Timing

The longer a market experiment is continued, then the greater the probability that it will give a correct prediction of results. Set against this is the fact that the longer a product is in the test market the greater the risk of disclosure to competitors. This raises the possibility that they may copy the product and launch it nationally either before, or not very long after, its originator. In addition, the longer the product is in test, the greater the cost of the experiment. The question must be asked whether the additional information generated by increasing the length of test is worth the additional cost. It is usually necessary to stay in test for long enough to be able to calculate initial penetration data for the brand and repeat purchasing rates. The length of time will therefore be indicated by the normal pattern of repeat purchase of the product under test. Both items of data are necessary for an ultimate brand share to be estimated.

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