WILL It Brand?

Crystal is our own method of testing ads, content items, packaging, and other brand stimuli.  We call our approach “fore-testing” – a combination of forecasting and testing.

Other test methods ask people what they think of the ads. Instead, Crystal evaluates the effect the ads have on Brand Force. In other words, we measure how the seeing ads will influence the odds that The Next Customer will choose your brand over competitors.

Crystal treats creative work with respect. It is designed to provide neutral feedback, not uninformed opinions.

Crystal is faster than tests from a big-box research company, and offers richer detail than tests from automated tools. The science behind the methodology is bullet-proof.

Crystal was born from our own unhappiness with the existing testing methodologies on the market. From them, Crystal differs in two ways:
-    Instead of measuring what people think and remember about the ads, Crystal measures how the ad impacts people's behavior
-    Crystal is an open-box test

Traditional methods are bottom-up. They evaluate people’s reactions to different aspects of an ad, then estimate the effect on the brand, from which they project business results.

Crystal is top-down. It starts by understanding the business impact, and then tries to understand which changes on the brand level are can explain that impact, and which aspects of the ad are responsible for the brand changes.

You might have seen other tests that tell you whether people liked or remembered your ad. Making a likeable or memorable ad is surprisingly easy. Throw in a puppy or a baby – nobody dislikes puppies and babies – and the likeability score will go up, because that’s how it works. But tests that measure people’s opinions of ads rather than the ads’ effect on people are fundamentally flawed. The vast majority of people don’t buy ads. These people’s opinions of ads are relevant in many contexts, but only marginally so when we try to evaluate people’s choice of brands, which is what ultimately matters.

There are many different companies that specialize in evaluating advertising effectiveness. To protect their intellectual property and prevent their tests from being copied, most of these companies don’t reveal the details of their methodology. This turns their tests into black boxes, making it difficult to understand how the ads can be improved.

The methodology is the opposite of a black box: we are happy to share the details of our approach and the data we collect, and there are no opaque formulas. Along with a report and our recommendations, you can request raw data and significance and effect size tests.

Crystal stands for Creative Stimuli Testing Algorithm.