Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to better understand current concept testing practice and its role in the new product development process; identify the relationship, if any, between concept testing design and perceptions of its effectiveness; determine what evidence product managers or research consultants have for the reliability and validity of current concept testing. Design/methodology/approach – A survey of new product managers collected detailed information on their organization's most recent traditional or conjoint concept testing project. In the study of marketing research consultants, 100 firms were asked to provide the publicly available information about the reliability and validity track record of their concept testing services. Findings – There are differences between practices for incrementally and radically new concepts. Practitioners prefer to keep their information proprietary, so little has been learned about how concept tests should be designed, despite the thousands of concepts tested every year. Practical implications – The paper identifies current concept testing practice, including which methods/models are used, what is known about their reliability and validity, and the perceived problems and desired improvements. Originality/value – The paper identifies how concept testing is currently carried out and those issues most in need of future research.