important to use a trusted panel supplier who uses recruitment tools so that you are not exposing your ideas to a panel of “professional consumers”.  And with 300 consumers, you can look to identify leading ideas at +/- 5% points at a 95% significance level. 
  • Capture Consumer Feedback
    When screening ideas, use a system that seeks to capture qualitative consumer feedback.  We then tend to focus on reviewing the feedback to the leading ideas, to identify things consumers like, what they disliked and their ideas for improvement.  This feature is available in most screening tools but if feedback is critical, it may make sense to run the sessions in a Hall Test environment.
  • Consider Hall Testing
    We use our online fastSCREEN™ for idea and insight screening panels.  However, there are some projects where the actual idea screening is carried out by consumers who come to a central location. Their votes and feedback are then captured and posted to the online system. This approach is used for highly sensitive projects or where we want to capture more feedback from consumers.

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In addition to the above Top Tips on concept screening, when  testing ideas, look to assess the appeal with different consumer profiles across different markets. For example, most projects we run involve final idea screening in 3 markets with 100-200 consumers in each market.  Leading ideas are then progressed to final concept testing. Please get in touch to find out more about our fast concept screening.


Ideas First® are a specialist creativity and product innovation agency. We are passionate about helping our clients develop innovative new ideas and concepts that are truly creative, stand out from the crowd, and that drive business growth.



Want to Generate Winning Ideas to Grow your Business?

Contact us and we will explain our approach and the different tools that we use.