We began with the initial Alpha testing, giving select participants a taste of our coffee and asking for feedback. We received glowing reviews, but also got some constructive comments.
Building the basics. The interest and growth from the previous month supplied new attention and data to build. We’ll list out some of the actions we took below building out the first product. There were many lessons learned from the alpha tests. They’re listed below with some detail.
Updates and Lessons Learned
Alpha testing was performed in small lots of 25 participants. Lot 1 helped build out the labels and workflow that was shown in Newsletter 1 via focus groups. Participants were contacted a week after getting their coffee and were asked to fill out a “post taste survey” that asked questions about caffeination and flavour as they compared to the consumers “regular” coffee. We’ve posted some of the very positive reviews on our website, however some of the negative comments should be published as well. Below are some of the less than savoury, but very valuable quotes from our testers:
“I don't normally drink darker roasts, nor do I typically drink blends - so I really noticed the roasted taste of the beans, which made for a very generic tasting coffee. I suppose I'm not entirely sure what this experiment is about at this point…I don't yet see the value of a 'custom' coffee. [The packaging] was quite ugly, I mean, for starters, it's very pixelated. Secondly the design you guys used of the coffee cup seems to be overlayed on top of the text - so the 'p' of part appears as an 'o'. The design itself is pretty ugly. It's not a big deal to me, but you asked.”
“I loved everything except the packaging. I think this is the area that could use the most work. 1. The table was hard to read (poor print quality) and it would take a few minutes of looking at it to understand the message being conveyed. I think there would be a cleaner way of disseminating this info. 2. The custom picture is a very cool feature but again I think the print quality was too low for us to appreciate it to the fullest extent. (We wanted to make an IG post but the quality wasn't good enough) 3. I like the bags but depending on the price point I think a higher quality bag - insulated with one way valve would showcase better 4. I love the logo and tagline. It would be very cool to have that info on a sticker instead of on the label.”
Perhaps, develop a better label? Quit now - right now - while you still have your dignity.
Alpha test Lot 2 was born from the demand from testers, and new signups from the website. Lot 2 tested the same elements of Lot 1 but with the addition of a payment option. A $15 Shipping or Delivery fee was asked for when the report was sent. All but one tester paid the fee eventually. 3 paid after delivery, and the rest via email transfer. The one who did not pay was asked for a reference and happily obliged. Results of the post taste follow up are pending but early results indicate that all are willing to supply genetics for a better fit coffee.
We’re not just making a coffee company for our friends and family. There is a community out there that wants a better experience and is willing to work with us to get it.
Working with a web developer, who will remain nameless because if you steal him - I’ll find you and glare at you during your lunch break. Building an online store to continue to generate more data on what is the best version of the first product. We’ve learned that coffee is a personal experience and only thrives when there is a conversation in place. We’re striving to build and communicate that digitally.
Beta testing protocols have been established, however COVID-19 related delays continue to hinder the conclusion of the planning process.