The Beauty of the Test

You’re having some trouble isolating one particular part of your branding. You’ve come up with a few terrific ideas you think will genuinely rock your customers’ minds. However, what’s the best one to go with? You don’t want to go big on one idea – whether it means designing a new website, printing new fliers, or launching a new social media campaign – only to discover that your customers hate it

Business owners often neglect the testing phase, but you shouldn’t! While the short term memory of the Internet can often be annoying, sometimes it works in your favor. The beauty of a testing phase is people likely won’t remember the test and will only remember the great result

A/B

One of the best ways to test various aspects of your business (branding, products, color scheme, and everything in between) is through A/B testing. This works by pitting two ideas against each other – literally A and B. Customers help you decide the right choice by picking either option

However, it’s not like setting up a poll and asking them to choose. They help you decide on your big choice simply by acting like they normally would. The help they give comes in the form of a response to your choices

For example, let’s say you have two slogans you think will work great for marketing purposes. A is “Feel the power of the Big Vroom Engine!” and B is the more generic “How fast will you go?” You design two flyers and send them out to your local community

To test which one is more successful, you could make two separate pages on your website. Flyer A leads to one page and flyer B leads to the other. This way you can count real numbers of people who visited your website from the flyer, giving you an idea which slogan is catchier

Tips to Help You

You can see how this is beneficial – there’s no preferential treatment from coworkers or friends, or the awkwardness of performing a poll and people feeling bad about what they’re saying to you. It’s all just raw data gathered by customers acting like themselves

One thing many do wrong in testing is assume the initial data gathered is enough. For instance they’ll test their new flyers for a week, see flyer B is rocking the charts, and decide to go with that one for all time

The problem is if they kept testing for a longer period of time they would have seen that flyer A picked up steam after three weeks. It was such a dramatic change that it became the obvious choice between the two. Why the change? Car enthusiasts – your ideal customer – got word of the flyer and it made the rounds and all of them preferred the A flyer

Not only do you have to give the testing adequate time, you should also make sure the two ideas you’re testing are different enough so people can tell the difference. If your normal slogan is “Plan a getaway today!” and you want to test “Plan a vacation today!,” your customers probably won’t notice. A better idea is to use something drastically different like “Your vacation is right around the corner.” This way they’ll be more likely to take notice and decide to either visit your site or avoid it because of the change

Do you test your marketing and branding ideas before committing?

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