Testing, Testing…

Illustrating an informal A/B test

You’ve been granted a new NHL franchise. Well, you haven’t but pretend for a moment. How exciting! How daunting. There are so many choices to be made; expansion drafts to negotiate your way through, coaching staff to hire, and a management team to assemble. One crucial choice to make is the team’s name. As a purely hypothetical exercise, assume that you are torn between two names. I’ll just choose something at random like…. The Krakens and The Sockeyes. Every single person that is privy to this decision will have their own preference, but you know that what ultimately matters most is what the fans will like. Whatever shall you do? Well, you may leak the two choices to the general public of hockey fans (purely unintentionally, of course) and gauge their reactions on social media, hockey podcasts, etc. 

Since this isn’t as definitive as a poll or as easily measured as comparing the reactions of two Twitter posts, it may not have the formality or relative precision of a standard social media A/B test. It is, however, applying the same principle to this decision-making process. In other words, it may not be shaped like an A/B test, but it walks like one and quacks like one. This sort of informal test can be used to gauge customer preferences before making all kinds of decisions. It is often beneficial to go the more straightforward route and poll your audience, but there will be times where you will want to know their opinions without publicly committing to abide by them entirely. For this kind of situation, starting conversations through unofficial routes and tracking responses can be a useful path to take.

And by the way, Seattle, my vote is on The Krakens.

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