Proof of Concept: Test Drive Your Business Model

Proof of Concept

Proof of Concept (POC) is an especially important part of the entry marketing process. This step involves monitoring the target demographic, conducting verification testing and testing the assumptions built into business plans on behalf of the firm planning a new venture. POC is designed to identify flaws in the logic of a plan for entering a new business area or market; test the feasibility of estimated consumer desire to purchase the product; and determine whether a venture's belief and confidence in their marketing process is realistic.

POC, or testing the assumptions behind a business concept and identifying unrealistic elements of a plan, is an essential element of ensuring the success of any project. There are numerous examples of business plans ? seemingly well-thought out plans based on perfect logic that incorporated multiple safety precautions ? that have failed when put into action in the marketplace. Either they did not attract customers or it took too long to achieve customer satisfaction. Ultimately, these businesses did not generate profits. Unfortunately, many new ventures looking for immediate results will find themselves on this same dead-end road.

A ClassBiz, our POC process engages monitors with the same purchasing power as the targeted customer base. These monitors try out the new product or service and offer their honest opinion of their experience with its convenience and cost performance. Their suggestions and opinions are analyzed and integrated to improve the service, product, and packaging.

Complete Confidentiality

POC is a matter of testing the feasibility of a business concept before it is brought to market and therefore requires complete confidentiality throughout the process. With ClassBiz, monitors are selected exclusively through our network of associates who are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement for every POC in which they participate. As a rule, our POC testing is carried out overseas. Our list of candidate monitors is organized by age, annual income and level of education, and we also have the expertise to quickly assemble new monitors to meet specific criteria relevant to each business plan.

Data Analysis

POC interviews are conducted immediately following the trial to gather feedback from participants. After analyzing the data in detail, we present our clients with extensive reports that include suggestions for improvement. While the POC conclusion may, in some cases, be rather harsh, an honest assessment of likely customer reaction is preferable to a new venture failing in the marketplace and a firm suffering major losses.

Case Study

ClassBiz conducted POC testing in Japan for a Europe-based client planning to launch a new food-related service for wealthy Japanese consumers. We nominated monitors who matched the client's target demographic and facilitated the signing of agreements, letters of acceptance and other forms of support for selected candidates. These monitors spent a week in Europe experiencing our client's new service and took part in an interview survey after returning to Japan. We then drew up reports evaluating the service from various perspectives. The results of the POC testing were incorporated in their entirety into the launch of this new service, and our client is currently enjoying robust growth in the Japanese market.

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