Aesop wrote about a man known to be a spendthrift.

Apparently this man had been quite wealthy before wasting
his fortune on things that did not matter. One day this
gentleman saw a swallow perched on a branch. He
immediately assumed that spring has arrived so he sold his
coat.

The next day the weather returned to the winter cold. The
swallow froze to death. The man, now shivering, saw the
swallow lying dead on the ground.

"Thanks to you I am freezing," exclaimed the spendthrift.

When testing new concepts or products businesses often
make the same mistake as the spendthrift. A test of a single
store will not produce reliable results.

Look at it this way, suppose a spaceship exploring planet
Earth landed in the playground of an elementary school. They
would report back to their mother planet that earthlings were
approximately 3 feet tall. If a second spaceship was sent and
it landed on the court of the professional basketball team
they would report back that earthlings were almost 7 feet tall.
Neither of these reports taken separately would produce any
valuable information. Nor would the two reports create
anything by confusion.

Business implication
Whether a new store layout or new product roll-out, test
marketing requires a cross sampling of demographics in
order to make an informed decision to proceed in the future.

Related topics:
The spendthrift
and swallow
As Aesop established hundreds of years ago with his
timeless fables we remember words best when we
become engaged in a story. Max has compiled an
anecdotal story collection designed to generate “ah-
ha” moments.
Click here to see more.

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