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Winning with BASES: 1 – BASES SnapShot Concept Screening

BASES is a word that strikes fear into every new product concept developer working in branded consumer product innovation.  Nielsen‘s suite of Simulated Test Marketing (STM)  tools determines whether our concepts go into development and get into the hands of consumers.

So if you’re in the business of new product concept development, as we are in Brand Genetics, you need to know how to create winning concepts that get through BASES testing with flying colours.

And the way to create winning BASES concepts is to focus concept development around the key variables that the BASES black box algorithm uses to test concepts.  And because these variables are also the key variables that predict market success, the result is product concepts that win in testing and the market.

So what are these variables?  BASES includes a suite of STM tools, but one that is particularly pertinent to concept development is BASES SnapShot, a concept screening tool that prioritises concepts based on market potential, by giving each concept a CPS (concept potential score).  The CPS algorithm is a closely guarded secret, but the formula uses input from an online consumer panel to assess market potential:

  • Value Rating – Degree consumers believe the product addresses a real need (better)
  • Purchase Intent – Expected likelihood of making an initial purchase 
  • Purchase Frequency – Expect frequency of purchasing the product
  • Purchase Volume – Expected number of items per purchase

All motherhood and apple pie right? Well, no.  We’ll dig a little deeper into BASES five dimensions of innovation success in the next post, but we find these key variables useful in developing compelling new product concepts through upfront exploratory research with category experts (and, as necessary, consumers):

  • What do consumers really value in products in this category?
  • What prompts them to try new products?
  • What’s driving frequent purchasing?
  • What’s driving volume purchasing?

We then use insights from this exploratory research, to frame concept ideation.  Next up, we’ll look at the BASES algorithm, the 12 validated critical success factors for innovation success, and how to use them to shape new product concepts.


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