Historically, beta testing has had mixed publicity: sometimes it’s a secret, and other times it announces to the world a new product is coming. In recent years, many world-renowned companies have embraced publicly announcing their beta testing programs, using them as a way to find beta testers, build excitement, and improve their product.
We’re taking a deep dive into four real-world beta testing examples that showcase the power of beta testing and how it can be used to drive innovation and improve the user experience.
Nike decided to integrate augmented reality technology into their products with the takeoff of Nike Fit in 2018.
The app uses augmented reality technology to scan users' feet and recommend the best shoe size for them. The beta test was conducted in three US cities, and users were invited to test the app at select stores.
Nike's beta test for Nike Fit was a crucial decision in the company's history, as it represented a major shift towards integrating augmented reality technology into its products. The beta test allowed Nike to collect data on how users interacted with the app and what features they found most useful. The feedback from beta testers helped Nike refine the app's user interface, improving its ease of use and ensuring that users could quickly and easily find the information they needed.
Additionally, the data collected from the beta test let Nike improve the accuracy of the app's sizing recommendations, ensuring that users could find the perfect fit when they purchased their next pair of Nike shoes.
Nike’s beta test paved the way for future augmented reality initiatives at the company. It helped establish Nike as a leader in the intersection of technology and athletic apparel.
Coca-Cola took the opportunity to gather feedback on its new energy drink, Coca-Cola Energy, in Europe through a public beta test.
Coca-Cola's beta test for Coca-Cola Energy was a unique opportunity for the company to engage with its audience and gather feedback on a new product. The beta test involved Coca-Cola distributing free samples of Coca-Cola Energy to select consumers, who were then asked to provide feedback on the taste, packaging, and overall appeal of the product.
Using tester feedback, Coca-Cola refined the product's formula, ensuring that it would be well-received when it was released to a wider audience. It eventually launched in Europe and became a wildly popular addition to the company's product lineup.
Through their international beta test, Coca-Cola showed that even established companies can benefit from feedback from their target audience.
Spotify's beta test of its new podcast format in 2020 invited select podcast creators to submit feedback on a new interactive form that allows users to interact with the podcast host and participate in polls and quizzes.
The Swedish audio streaming giant’s goal was to gather feedback on the new format and make adjustments before launching it as a competitor to Apple and Google Podcasts. The feedback from beta testers helped Spotify refine the interactive features of the format and improve the overall user experience.
Spotify was eventually ready to bring the interactive podcast format to life a year later and the new format has been revered by users and is still being evolved with new features today.
The interactive format has also been popular with advertisers, as it allows them to engage with users in a more interactive way. Overall, the beta test was a pivotal step in the development of the new format and helped ensure its success.
Apple iPhone iOS 13
In 2019, Apple was preparing to make a major update to the iPhone, one of its core products. So, before launching, Apple conducted a beta test for their iOS 13 operating system.
The beta test recruited select developers to test the operating system and provide feedback on its performance and features, allowing Apple to identify and address potential issues before the official release.
The beta testers' feedback helped Apple refine the user interface, improve the operating system's performance, and add new features that would enhance the overall user experience. Furthermore, the beta test allowed Apple to gather data on how users were interacting with the operating system, informing their future product development efforts.
The triumph of the iOS 13 beta test demonstrated the power of engaging with customers early in the product development process and helped ensure that Apple would continue to be a leader in the tech industry for years to come.
These real-world beta testing examples demonstrate the importance of engaging with customers early in the product development process. By gathering feedback from early adopters, companies can refine their products, improve their user experience, and ultimately increase their chances of success in the market.
Whether it's a mobile app, a new energy drink, or a device with a fruit on it, beta testing can help companies better understand their customer and build products that meet their needs. As brands continue to innovate and push the boundaries of what's possible, beta testing will continue to play a key role in shaping the products of the future.
Save time managing your beta tests and product feedback with Centercode. From a single platform, you can plan your test, create activities, collect feedback, communicate with testers, monitor KPIs, integrate your tech stack, and infinitely much more. Sign up now and run a FREE beta test today.