Client FAQ

What kind of product research do you do?

We specialize in IHUTs, HUTs, in-home usages tests, home usage tests, home user testing, whatever you’d like to call it. Essentially, we get products in consumers’ hands and homes for research and testing purposes.

What are the best use cases for this platform?

Our brand partners use us for a variety of use cases depending on product stage and goals. Here’s a laundry list for inspiration: 
  • Sensory/Flavor/Pack Testing
    • Flavor/Formulation Testing: We enable data-driven research and development. Gather product feedback from target consumers to ensure you're creating products consumers want.
    • Package/Form Testing: Get in-context feedback on your packaging, rooted in how consumers organically interact with and use your product. Gather usability test data and KPI metrics.  
    • Cost-Savings/Formulation Matching: Test lower cost formulations to ensure performance and maintained flavor/product experience.
    • Quality Control: Ensure your product quality is up to par across manufacturers, production runs, etc.
  • Innovation Exploration
    • Line Extension Inspiration: Understand potential product innovations, rooted in core product trial, research and potential extension ideation.
  • Usage Testing
    • Overall Experience: Dig into the product experience, when and why your product is being consumed, and whether it's living up to its claims.
    • Preference/Competitive Analysis: Bundle your own products, or with competitors, to understand preferences and relative performance.
    • Efficacy Testing: Test performance, perceived efficacy, and how it’s delivering relative to its promises.
  • Message Testing
    • Claims Innovation & Renovation: Stat-forward research to develop and refresh product claims.
    • Positioning & Benefits Hierarchies: Optimize positioning & messaging, taglines, descriptors, and more, rooted in product experience.
    • Naming & Messaging: Ensure and optimize product-name and product-messaging fit, to ensure proper expectations are set.

Who do you typically work with?

We work with teams mostly in product marketing, innovation, and insights, and founders.
  • For Founders & Startups: We’re your one-stop-shop for efficient product feedback, from quality consumers. Affordable and quick, with experts to support you.
  • For Innovation & R&D teams: We collect the critical consumer feedback to inform your product development. We’ll handle all recruitment, legal setup, and logistics to gather consumer feedback even on R&D phase, not-finished products.
  • Research & Insights: We handle the product research process from end-to-end, to ensure agility without sacrificing quality. Our quality community and automated platform offer robust in-home research that’s hybrid of quant/qual, faster than ever before.
  • Brand & Marketing: Make data-driven product and marketing decisions. Get feedback on your product from unbiased users who should be your customers.

What kind of products can I test?

  • Brands typically test 1-5 of their own products, and some add in competitive products (we purchase these on your behalf).
  • Products we test most often:
    • Food & beverage
    • Supplements
    • Home care & fabric care
    • Fabric care
    • Personal care & skincare
    • Pet care
  • Products we won’t test:
    • Tobacco-based products
    • THC (but we will test CBD!)
  • Products we can test but require custom setup:
    • Refrigerated & frozen
    • Alcohol (Beer, wine)
    • Bulk, heavier items (typically over 10 pounds)

How often do Highlight boxes go out?

We have rolling sets of boxes that go out at all times, but to keep it simple, you can think of us as your typical monthly box! Members of our community get boxes about once a quarter to keep excitement up and survey fatigue down. We have 90% survey completion rates!

Can I give consumers instructions for how to use/consume my product?

Yes! Tell us anything your consumers should know about your product prior to consuming, or any instructions for use/preparation. We send reminders via email, and in app (just prior to survey).

How big of a study should I run?

  • n=100 is our minimum sample size per product, for innovation projects or emerging brands.
    • When resources or inventory are scarce, we’ll dip to n=100 minimum, but we never advise going below for the fidelity of the data. We’ve found that n=100, especially with qualitative, open-ended questions baked in, provides for a robust dataset with rich directional insights.
  • Most brands choose n=300 per product.
    • n=300 allows for a sufficiently robust sample size where you can start to draw out interesting insights across base sizes and feel confident that the data collected is representative of your targeted cohort.
  • You can learn a lot more with a study of n=1000.
    • The more data, the better – it’s as simple as that. But it’s not just about volume – having more consumers try your products means you’ll be able to make more data cuts and see more clear lines of differentiation across consumers through detailed quantitative and qualitative market research. Draw statistically significant conclusions and confidently tease apart differences across your dataset, with robust enough base sizes to cut and slice. We’ll help you with survey design – see our ‘Survey Design & Reporting’ section below!

How does the bundling work?

  • Our emerging brands tend to reach for our Basic Tier for robust results while maintaining cost efficiency. In this tier, brands are bundled with other products that go to a broader ‘better for you consumer’. 
    • We ensure no category overlap – you will never be placed with another sparkling water, another toothpaste, another CBD product, etc.
  • Our Starter Tier allows brands to send a one-off box with just their products (include 1-5 of your own products, and even include competitors if you’d like) and send to exactly the target audience they’d like.
  • Our Pro Tier supports advanced bundling capabilities, where you have complete control of what products you are testing against. You can set up custom bundling across your own products and/or your competitors.

How are the boxes branded from the outside in?

Our standard boxes are Highlight branded and contain about 5 new products across categories. Depending on what tier you’d like to go with, we can introduce custom inserts, branded boxes, and more!

How long does a study take?

  • <1 month from start to finish. We promise we’re quick!
  • For our Basic Tier, boxes go out monthly. They are typically sent out during the last week of the month.
  • For our Starter and Pro Tiers,  we can have your product in consumers’ hands, and a live dashboard of data coming in, in a matter of days. This depends on how quickly you can get your product to us.
  • Our Pro Tier offers rush delivery options, which allows for a 3-day turnaround from product receipt to data collection and custom reporting.

How do you find your community members?

We have strategic partnerships with aligned communities such as WeWork Labs, NewLab, and more. We have partners at undergraduate and graduate campuses, and sponsor industry events and programs, such as Startup CPG Pitch competitions and SKU accelerator cohorts. We’ve posted in Facebook groups like ‘plant-based men’ and ‘Peloton moms’ and ‘Northeast dog owners’ to strategically bring in the people that matter most to our brand partners. And of course, our word-of-mouth referral is strong. Our members love the experience of trying new products and giving feedback. Our referral rate is incredibly high, and we use our active and engaged base to expand our network organically. Bottom line is – we recruit unlike any other ‘panel’ out there because we are a vetted community of trusted consumers, motivated by the right reasons – discovering new products, and helping make them better.

Who's in your community?

  • To be a member of the Highlight community, consumers must meet Articulation Score and Primary Purchaser requirements as a baseline.
  • Beyond that, we strive to balance our demographics against census data and ensure a range and diversity of age, gender, HHI, ethnicity, and geographics.
  • Our age range is 18-65, with an average age of 32 (we skew younger, because our brands have tended to tap this ‘crowd favorite’ audience). We have a strong cohort of pet owners, parents, plant-based and plant-forward consumers, and more. We are consistently evaluating our community makeup – demographics, psychographics, geographics – to meet our brand partners’ needs.

Who can I target?

Bottom line – anyone you want. We’ve worked hard to build a proprietary community (we can call them a ‘panel’ if we must) that balances census data and is well-profiled, so that you can reach into any corner of the US and target the consumer you’d like to reach.

Who designs the survey?

You do! Depending on the pricing tier you choose, we can pair you with an Insights Manager who can help. Use our Highlight Survey Module as a starting point, or custom design your survey entirely. Your survey real estate is yours to own, and we’re here to support. We can guide you when it comes to survey UX and survey design.

What are your survey capabilities?

  • We have a recommended survey length & design:
    • Recommended ~5 minutes to prevent respondent fatigue
    • 12-15 quantitative/qualitative questions (not including screener questions)
  • Our platform can handle the following question types:
    • Quantitative Questions-
      • Multiple Choice
      • Picture Choice
      • Ranking
      • Yes/No
      • Scales
      • Ratings
    • Qualitative Questions-
      • Open-ended responses (numeric or text entry)
      • Photo upload*
      • Video upload*
      • File upload*

Do I get to market to the consumers I reach? Do I get their emails? Can I follow up?

  • Call to Action: We drive respondents to specific channels on your behalf – we end most surveys with a purchase link & a promo code to try more.
  • Re-Contact: If you’d like to re-contact your consumers, we can send follow-up emails for marketing or research re-contact purposes.

Can I go beyond the survey? What are your other capabilities?

  • Yes! We can support follow-up IDIs, focus groups, ethnos, and more.

Still have questions? contact us