13 May 2021

Introducing: In Real Life

Our new concept development service helps bring products to life. 

In Real Life (IRL) is our new concept development and testing service, designed intentionally from the ground up as a way for our clients to test early-stage product concepts and get invaluable real-world feedback. IRL brings together our design, digital and data expertise to create real world, large-scale experiments around a client's new ideas. 

At Superunion we work with many of our clients to help them create new brands to reach new market opportunities, from creating the low-cost airline Level for IAG to developing new gaming brands for ESL, the biggest eSports gaming brand in the world. Increasingly, brands are asking us to be involved earlier in their new product development process, using our understanding of brand as a guiding light to help navigate an increasingly complex world. 

So IRL is designed to help with difficult investment decisions around future innovations. Working directly alongside our clients' marketing and innovation teams, we craft early-stage concepts and test them in the real world. Because concepts are tested outside labs, focus groups or other research settings, IRL avoids 'research bias', giving a cleaner view of what concepts are truly interesting or inspiring to people. And because we can test at an early stage, it's free of the high costs of product development. 

Real concepts, real campaigns. 

IRL allows clients to design and build real digital customer journeys and experiences around their new concepts. We take a new idea for a new proposition from our client and develop multiple creative expressions for this idea. We use paid search to gauge interest levels in each expression, tweaking them to test and discover the elements of the expressions that drives interest. 

As a result, we can start to identify the expression of a concept that drives the biggest real world response. Because we can buy media against many different audiences, we can also start to identify which consumers a new proposition has the most potential amongst. 

Ability to gauge interest levels early.

Once someone clicks on an ad in a campaign, they're taken to a website we've created for the concept that's being tested. Here we can offer visitors more information and ways of showing their intent. From surveys and questionnaires to sign-up forms, there are a variety of ways to capture interest and gather more data on interest in and intent towards a particular expression. 

Finding the most powerful new proposition quickly. 

With IRL, we can use the data we collect to guide and test improvements to a concept. We can quickly evolve, adjust and hone a concept until we find its most efficacious form. By looking at what people click on and interact with, we get standardised quantifiable feedback from consumers on how a concept needs to change in order for it to find and realise the biggest market opportunity. 

A response to weaknesses with traditional concept testing

We've been working with client innovation teams for a long time, and IRL has been designed in response to the problems we've seen with traditional methods of concept testing. 

  • It's a quick and iterative method, that generates valuable insights from the start. 
  • We can run experiments at scale, potentially getting many more impressions than respondents in any survey. 
  • There's no research effect. We're free from a research setting and eliciting a real response from consumers. 
  • We get an abundance of behavioural data: about what people actually do, rather than what they claim to do. 
  • We build the foundations for a successful launch. We know key channels, messages and customer acquisition costs. We create a community of people who form the basis of a waitlist or a prospect pool of potential first customers. 

Beyond concept development to product development. 

From there, there's still a leap to be made of course. We need to take the step from powerful concept to successful product. And that's where our teams of designers, developers and strategists work to create products that live up to the concepts. On top of this, our wide array of partners and industry experts give us huge scope to collaborate with the most skilled professionals available, delivering a truly full service and market-led innovation offer. 

If you'd like to learn more...

Matt Boffey - Chief Strategy Officer

matt.boffey@superunion.com