Laura Melchor


5 must-have market research techniques

If you’re tempted to skip using market research techniques before launching a product, think again.

Better yet, think of Colgate. In the 1980s, the toothpaste maker decided to venture into the frozen foods aisle. That’s right. Colgate, a company synonymous with clean teeth and fresh breath, launched a frozen TV dinner.

Minty fresh…beef lasagna, anyone?

Market research techniques: Colgate beef lasagna

Shoppers had a hard time accepting the idea of savory TV dinners made by their favorite toothpaste brand.

Simply put, the company didn’t do its market research, and the product flopped.

In our highly connected world, it’s easier than ever to conduct effective market research that could help you avoid costly or embarrassing mistakes. Here are the five must-have market research techniques for your brand.

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Which One Won? The thrill of a short book title

Sometimes the hardest thing about writing a book is coming up with the title. The wrong one can drive readers away, while the right one can bring them running.

So how do you decide?

One author recently took two titles for a medical/legal thriller to PickFu’s pool of fiction readers for help: UNETHICAL (Option A) and Josephine’s Father & The Institute (Option B).

Can you guess which one won?

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Which One Won? A ‘mess’ of a self-help book cover

A self-help book cover should hint at the message tucked within its pages.

A book about relationships might show a couple on the cover, for example. But what about a motivational book about cleaning up life’s messes? How messy should the cover look?

One author took to PickFu to answer this question by testing two covers for a book titled, From Mess to Master: 9 Steps to Overcome Failure, Crush Fear and Defy Your Limits With Inspiring Stories of Successful People.

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Which One Won? Sometimes a one-word book title isn’t enough

Some of the most memorable book titles are one word long. Holes. Americanah. Atonement. Beloved. It. But how do you know if your idea for a one-word book title is enough? Test titles of varying lengths on an audience of PickFu respondents, as this author recently did.

The author presented these three titles along with the question, “Which book title is better?”:

  • Insignificance (Option A)
  • One of Us is Buried (Option B)
  • The Factory Above the Jail (Option C)

Can you guess which one won?

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Which One Won? For niche books, target the right audience

If you’ve written a book on a highly specific subject, how do you choose the best cover? Narrowly define your target audience in a PickFu poll.

That’s what one author did for his book about collecting and selling art titled, Own a Fraction, Earn a Fortune: The Complete Guide to Co-Investing in Art and Collectibles.

He selected a target audience of 100 respondents who likely have the means to buy and sell collectible art. These were people between the ages of 25-64 who have a bachelor’s or graduate degree and earn between $61,000-$101,000+.

He posted nearly identical versions of the covers and asked, “Which book cover is better?”

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Determining Likelihood of Confusion with PickFu

Say you’re a coffee business and you want to create an iced, blended coffee drink similar to Starbucks’ beloved Frappuccino® Blended Beverage. Be careful what you name it. You don’t want to create likelihood of confusion.

Coffee Culture Cafe, a Canadian coffee franchise, knows this firsthand. Ten years after Starbucks introduced its now-iconic Frappuccino®, Coffee Culture Cafe launched a blended-ice coffee drink called the Freddoccino.

Freddoccino, Frappuccino®. The names and logos are different — but not that different.

Likelihood of confusion: Starbucks Frappuccino vs. Freddoccino
Source: NLIPW.com

Starbucks noticed, of course. Long story short, they took Coffee Culture Cafe’s parent company to court for trademark infringement, aiming to prove likelihood of confusion.

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Which One Won? Stranger things make for better fantasy book covers

Have you ever wondered if pop culture trends can help you create fantasy book covers that sell? This week’s featured poll might help you decide.

An author recently split-tested two fantasy book covers on PickFu, asking a group of fiction readers, “Based on the cover, which epic fantasy novel would you buy?”

In Option A, a skeleton engulfed in birds towers over a person. In Option B, a giant squid-octopus monster rises out of the sea, facing down what appear to be a man and a woman.

Can you guess which one won?

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Which One Won? Making murder mystery book titles fresh

There are thousands and thousands of murder mystery book titles in the world. If you’re a mystery writer, this can be disheartening. How can your book find a home in that crowd?

The good thing is that people who love reading mysteries will always want more. You just have to make sure your murder mystery book title stands out.

That’s why one author brought two titles to PickFu for a round of split-testing with the simple question, “Which book would you buy?”

Here are the two options:

  • A Map for Murder, Option A
  • Murder at Packsaddle Mountain, Option B

Can you guess which one won?

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How to conduct e-commerce website testing with PickFu

It would be terrible to launch your website only to discover hours (or minutes) later that something is wrong. Maybe there’s a glitch in your pricing or a huge typo in one of your product descriptions. The best way to prevent such a headache? Conduct a thorough round of e-commerce website testing.

E-commerce website testing includes functional testing, security testing, performance testing, database testing, usability testing, and mobile app testing. For more on these types of testing, check out this article.

One of the simplest types of e-commerce website testing that can help ensure your site is attractive, clean, and compelling before the world sees it is A/B testing, also known as split testing.

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How to pitch an app idea

Apps have become part of the fabric of our lives. We use them to wake up, read the morning news, seek out breakfast recipe ideas, and connect with friends. When we wait in grocery store lines or doctor’s offices, we play games, read books, or watch our favorite TV shows — all on our favorite apps. They’re so prolific that it seems we should all know how to pitch an app idea…right?

Not quite. They haven’t been around for that long, when you think about it.

We really only started using apps in earnest when the iPhone debuted in 2007.

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