How can 1.3 Billion Chinese People be wrong?

Chinese New YearI am “spot-on” with my New Year’s Resolutions this year. How you doin’? It’s not what you think. The only reason I am on track is that I don’t make any resolutions for the New Year. If you make them on the very first day of the year, your probability of success is pretty low and many people abandon the calling a couple of weeks into the New Year. How do I know this? It’s empirical. It’s observational research. How many of you have done this or know people that 2-3 weeks into the year are saying, “well there is always next year”?


How about you break from your norm and try something different? If you want to make a change you have to change something. The date is a variable (see lots of research terms). You can change one variable and see if you have a different outcome.


Marketing Research, which is the process of getting the information that you need, dictates that you measure results in a quantifiable manner. If you change multiple variables it is often difficult to measure the results. For example, we conduct a lot of advertising copy testing at Mindspot. If we test a TV commercial with customers age 18-24 and test a different TV commercial with customers age 25-34 it is possible that we could obtain different results for the overall appeal of the ad because we have changed 2 variables.


We would not know if the difference was due to the age group or the different commercials. If we show both age groups the same ad then we can measure the overall appeal of each ad. Or if we show the same ad to both age groups we can tell if there is a difference in perception between the age groups on overall appeal for that ad. Of course, we can design one test to accommodate both variables. But, I’m not going to do that in the blog today because I am really talking about just changing one variable which is the day that you celebrate the New Year (and who doesn’t need a “mulligan”)!


The date of the Chinese New Year changes every year. We are nearing the end of The Year of the Ox and entering The Year of the Tiger on February 14. Oddly, it falls this year on Valentine’s Day. No disrespect to St. V but I am going to celebrate the coming of the New Year instead. How can 1.3 billion Chinese people be wrong?


At least in the US, there does not seem to be a lot of societal or peer pressure to adopt making a list of resolutions for the Chinese New Year. So, change one variable (when you make your resolution) and see if it has any impact on your success. Here’s to the Year of the Tiger – bring it on!

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