3 ways Pretotyping helps gather better consumer insights

Consumer insights collect some of the most critical data for product development; without it, you have a high risk of the product failing. With it, however, you still run a risk of product failure; 38% fail because of unmet consumer needs in fact. 

This is because consumer insights are missing a vital piece in their process - unbiased behavioural data.

This is where Pretotyping comes in to save the day with its ability to gather and validate data, helping you develop better and more successful products. In this blog, we go through the top 3 reasons it enables you to gather this data.

1. Pretotyping gives your bias-free consumer insights

When conducting consumer insights research, such as surveys, you are relying heavily on the respondent to:

  1. Understand the product
  2. Answer in a methodical manner

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case, and the responses you get from surveys are laden with cognitive biases, such as:

  • Functional-fixedness bias because of the product stimulus they are given, they struggle to see the potential of the product.
  • Confirmation bias because they have an idea of themselves and the world around them that will impact their answer.
  • Anchoring bias because they will evaluate the quality of stimulus; a higher designed piece will give higher scores than a less designed piece.

Pretotyping, on the other hand, delivers consumer insights based on behaviour. This is because the respondent is unaware that the product doesn’t exist yet, or that they are even supplying market research data.

This gives the most trustworthy answers from them as they will be handing over details, or skin-in-the-game if you want to use the latest Pretotyping jargon, to access the product. This means there is already a barrier to entry, which means every response is meaningful when testing for demand.

2. The stimulus provided in Pretotyping is more accurate than surveys

Current consumer insights stimulus lacks detail and therefore results in misinterpretation and skewed results. With the stimulus provided looking like the below, you can’t get a real understanding of a product, how it is used, and its features.

With Pretotyping, you are able to give more detail to the stimulus through the use of landing pages. These will act as if they were an actual sales page with all of the detail you’d expect to see from these pages.

This allows your respondents to more easily imagine this product in their lives and how it would work, giving you a better and more reliable data source.

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3. Pretotyping validates your existing consumer insights

Pretotyping isn’t just for use on its own; it actually pairs perfectly with existing consumer insights methods, like surveys.

With surveys, as mentioned, are full of biased data and can’t be relied upon solely for product decisions. Instead, they can add a direction and create questions to be answered for the Pretotyping tests.

Because of the way Pretotyping works, they don’t excel at gathering broad viewpoints of data. To get the most out of them, you need to develop a direction that you are testing for.

Pretotyping excels at gathering insights for dedicated questions. For example, you might want to run a pricing sensitivity test for a product that would be a perfect fit. However, if you wanted to find out how well the idea of a product would be received, that wouldn’t be a great fit. The tests need to be defined.

The best way we find to use Pretotyping is:

  1. To confirm that the product has a potential demand and get some consumer thoughts on what they would like that product to do or look like.
  2. Take those insights and develop them into different testing routes; for example, you might test 3 different feature sets using Pretotyping.
  3. You can then validate your insights to say that features X, Y and Z should be developed.

We do have a more detailed blueprint for running Pretotyping tests, but this is the general process.


Pretotyping is a fast and low-cost way to gather and validate consumer insights at scale. You can run tests and get data back within a week with minimal set-up time and cost. 

At the end of it all you are getting quality behavioural data that shows you the tangible demand for a product.

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Written by
Steven Titchener
An experienced growth marketer now helping Horizon and it's customers create successful products. Always looking to expand his ideas and take on unique and interesting takes on the world of marketing and product development processes.
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