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Product Testing 101

Product testing mindset 101

As we enter a new year, I thought it was worthwhile to go into the topic of product testing and how it has served the growth of Vertical Ledge over the last 3 years.

What is Product Testing?

  • Product testing:

    • Testing with custom orders 

      • AKA user testing 

    • Testing with micro launches with limited runs 

      • Allows us to give a healthy amount of runway time before putting in a larger order 

        • If the product sells out in pre-order, we double the next batch and set that for pre-order in limited amounts

Why use Product Testing?

  • Drive out any kinks in the design 

  • Looking for things that don't work or sit right 

  • Figuring out the right dimensions for each niche 

  • Not take a loss in business 

    • Because everything rolls out in soft launches via pre-sale, we cover a lot of our overhead and if the product flops, at least the DIE-hard fans got what they wanted 

    • Additionally, there is always room for custom orders 

      • Once we launch an item, and if it doesn't move, we can move it to our catalog for specialty order 

        • We already have the files and worked out the kinks, so it's easy to send to our manufacturing team 

    • Mindset shift from, “everything I do has to be successful or I am a failure” → 

      • “not everything I create has to manufacture success to it”

      •  “I can learn from each launch”

      •  “what I create holds value for SOMEONE (even if its a one-off design)” 

    • Suddenly, instead of the weight or burden of success and needing to be perfect to launch, we have joy in the creation 

      • Moved from stress to excitement 

      • Moved from burden to blessing 

  • Serve our audience with products that will actually be useful 

    • Often times in design, we want to create things we THINK are good, but you have to constantly put yourself in check 

      • Think about the customer, the end-user first- find the problems and struggle they are dealing with and solve those 

      • We’ve noticed that once we focus on the NEED, the design can come to a lot easier than designing from our own wants and desires 

  • Be creative and allow our creativity to flow 

    • Beta testing via small launches allows us to create fun products that don't necessarily have to manufacture in large quantities

How?

  • User feedback: 

    • Polling Fridays via IG stories 

      • Instant feedback from our direct customers and community 

      • Can offer coffee and a stand if we’re hoping to have a bigger turnout (usually once a month or so) 

    • Post feedback 

      • Ask for feedback on an IG Feed post 

        • Gets the conversations going

        • Gets in front of the diehard audience 

    • Reel conversation 

      • Post a reel with a conversation topic 

      • This is great for quick comments 

      • Gets in front of your more engaged bye-standard audience 

  • Custom Orders 

    • The easiest way to launch a product is through custom order requests. 

      • We make the stand to their needs, then refine it to match our broader audience 

      • This is how we’ve launched so many products over the years that explode a do really well 

      • It is a direct solution to someone and it leads to many other people as well

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