How Your Feedback Plays a Major Role in Brands' Success

MESH01 product testers, do you wonder about the different impacts you're making through concept testing vs. product testing? Let us explain. According to Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, there are over 30,000 new products introduced every year, and 95% fail. As a MESH01 tester, you work directly with brands to ensure that their products see success when it's time to hit the market. Whether these products are safe bets or the risky idea that might actually pay off, brands know it's critical to look at their products through the lenses of their customers.

How Product Testers Contribute along the Product Creation Timeline

Developing a product comes with a lot of trial and error across multiple points. To simplify, testing typically happens at a couple points within the first 5 major product development stages:

  1. Market research
  2. Ideation
  3. Concept testing
  4. Prototyping
  5. Product testing

At MESH01, we're obsessed with helping brands optimize the steps of concept testing and product testing, all with the help of our amazing community. Your feedback plays different roles in concept testing vs. product testing, and it all starts by talking to the right people.

You're an Important Part of a Product Tester Community

As a MESH01 tester, you're part of a 50,000-person community responsible for seeking out and reporting on the good and bad before products are launched. There is a lot at stake when you are participating in a test, and the brands' expectations are high. That's why we value and support your honesty and reliability as a tester. Don't like the design? The fit is too small? Let them know. That is the exact type of feedback brands are looking for when they introduce their concepts and products to our community. They know the echo-chambers of friends, co-workers and family can result in glowing (albeit usually late) reviews. They also know those feedback loops don't translate into product performance in the market.

Brands know they need the real voice of the customer before launching their products. Your voice.

When selected for a concept or product test, you fit the target audience criteria for that product. Our community of testers can be browsed by hyper-specific attributes like your lifestyle, interests, activities, occupation, and even info products used. This is all provided through you provide through your complete profile and surveys. Whether you are a marathon runner or casual jogger, professional athlete or weekend warrior, brands look to find the most relevant and reliable feedback for their product. And when you're the right fit, they rely on your tester experience to inform their product development decisions.

Concept Testing: Product Testers Help Bring Ideas to Life

Early on, your feedback is vital for product creation and the numerous decision-making processes within. So you may be curious, what do brands benefit from when you participate in a concept test? Great question. This early stage in the product creation process is responsible for identifying product ideas and directions that will set the path for bringing promising product ideas to life. Common reasons brands concept test with you include:

  • Identifying trends close to product development
  • Validating market opportunities
  • Understanding customer preferences and drivers of interest
  • Passing or failing product concepts before further development investment
  • Prioritizing features and attributes
  • Optimizing product positioning including naming, descriptions and pricing

That’s a lot of power! While often faster than a product test -typically a single survey- these concept tests are responsible for identifying, curating and nurturing future product opportunities. And it all starts with you.

Product Testing: Product Testers Help Create Exceptional Product Experiences

Once a product concept gets the seal of approval from the MESH01 tester community, brands begin work on prototypes to be used for real-life, hands-on experience. During the product testing stage, you're asked to meet a set of 'test expectations'. These expectations are designed to cover all of ways in which a brand's product will be used. Following and completing these expectations accurately and on time helps companies test their products in realistic circumstances so they do not miss any critical performance feedback before product launch. No pressure!

You also help determine whether a product needs some adjustments or is ready to hit the market. How?

  • By alerting brands of any critical product failures during testing
  • Logging use, wear and tear over time
  • Noting any discomfort, durability or quality issues via your visual product feedback tools
  • Completing and answering product testing surveys that help brands validate what's working
  • Following any additional test requirements, which might include media uploads and more

As you can see, product testing is an essential part of developing a quality product. It allows brands to create products that set new trends and delight us all as customers.

Your feedback plays different and valuable roles in determining whether a product is ready to hit the market or needs improvement. Next time you are participating in an MESH01 concept test or product test, remember that you are shaping the world of products we all enjoy. After all, at MESH01 we work with so many of the worlds leading brands, and our outstanding community plays a crucial role in that success!

We’re sorry to break it to you, but your shoe size is probably wrong.

Before you panic and start throwing away all your shoes (unless you were looking for a good reason to do just that), let us explain.

First, you’re not alone. Research shows that up to 72% of people are wearing incorrectly fitting shoes. Right now, you could be wearing shoes that do not accommodate the length or width of your feet or be wearing shoes that do not comfortably solve for other specific foot-based needs - or some combination of these issues.

What are the risks of ill-fitting shoes? Wearing the wrong shoe size can result in foot pain and foot problems ranging anywhere from inconvenient chafing and blisters to more long-term issues like chronic heel pain, metatarsalgia and more.

How can you make sure you're wearing the right shoe size? The solution is simple; measure your feet.

Your best and most accurate option would be to utilize a Brannock device, which is the metal measuring instrument found in shoe stores that measures both the length and width of your foot. If you’re saying to yourself “oh right, I remember that thing from when I was a younger”, you’re probably long overdue for another measurement.

Want to get an accurate shoe size measurement from home? Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.

How to Accurately Measure Your Shoe Size at Home

Before we get started, you’ll want to make sure you’re wearing the same type of socks you plan to normally wear with the new shoes. Also, for a more accurate measurement, wait until the end of the day. Once you've got the right socks and the right timing, here's how to accurately measure your shoe size at home:

  1. Take a piece of paper and secure it with tape to the floor.
  2. Stand with one foot on the paper and a slightly bend your knees. You can also sit in a chair, but if you do, make sure your feet are firmly planted on the ground.
  3. Next, using a fine pen or sharp pencil, trace the outline of your foot on the paper. Try to draw a precise outline. (A friend or family member can be useful for this step!)
  4. Repeat the process with the other foot.
  5. Take a ruler or measuring tape and measure the distance between the tip of your big toe and the outermost part of the heel to find the length of your feet.
  6. Lastly, measure the widest points of your forefoot and the distance between to find your foot width.

From here, you can match up your measurements to the shoe size charts provided by your favorite brands. If you notice one foot being longer or wider, which is not uncommon, we recommend using your larger measurement when selecting a shoe size.

The Importance of Knowing Your Shoe Size for Product Testing

A shopper finding the right shoe size

It’s important that you reference you favorite brands' sizing charts as not all brands use the same sizing. Brands are not only building shoes on different lasts but also may have different sizing measurements. Initially you may think that the shoes just need to be broken in, however, the brand’s size chart might indicate that you could be a totally different size.

Understanding your shoe measurements and brand-specific sizing can help you enjoy your product testing experience without the hassle of dealing with incorrect fitting shoes. Here, we recommend adding your known shoe size to your tester profile, or simply matching up your measurements to your favorite brands' sizing charts and updating your profile accordingly.

On MESH01, there's even an option to include your running shoe size, should you wear a different size for running.

Tips for Getting a Great Fit

You have measured your feet correctly for an accurate shoe size. Great! We've gathered some expert tips to ensure that you get the most out of your shoe purchase and testing experiences!

  1.  Carefully look at reviews for the product you are interested in, making sure to read the good and the bad.
  2. When possible, try the shoes on before you buy. You should have at least a quarter- to a half-inch of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe, depending on the shoe type and end use. Some specialized footwear like climbing approach shoes may be sized with your toes snug up against the toe box, etc. Make sure to match your fit for your intended use.
  3. Walk around in the shoes to determine the fit. Take note on the amount of room at the balls of the feet, toe box and heels. Make sure your foot doesn’t slip in and out and your ankle collar doesn’t rub. These are all indications of shoe that don’t fit. Don’t overlook these factors and instead find shoes that fit from the start.
  4. Take some additional time to examine the feel. Determine whether they give proper cushion both on hard surfaces and carpet and take into consideration additional performance attributes important to you.

Figuring out your real shoe size is easy to do. Ill-fitting shoes can be the cause of short term and long term injury. Do your feet a favor. Get to know your measurements to improve your daily life and get the best out of your product testing experience.

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