Picture this: your latest flagship product is a few months away from launch, you’re heading into a beta test, and you’re tasked with recruiting a group of highly motivated participants to validate your product’s features. While this seems pretty straightforward, you’re looking to do something different this time. A secret ingredient that can take a good beta test and turn it into an absolutely stellar one. One that not only finds critical bugs and issues, but also provides solid user ideas and highlights the features that delight your users. It turns out that the secret ingredient you’re looking for is hiding in plain sight: brand evangelists.
By including brand evangelists in your beta tests, you’re boosting the impact of your projects while strengthening the bonds with your community. But what is a brand evangelist? And how can I recruit them into my tests?
What is a brand evangelist?
Simply put, brand evangelists are users who positively share their product experiences with the people and teams around them. Do you have a friend who is always talking about the newest smartwatch or home automation hub they just bought? How about a family member who is always on the cutting edge of technology? Chances are, they are brand evangelists in one way or another.
Brand evangelists go beyond just being excited about a product; they bring people who otherwise wouldn’t know about a product into the fold, creating new customers and fans along the way.
What is the importance of brand evangelists?
Brand evangelists can be a force multiplier for your testing program. They are highly motivated and invested to begin with, so they’re already inclined to provide you with high quality feedback out of the gate. A brand evangelist is just as invested with the success of a product as you are, so they are inclined to go the extra mile if it means making things better. Furthermore, they engage with your tests longer and more often than someone who isn’t as invested in the product. It’s like having the power of multiple testers all in one.
How to find and nurture brand evangelists
While having brand evangelists in a test can take your results to the moon, finding and recruiting them isn’t rocket science. Often brand evangelists are in plain sight, sharing their thoughts and experiences with people online or even within your own community. They can be lifelong brand loyalists, internal employees, or new users excited to hop on the bandwagon. One way to discover potential brand evangelists in the wild is to bring your marketing team onboard when recruiting for a project.
Dževad Kudić, Co-founder and COO of Talliez and a user testing veteran, recently joined us on the Delta Huddle Podcast to discuss brand evangelists and tester recruitment. Kudić said, “One way that we’ve been able to do it in the past is… put that marketing message out there and see what you get… For the marketing team, that’s been awesome for them, because they can put that marketing message out there… and see who responds to this, and why did they respond to it, and why are they interested in it. ” You can listen to the full episode of the Delta Huddle Podcast here.
Getting the word out to your community plays a big role in finding your initial set of brand evangelists, but what about when recruitment starts? Here’s a quick tip that’s paid dividends for us here at Centercode: When creating a qualification survey for potential testers, add a question that asks the applicant why they’re a good fit for this project. Brand evangelists will often invest plenty of time in this question. A, they want to prove that they belong on the test, and B, their natural excitement and passion for the product carries over into how they interact with your team. You’ll be surprised at how one question can do so much to identify those excited users in your community.
But what if this is a brand new company? The product might be exciting and revolutionary, but nobody’s used it yet, so how can I find brand evangelists? Well, as the saying goes, if opportunity isn’t knocking, build a door. Beta tests and testing communities are wonderful at creating brand evangelists. By constantly interacting with and listening to your testers, you’re creating an environment where they feel welcomed and valued.
Instead of just being another voice in the room, they’re now an active part of the conversation. Over time, that continued rapport leads to everyday testers becoming energized evangelists. They’ll be excited to join new tests, proud of their achievements, and enthusiastic about your product around others. All because you took the time out to make them feel valued.
Becoming an evangelist through beta testing
Brand evangelists are a wonderful addition to a project, but there’s another secret to leveraging them effectively. To truly maximize their impact within your tests, it’s important to become a tester evangelist. As a Test Manager, you’re their voice in product meetings, scrums, and feedback review sessions, so it’s important to make sure that you bring their passion for the product with you.
Speak up for the smaller issues they bring up, especially if they’re providing plenty of context and reasons as to why it should be fixed. Incorporate their suggestions into the backlog. And make their praise feel heard among your team. As you prove the value of your program, you ensure that your Brand Evangelists become an integral part of your product launches.
Brand evangelists are a force multiplier
There you have it! A quick 101 on how brand evangelists can take your beta tests to the next level. Whether you’re a beta testing veteran or someone looking to spin up a new program, identifying and recruiting the brand evangelists around you is a great way to add value and improve the quality of your beta tests.
If you want to learn even more about the value of building brand evangelists within your testing programs, view our ebook on The Hidden Value of Beta Testers.