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OKCupid’s Experiment is Dishonest Branding
By: Cindy Wendland
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There are many dating sites for people to use to meet that special someone — Match.com, eHarmony, Tinder, Plenty of Fish, OKCupid, etc. Each site targets people in a different way and offers something unique. Dating website OKCupid has revealed that it experimented on its users, including putting the "wrong" people together to see if they would connect.

OKCupid told users that matches were good when in fact they were not matched well at all. Marketing can be inaccurate and misleading. But intentionally experimenting with people and their emotions is unethical. The lack of trust that customers will have with OKCupid will hurt them.

If OKCupid wanted to experiment, they needed to get customer input and participation and work with customers who volunteered. How can anyone go on their site now and feel confident the people they are matched with are actually good matches? If their users wanted to experiment, they would just meet people the way they have been — real-life experimenting.

Daniel Baylis wrote in Fast Company that “Companies can go in two directions: 1) Continue to conceal and to sweep away the internal brand truths, or 2) move towards a communications strategy of honesty and transparency. In an era of connection and instant sharing, a movement towards truth-speaking is undoubtedly the most intelligent.”

A brand needs to deliver what it is promising. Period.


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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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