John Farrell, a pioneer in market testing in the filmmaking industry was a pioneer in using market testing for films. One of his projects was “Fatal Attraction” which was nominated for six Oscars and earned over $300 million in box office receipts world-wide. The original script called for Glenn Close’s character to kill herself, but research revealed that the audience didn’t want that. An alternate ending was created for the movie and the rest is history. See details below how George Foreman beat out all other candidates to become Casual Male’s XL spokesperson, beating out John Madden, Larry Bird and others.
To Die or Not To Die: That is the Question!
At DecisionMODE we employ market research all the time to help determine what products or services should “die,” or “live” to make it to the marketplace. The 5 box Likert Scale is our key predictor. We also test spokespeople for companies including Casual Male XL. A few years ago George Foreman beat out numerous candidates in our testing, including John Madden, Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk) and Larry Bird. George Foreman ran away with it and got very involved with developing the new line, featuring a, “Comfortable fit for big and tall men like me.” Quarterly sales increased 12% due to the launch.
Commanders were the key target group. They’re into how the clothing feels, not how fashionable it is or how long it will last. Clothes shopping isn’t generally pleasurable, like it might be for some Visualizers who are style conscious.
The lesson learned is there is no way to accurately predict winners without being extremely lucky or doing marketing research. However, make sure you’re not just doing the research to confirm your hunches. Chances are that there will be surprises. Don’t test anything you won’t be willing to act on because it will probably win.
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