Product sampling is strategy that businesses use to provide potential customers free samples of their product.
It’s a form of experiential marketing that brands use to find potential new customers and let them try their product free of charge, without any commitments.
Promoting new products is hard work. Consumers are risk averse and may be reticent to try a product that’s new to the market or that lacks a history of positive reviews.
Their concerns are often multifaceted, stretching from worries about the product’s reliability, performance and benefits, to simply whether or not they’ll like it.
In such a competitive marketplace, brand loyalty is hard won.
But by showcasing your product to people on the street, you can help alleviate consumers’ concerns and kick-start your journey towards a sustainable competitive advantage.
The objectives for a business through this technique is to build brand awareness, create loyal customers and of course, increase sales.
Now, this is under the assumption you’ve created an effective product sampling campaign.
Below, you will find our strategies and methods that we utilise for our clients that have seen amazing results!
There are a variety of sampling methods that can be used to reach your customers and create memorable experiences.
Types of product sampling campaigns
We’ve picked the methods that we’ve seen the best interaction & results from our campaigns.
- Event based sampling refers to the distribution of products to consumers at events. It’s particularly useful for new product launches and generating word of mouth.
- Door to door sampling is exactly how it sounds, delivering products to the home of your potential customers. Our brand ambassadors are specialists with this method, being able to answer questions during these visits.
- Mail drops involve sending free products through the post along with other marketing collateral to give more context to the brand and their goals.
- Segmented product sampling is an ideal method if you’re looking to target a specific type of audience along with the location they’re based in.
These are just a few examples of methods that have been utilised in some of our most successful product sampling campaigns.
What is the value of a product sampling campaign?
Deliver value to your customers
Product sampling is a proven way to generate excitement about your product, drive awareness within your target segment and build some all-important brand equity.
Why? Because people love freebies.
Whether in a high-street store or railway station concourse, we’ve all seen people swarm around our stalls, savouring their free merchandise.
In the relationship-based world of modern marketing, sampling campaigns are a great way to cultivate brand awareness, build positive brand sentiment and support a product launch.
Samples create memorable touchpoints, adding value by tapping into the positive emotions we all experience when receiving gifts.
By giving consumers a chance to try a product pre-purchase, you can counter pain points, decreasing customers’ uncertainty and guiding them towards purchase.
Sampling campaigns are often the first interaction customers have with new products, so make it a memorable experience by employing enthusiastic brand ambassadors.
Drive brand awareness
Product sampling campaigns can uplift brand awareness before consumers even have even tried your product.
A high percentage of consumers make the decision to walk up to the company’s stand because they want to receive a product sample or free giveaway.
If you have a new product to launch, bold and easily identifiable branding will catch the eye of potential consumers, drawing them into your campaign area.
Inspire these consumers to carry your products out into their networks and you will achieve organic growth.
Product sampling drives lead conversion and sales
One of the most difficult aspects of new product marketing is converting cold traffic into qualified leads.
When asked why they purchased a product after seeing it in a sampling campaign, a significant percentage of consumers will indicate that the opportunity to try it out first was their primary motivation.
Track the performance of your sales before and after campaign launch. Be mindful of other campaigns that are running simultaneously
Make a good first impression
By demonstrating the value of your product, sampling campaigns channel potential customers into your sales funnel, helping you to convert potential leads into sales.
Whether it’s food samples, beauty products or merchandise, Street PR will engage with your consumers and explain the benefits of your product, enticing them to try, buy, and buy again.
Product sampling provides feedback
In the world of marketing, data is money, and every data capture point is valuable.
Feedback about your product is integral to your business. It’ll help you iterate your current designs and can give ideas for new products to develop.
Because product sampling is a face-to-face activity, it allows businesses access to gain direct feedback from consumers.
This data will enable you to really hone your marketing strategy and could give your team the chance to identify and get ahead of potential problems prior to release.
Creating personalised experiences for customers
Creating memorable and personalised experiences for your customers allows you to make contact with customers in a way that you just can’t through things like email marketing or social media ads. There’s a lot of value in those still, but product sampling provides something that they can’t.
Being able to try a product for free, and also in a personalised and fun experience that people want to share with their friends can be help to build strong brand value.
Every interaction with your potential customers can be different. Little snippets of knowledge from them go a long way to perfecting your product.
It’s difficult to narrow down the most important reason for a product sampling campaign but it would have to be, creating a loyal customer base.
Loyal customers champion your brand and are likely to spread positive word of mouth regarding their experiences & interactions with you.
It is also far more cost effective to spend more time on building relationships with existing customers than fighting other competitors to acquire new ones.
The other reasons are still very much valid and valuable along the process but a loyal customer base will always be there.
How much does a product sampling campaign cost?
A product sampling campaign could be a cost-effective way to gather insightful data about your new products.
There are a lot of elements to consider when putting a price on a product sampling campaign.
The cost is likely to vary depending on the type of brand and the area or areas you want to target.
The most common costs associated with this type of campaign include:
- Product production
- Shipping and distribution
- Staffing costs
- Marketing and advertising costs
A good product sampling campaign is likely to start from £5,000, therefore, it’s crucial that you have a budget plan in place to calculate all potential costs involved.
Product sampling is a scalable practice that can be a powerful way to market your product.
With a sound strategy and a skilled team who know which consumers to target and how to approach them, sampling campaigns can offer fantastic return on marketing investment (ROI) and can get your product launch off to a flying start.