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The Hub


Product creation and optimisation

A critical factor differentiating leaders from laggards is their ability to constantly adapt and/or introduce new products or services to meet consumers’ changing needs.

Whilst getting it right reaps substantial rewards, it’s surprising how often businesses get it wrong, which, in addition to being costly, can have a negative impact on an organisation’s reputation. Let us show you how to maximise the effectiveness of your NPD and optimisation activities.

New Product Development /

NPD - McCallum Layton Research Agency based in Leeds

Creating successful new products requires a systematic approach to identifying opportunities and evaluating their potential. The approach must involve an appropriate combination of creativity, for example at the idea generation stage, and objective analysis, particularly when assessing the degree to which the new concept leverages the company’s strategic capabilities. Our qualitative and quantitative teams work as one to ensure a smooth and seamless NPD process. The techniques we use will be tailored to your specific project, but may include a combination of:-

  • Blue sky think tank ?

    Blue sky think tank

    A successful think tank should employ ‘blue sky’ thinking – participants should be encouraged to be imaginative and creative and discouraged from early rejection of suggestions and concepts that might have the makings of a workable idea. However we are also careful to ensure that we run “outcome” based think tanks which provide clear direction for a way forward.

  • Stimulus safaris ?

    Stimulus safaris

    Safaris explore a wide range of stimulus drawn from “on category” or “parallel worlds”. We provide participants (up to 6) with a loose brief – loose because it’s about creative multiple points of view and experiences coming together, rather than a prescribed solution. Then the participants literally go out on Safari, to observe and explore the locations previously identified.

  • Creative communities ?

    Creative communities

    Creative Communities are made up of participants from a panel of 95,000 ‘creators’ – film-makers, animators, photographers and designers – worldwide. We can tap into their talents to feed their creativity into our clients’ projects by setting them competitive online tasks – from NPD to brand refreshment.

  • Co-creation workshops ?

    Co-creation workshops

    Co-creation workshops can be used to generate ideas for possible new products, target markets, product areas, etc . They involve up to 6 participants – usually a couple of members of our team and around four representatives of our client’s organisation – and although they employ a range of techniques designed to stimulate creativity they are, to a degree, structured. Our approach is a well-tried process designed to achieve usable outputs.

  • Turntable workshops ?

    Turntable workshops

    Two groups of people, both critical to arriving at a solution but possibly with very different perspectives, are brought together to discuss the topic among themselves, but observed by the other group. Bringing together people with opposing views, but in a non-confrontational way, allows us to delve into underlying drivers of attitudes and perceptions at a far deeper level. The technique is especially valuable when identifying key drivers and barriers to acceptance of a potential new product or service.

  • The Grid ?

    The Grid

    The Grid technique helps to identify how individuals perceive things to be similar- or different – to each other, using their own notions of what makes something distinctive. In such a way it is a powerful tool in terms of pin-pointing key differentiators between products and services and isolating the real USPs.

  • Online concept testing ?

    Online concept testing

    Testing concepts online is a relatively inexpensive way of getting feedback on ideas which need a visual representation. It is particularly useful when you have a large number of ideas and want to quickly and cost effectively whittle them down to the ones which have most potential and which merit further development. Our online software is highly flexible and allows images, and video and audio to easily be embedded in a questionnaire.

  • Preference mapping ?

    Preference mapping

    Preference mapping is a technique that provides direction for product development by linking sensory profiles to consumer preferences. It allows you to ensure your product is the best possible fit for the preferences stated by your target consumers.

  • Trade-off analysis ?

    Trade-off analysis

    Trade off analysis allows you to see the effect of decreasing one or more key variables, and simultaneously increasing one or more other key factors. In such a way the optimum ‘package’ for your new product or service – the one that will result in the highest levels of take-up – can be created.

  • Price modelling ?


    Getting the price of a new product or service right is critical to its success – price modelling allows you to ascertain what price will maximise take-up and/or profitability.

…as well as more traditional methodologies

Product optimisation /

Product Optimisation - McCallum Layton Research Agency based in Leeds

A product has many attributes some of which will stand the test of time and some that won’t, but do you know which are which?  For example, its taste could be too sweet for today’s palates, or  your packaging might be dated in terms of ergonomics, or maybe the typeface looks tired. Let us demonstrate to you how our vast experience of product testing, product/service benchmarking, sensory testing, preference mapping, needs state analysis, pack and pack testing can help you ensure that your products/services are always ahead of the competition.