Customers care about what your products promise to do and what your company stands for. There have been numerous cases of customer backlash as a result of companies launching products with claims that do not match the brand’s reputation and discovering the claims were false.

Effective product claims help you draw in more customers, while misleading claims will land you in legal trouble and bad standing with the public.

Claims testing is an effective method for identifying the product features that are important to your customers and focusing your promotional messages on them.

What Is Claims Testing?

Product claims are assertions about what customers will gain from using the product through communication channels and product packaging. Claim testing is a research technique that enables you to identify effective claims that are most likely to resonate with your customers. 

Most customers want to know how much value they will get from a product before they buy it, so your claims must be convincing. While a positive brand image attracts people to your product, the product claims are what convince customers to buy it.

The results of your claims testing help you figure out which claims your customers deeply connect with and which they do not value. This allows you to present your product to your target audience in a way they appreciate it.

Also, it’s not enough to say what your customers want to hear; you must also follow through on your claims or risk bad PR because your customers will hold you accountable for those claims. So, ensure that your product claims are factual, unique, and consistent with your brand image.

Why Claims Testing Is Important?

When done correctly, claims testing is an excellent way to raise brand awareness and improve a company’s reputation to increase sales. Customers will be drawn to your brand if your product claims are genuine and peculiar.

Here are some of the reasons why you should conduct claims testing:

  • Helps Build Positive Brand Reputation

Product claims tell your customers more than just what the product can do for them; they also tell them what your company stands for and how the product is tailored to them.

If you’re a new brand with no market reputation, building your brand reputation is heavily reliant on authenticity and core values aligning with your customers. According to studies, customers are no longer necessarily loyal to brands; instead, most customers care about the company values rather than the brand name.

So, if you want to leave a lasting impression on your customers and keep them, your product must do what it says it does while also being consistent with your company’s values.

Also, your brand voice should be unique so that it instantly connects with your target audience and is recognized whenever they see your brand. You can make a unique claim by researching what your competitors are doing, and what customers want them to improve, and incorporating that improvement into your product.

For example, your product claim states that you are an inclusive makeup brand that provides beauty products for all skin tones while also ensuring that your products are eco-friendly and empower women.

Customers would be shocked to discover that you develop your products with animal protein and pay women in developing countries less than the minimum wage to create your beauty products.

  • Designing Effective Claims

When performing a claim testing survey, you present participants with multiple claims and allow them to choose the claims they prefer and state why. This helps you identify the most efficient phrases and tones to use to grab your audience’s attention.

Also, there’s a very slim chance you’re the only one providing a particular product; you have competitors. What’s going to single you out to customers is a product that provides a solution to their needs.

People are more likely to choose practical solutions when looking for solutions, so your product claims must be as credible as they are unique. Ensure you frame your product claims modestly, so customers don’t have a hard time believing your claims.

You also have a limited amount of time to impress your audience, so make sure you create claims that are appealing to your customers and keep them brief so you don’t bore them.

  • Targeted Messaging Using Consumer Data

A claim testing survey can reveal how your customers perceive your brand and their expectations. It helps you see if your claims are consistent with your company values by asking respondents if they believe the claims fit your brand image.

Customers typically like more than one claim; claim testing surveys helps you to harmonize these claims to create a product claim that resonates with your target audience and motivates them to purchase your product.

When customers don’t think a claim fits your brand image, you can ask them why. This helps you identify the specific aspects of your product claims that need to be modified to represent what your brand stands for.

Claims testing also gets you insights into customer behaviors and preferences, which helps you understand your typical customer personas and how you can optimize their touchpoints with your product for better experience and sales.

  • Prevent Legal Backlash

Many businesses have faced backlash and even financial losses as a result of making false or misleading claims. The claim testing process helps you review your claims to ensure they comply with the product’s legal requirements and do not contain misleading information about the product.

Claim testing allows you to see how your claims are perceived by customers. This allows you to assess whether your claims are misleading and restructure them to communicate what you intend.

So, when testing claims, make sure to combine the customer’s perspective of the claims, with the legal requirements to avoid future allegations that could cost you money.

How Claims Are Displayed

There are two main ways to show respondents the claims when conducting a claims-testing survey:

  • Single Claim

Rather than making multiple claims about what the product can do or represents, there is only one claim on the product. For example, the product claim could be “fresh scents of lavender,” which indicates that the product will smell like fresh lavender.

The majority of companies that use single claims are brands that provide low-risk products to their consumer, e.g Tupperware, and scented candles.

  • Claims Combinations

When using claims combinations, you’re displaying multiple claims on your products. For example, “fresh scents of lavender” combined with “100% organic fragrance”.

Using a combination of claims is more effective at capturing the attention of the audience and convincing them to buy your product. For instance, the “fresh scents of lavender” attracts your target audience, who are looking for scented candles with lavender fragrance, while the 100% organic distinguishes your product from other scented candles.

Also, in cases where the product has to do with health, you’re properly going to need combination claims. For example, “fresh minty breath”, “healthy strong teeth”, and “white teeth”.

Claims Testing Best Practices

Product claims are only effective when done properly. Here are some of the best practices to craft effective claims and test them:

  • Be Explicit

Typically, longer claims sit better with customers than shorter claims. Customers are more likely to believe you have their best interests at heart if your product claims are explicit.

Customers prefer explicit claims because they can easily understand your product elements, which reduces their skepticism that your company may be providing misleading information.

For example, customers are more likely to believe a claim like “design infographics in less than 5 minutes on mobile” than “create infographics easily.”

  • Conduct Lower-Cost Tests First to Improve the Efficiency of Subsequent Testing

Claim testing can be expensive, so instead of doing full-fledged claims testing all at once, run a lower-cost claim test first, then use the results to improve your claims. The optimized claims will then be used to run more robust claims tests. 

For example, you could start by testing all of your claims as single claims and then removing those that do not resonate with your target audience. Then, restructure the remaining claims to match the tone and elements that appealed to the respondents.

After that, create different combinations of these claims and present them to the respondents to choose from.

  • Soften Your Claims

Softening claims refers to the use of non-aggressive promotional language in your claims. Softened claims perform better than aggressive claims while maintaining the same appeal.

For instance, instead of “100% alternative milk cookies,” try “lactose-free milk cookies.”

  • Use Neologisms to Define Complicated Terms

Neologisms are fictitious words that represent a specific context and are used to highlight a brand’s distinct manufacturing process. 

Using neologisms makes your brand more memorable to customers. For example, “hyper-clean with hypo”.

  • Ensure Accurate Claims Translation

When drafting claims in multiple languages, ensure that native-level translators are available to ensure that your claims mean exactly what you intend. 

Of course, a translator software may accurately translate the words, but the contextual meaning of your statement in another language may be completely different.

  • Compare Similar Claims

When testing claims, it is best practice to compare similar claims; do not present respondents with claims from different categories.

For example, you should not compare a drink’s health benefits to its ease of preparation. Decaf coffee made from all-natural coffee beans vs. brew decaf coffee in less than 1 minute.

  • Meticulously Select Claims to Test for Conclusive Results

Claim testing can be a time-consuming and resource-intensive process, so carefully selecting claims to test can help ensure you get conclusive results.

A good starting point is to ensure that the claims you’re testing, even if they’re for the same product, aren’t overly similar, e.g all-natural mixture vs. all-natural blend.

Claims should also be relevant to your customers; claims are only effective if they make your customers want your product.

Claims Testing Framework Researchers Should Know

The most popular claim-testing framework researchers work with is the Jeremy Benhammou framework.

The framework establishes the connection between brand, insights, product research, and Sales.

Effective claims testing framework answers the following questions:

  • Which claims resonated best with customers and why? (Insights)
  • How to improve product claims by incorporating the phrases and brand tone that appeals to customers (Product/ R&D)
  • What claims combinations drew more people to your product? (Brand and Sales)

How Can Claims Be Tested?

 

  • Main Measures Techniques

When you use this method, you can pinpoint which claims customers prefer. There are several main measurement techniques available to determine which claims customers prefer; here are a few examples:

  • MaxDiff – when using this claims testing technique, you ask customers to choose the claim they think is best and the worst.
  • Adaptive Choice-Based – asks participants to choose the claims they like the best.
  • Recall – You’re determining how memorable the claims are by displaying multiple claims to respondents and then asking which ones they remember.
  • Diagnostics

Using this method, you investigate why respondents prefer certain claims over others. Here are the major diagnostics claim testing methods:

  • Association – Participants are asked to associate claims with themes or brands, e.g. “select the brand that you strongly associate with this claim.”
  • Likert Scale – Using this method, respondents rate how they feel about a specific claim, e.g on a scale of 1 to 5, do you think this claim fits Company A values?
  • Open-ended Questions – Respondents tell you why they feel about a claim in their own words. For example, why did you prefer claims combination A to claims combinations C?

 

What Are the Most Effective Claim Testing Methods?

While MaxDiff appears to be a very efficient method, it has its benefits and downsides. Respondents have to select the best and worst when using MaxDiff, which may put respondents under a lot of pressure and cause the survey to take longer to complete.

Also, MaxDiff doesn’t give room for respondents to choose the claims that appeal to them; they can only have one claim.

However, when using the Adaptive Choice Technique, participants choose the best options rather than the worst. It is also far easier to create than MaxDiff surveys.

How Formplus Can Help With Claim Testing

The purpose of claim testing is to ensure that you don’t mislead customers into thinking your product does something it doesn’t and that the claim is a good representation of your brand.

Formplus enables you to create effective claim-testing surveys to determine which claims resonate the most with your target audience. 

For example, you can create an adaptive choice claim testing survey to figure out the claims the majority of your customers prefer. You can also use a Likert scale, an open-ended question, or ask respondents to associate claims with your brand to fully understand why customers prefer one claim over another.

Conclusion

Claims testing is an effective method for increasing product appeal and converting customers. One of the most important aspects of an effective claim testing survey is that it identifies the most-preferred claims by customers and why.

Survey platforms like Formplus enable you to seamlessly create claim testing surveys to gather data on the most-preferred claims and review the responses to determine why customers prefer them.


  • Moradeke Owa
  • on 10 min read

Formplus

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