Product Sampling – Why Aren’t Brands Doing More of It?

Supplying samplers and demonstrators to brands and retailers across the UK, we have experienced first-hand just how successful product sampling and demonstrations are.

And yet, it is not a mainstream marketing activity.

If you are considering investing in professional sampling staff, no matter how big or small your campaign, you will want to know effective a marketing activity it is.

#1 Drives sales at point-of-purchase

We have worked with big name brands, such as Boots, to introduce new-to-the-market products. Exceeding sales targets, we know that sampling works and there is other evidence too.

35% of customers who tried a sample went on to buy the product in the same shopping trip, a statistic highlighted by Arbitron & Edison Media Research.

Fresh in the minds of consumers, the same study found that a quarter of shoppers who bought the sampled product said they did so instead of buying their planned purchase.

Using sampling alongside a price promotion, and you have a two-pronged marketing campaign that consumers will love.

#2 Psychological purchase power

A survey by EventTrack found that the customers who bought the sampled product did so because they had a chance to ‘try it first’. A large proportion of customers said they would buy it again.

What this shows is the psychological power and suggestion that comes with sampling products.

When someone gives you something for free, we become susceptible to social pressure to buy. In other words, people feel compelled to make a purchase.

This might suggest a whimsical purchase with little long-lasting effect and yet, even when this did happen, 58% of people said they would probably buy the product again.

#3 Increase brand awareness

It’s not just sales that sampling staff can generate for your company but a heightened awareness of your brand too.

Many clients we work with provide our staff with branded uniforms etc. and this helps to increase brand identity and familiarity.

For many of our clients, brand awareness is just as if not more important than sales. Again, there is research to make the case.

EventTrack surveys finding that 81% of those surveyed made their way to the sampling station because they wanted a sample, double the figure of people who said they were interested because it looked good or those respondents who were drawn by the special offer.

Nielsen found in through their extensive research that nearly 60% of consumers went on to tell their friends about the product, showing that word-of-mouth is still a powerful marketing tool.

#4 It encourages new customers

Customers will often be loyal to a certain brand or product and winning them away can be tough.

But product sampling can be the vehicle that drives them from your competitors and straight to you.

A recent survey round that 73% of customers in reply to the question “what would induce you to try a new product or brand?” said “product samples”.

Referred to as the ‘foot in the door technique’, just imagine the difference this would make to your sales figures and brand identity.

#5 Valuable feedback

As part of your sampling work, our staff will often collect and collate the feedback from customers.

For any business, understanding what the customer wants from them and their product is commercially sensitive and valuable information.

Do you really know what customers think of your product? Huffington Post tells us that 66% of people swap brands as a result of ‘poor service’, could this be why your repeat custom figures are lower than you want?

Worth the expense?

There are not many marketing activities in which you can invest and be certain of a return on investment.

Professional and experienced sampling staff in the right place with your product and engaging with to your customer demographic WILL yield a return.

In effect it, product sampling is not an expense but a cost-effective investment with a high yield.

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