De-risking innovation through experimentation


Whether you’re a big multinational or a cash strapped start-up, divining the way forwards for your business can feel like a dark art; trying to predict the future and second guess what innovation customers and the market wants and needs.

And doing nothing is not an option.

Competition is fierce, the race relentless. The path is littered with examples of those that failed to adapt, evolve, and innovate. This makes the road ahead appear extra treacherous and daunting. This is where one of our global tech clients found themselves. They wanted to expand their consumer business into new areas but were unsure how to proceed. 

New product launches feel particularly fraught with risk, with so many questions to answer. How do I position my innovation to the market?  What’s the cost of customer acquisition?  What are the must have vs nice to have features? Which ads should I run? 

So how do you take away a lot of this fear, uncertainty and risk? 

The answer lies with experimentation. It can be as cheap as you like, as fast as you need, and brings real, objective data needed to make decisions

Our client had a tech solution ready, but didn’t know if people wanted it, what they would pay for it, or what it would cost to actually acquire a customer — do we even have a business here?

In response to all this uncertainty, internal pressures and a very short timeframe (4 weeks!), we launched a series of ‘fake door’ experiments.

Innovation – Fake it to make it

Fake door experiments are nothing new (have you ever clicked on a Facebook ad just to find a message saying “we’re launching soon”?) They are designed to convince the user they’re buying a real product but it’s actually a quickly put together website or app. The purpose of which is to allow us to learn what people are interested in. By gathering data to inform what was practically build it removes a lot of the guesswork from new innovation.

We ran a short insight sprint to inform the design of five separate websites. We then built them using Webflow, a low-code platform that’s simple to use.

From there, a series of Google ad campaigns drove traffic to the sites, each representing a distinct proposition.

Once on the sites, users had different buttons to click on  – from ‘Buy now” to “Subscribe” – so we could monitor and compare how successful they each were, across each proposition.

The data from the thousands of site visits and conversions helped us paint a clear picture of what people wanted, and importantly what they didn’t want. 

It meant we could confidently recommend which proposition to lead with for a Q1 2022 launch, which features the development teams should prioritise building, and which should go into a future roadmap. It’s helped focus the entire offer, and saved a huge amount of unnecessary lengthy and expensive development work.

It’s given them confidence in the power of their own ideas, in using new ways of thinking and working,  and proved that not only does their concept have legs, but that our way of working does too.

All that for just £6k in ad spend over 4 short weeks – that’s huge progress. 

All hail the power of experimentation driving innovation.


We did fake door testing for a new product launch for a consumer tech brand.

In four weeks, with a digital ad spend of only £6k, we’ve given our client:

  • Proof there’s demand for their idea
  • Customer data and insight
  • Clarity on what to do and what to deprioritise
  • A clear way forwards
  • Confidence in their investment, and enabled accelerated momentum forwards

Want to make progress with your new projects? 

Get in touch with us here.