Market Testing

I work for a large company that takes afamous, popular brand or product and tests them against cheaper, generic products. The testing is to check if there are any differences between the two, is it worth the money and whether one is better for you than the other.


One way we did this was mystery shopping. We would send a shopper in to buy random products in various supermarkets, we would compare prices in that instance.

Another way is to give a controlled group a product to use for a certain amount of time and they would then give us feedback as to whether it worked, how it performed, etc.

My companies preferred way to gain feedback was an instant way. We would set up a pop up store or stall for a set amount of time and test certain things on the public. This could be anything but with the shops/stalls it was mainly clothing (to test size continuity), food and drink.

Pop up Stall

I was asked to take part in the next batch of testing and this would be in a pop up food stall for a week. We would go out and about and have 3 or 4 versions of the same thing and ask the public for feedback on what they thought. For example, this could be pies, one could be really expensive and one could be really cheap. We would tell the public which was which and we would ask them to rate them.

Next Test

The first market test was a comparison between fresh and carton smoothies. We would compare taste and cost on this test. I bought a new maker as our old one had broken and I enlisted the help of an amazing website called:

I was looking forward to this, I loved people and let’s face it, people love free things, so we are always received well.

We had our findings and went onto the next thing. This one was always controversial, we were testing a famous chocolate bar, against a cheaper brand but basically the same thing. We tested this brand every year and the results were always the same, the cheaper brand always got better feedback than the expensive brand. They never took the news well but the public’s feedback is crucial to a company’s success, so changes needed to be made.

Cheaper is Best on Average

I will admit to being a bit of a brand junkie before I started working at this company but my experience there has since taught me that mostly buying brands is a waste of money and there are very few exceptions to the rule.

Most companies trade on their established name but they will cut corners on size, taste amongst other things, to make a profit. It does work but if you are enlightened to this, these products never look the same.

My advice to anyone would be, forget the brands and buy what works for you. If you like the taste and it is cheap, buy it, if it is your favorite thing, you can afford it and enjoy it go for it but just don’t blindly buy, do your taste tests and research and make your informed decisions from there.