The Taste Test – it has been a powerful and cost-effective tool for generating sales for decades. Regardless of your product or services, the taste test provides very valuable lessons that you can put into practice.
At its core, the power of the taste test stems from the following factors– all of which you, as an entrepreneur, have direct control over:
1) You identify the competitors. By openly defining your ‘direct competitors’, you can highlight those products/services over which you have a meaningful advantage (e.g. 7Up vs. Coke). Always keep in-mind that regardless of your business, prospects (and clients) are always wondering how you are different and better than your competitors. By taking control and boldly defining your set of competitors – rather than denying their existence or discounting them – you address a core question that is always present. At the same time, you instill confidence and set the foundation for building and strengthening trust.
2) You choose the audience and establish the setting in which your customers/prospects experience your product/service. Taste tests were rolled out to very targeted social settings (i.e. museums, subways, malls, beaches, universities, sporting attractions, etc.) and at very specific times of days/weeks to gather research as well as to generate word-of-mouth ‘buzz’. The lesson: when you create comparisons, choose your setting and make it creative and interactive. In fact, the greater the ‘wow’ factor – as in “I didn’t realize that service/product ABC” was so reliable, so cost-effective, etc., etc.,” – the more memorable the experience and the greater the word-of-mouth generated within your targeted audience.
3) You tap into the (non-thinking) senses. When you compare yourself against your competitors, look for opportunities to do so by calling on the senses like smell, touch and taste. In so doing, you evoke positive and strong emotions and align them with your brand or product. That can take many forms including activities like a ‘lunch and learn’ session at a prospect/client’s office (btw, remember to bring the lunch), a summer BBQ or a follow-up meeting over a robust cup of coffee.
Apply these core lessons from the continued success of taste tests and you will satiate your customers’ curiosity and your apetite for new business.