How do we come to have such definitive preferences? How consumer product testing can compare two products in different preference tests, and the outcome can be completely opposite. Pepsi vs Coke. Ford vs Chevy. Coors vs Bud. PC vs Mac. We humans credit ourselves with intelligent choice making, but maybe…just maybe, we’re too quick to take the credit. Read on…
Sometimes The Product Sells Itself – Sometimes The Copywriter Sells The Product
Where Do Our Likes, Dislikes, And Opinions Come From?
People are funny. Talk to enough of them about their likes and dislikes, or their product preferences, and they’ll let you know in no uncertain terms that those preferences, likes and dislikes are a result of a logical internal process of compare and contrast and that their choices are always rational.
My foot! I’ve been involved in enough focus groups and preference tests to tell you that far more of the choices are made from what they were given as a child, what they saw on TV, heard on the radio, or read on the internet. Even the picture on the container influences preferences as much as intellect. Let me illustrate.
Product Test Results
We did a taste test with three “brands” of orange juice. The catch was that it was the same juice in each glass with a different product description. (And no, we didn’t call them juice A, B and C or 1, 2, and 3 - Read my article, The A/B Ruse.)
- One said, “Pure, fresh, natural orange juice with absolutely nothing added.”
- The other said, “Fresh squeezed right at the grove within two hours of being picked from the tree.”
- The last one said, “Fresh, premium oranges with that just-picked taste. Costs 30% less than our competitors.”
And The Winner Is…
If indeed the product sold itself, we could expect roughly a three way split – it's the same product. In fact, that’s pretty much what happened when we measured the preferences of a control group of over 100 people. BUT… add into the mix the descriptive copy above and the results changed a bit.
- 17% preferred this juice
- 79% preferred this juice
- 4% preferred this juice
OK…more than a bit.
All hail the copywriter.
[By the way, another test was done with the only difference being the picture on the orange juice carton. In that test one picture gathered about 67% of the vote. All hail the artists.]
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