becomes increasingly difficult to actually see what requirements have to be met. In that case, a decision has to be made so that the solution can be tested. Because it is during testing that statistics are created and answers generated, whether or not the solution is a good one.
Even user tests can go wrong
One example of how important it is to test the end product with its actual customers was a lesson that the fruit juice brand Tropicana had to learn the hard way. When they wanted to freshen up their appearance and image (2009), the user testing went wrong, Tropicana failed to take their most important customers with them. These were the loyal, passionate, fruit juice drinkers who wanted the very best. After the launch of the new packaging design, within only two months they had lost no less than 20% of their sales, representing around 30 million dollars.
The lesson for Tropicana was that they had very loyal customers who wanted to have that premium feel. By replacing all the graphical components in the packaging design in one go, all of the product’s carefully developed image disappeared. If they had instead replaced a little at a time, customers would have been able to get used to the transition, while still recognising which brand they were buying, and there wouldn’t have been an outcry from the users.
The reason why they changed the appearance initially was that they believed it was important to update the brand with a more modern appearance. Such a major decision should be made on the basis of a number of different studies of how users will react and what the customer actually wants. But what do you do when the statistics are misleading?
Use gut feeling in the right way
With experience of what your target group is, you can use your gut feeling to guess when statistics don’t correspond with reality. Use your gut feeling to guide you to information about the choice you are facing. If your gut feeling says yes, find out why. Take risks, but have data to back up your choice.