Product sampling is a high-performing tactic to pull loyal and potential customers closer to your brand.
NVE Experience Agency specializes in live and virtual experiences, integrated marketing, and experience marketing. We regularly incorporate product sampling marketing into our brand activations to level up our clients’ brand promotions.
Samples are an especially valuable tool for creative experience marketers at brand activations because they draw in passing pedestrians by appealing to their senses. Think of product sampling as a way to ensure that your marketing campaign reaches the widest possible audience.
Why Product Sampling Is an Essential Part of Experience Marketing
One NVE campaign showcasing stellar results from product sampling is the Pre-Game Party for the People created for Smirnoff. The brand activation was star-studded, hosted by American actor Anthony Anderson and his mom “Mama Doris.” The experience gave attendees the chance to taste a range of Smirnoff products and multiple signature cocktails to showcase how consumers can incorporate Smirnoff vodka at their Super Bowl party.
Offering product samples is not just an excellent way to attract people to engage with your brand ambassadors; it does more than this. It also delivers the advantage of creating brand recognition. After Smirnoff’s Pre-Game Party for the People campaign, even those who did not attend the event heard about the innovative signature cocktails created using Smirnoff beverages.
Product sampling marketing can also create an emotional connection between a consumer and your brand. People get the chance to try your product and instantly confirm whether they like it or not.
Product sampling reaches 70 million consumers every quarter, and one-third of customers who try a sample will buy the sampled product in the same shopping trip, according to a study by Arbitron and Edison Media Research. Plus, 81% of people would approach a kiosk offering free samples.
How to Add Product Sampling to Any Brand Activation
Now that you understand the importance of product sampling for your brand’s creative experience, learn how to incorporate sampling at your next brand activation.
1. Start By Creating Goals
Define clear goals that you want to achieve with your sampling.
The first thing to do is decide what you want to achieve with your product samples. Do you want to gain new customers or generate reviews? Do you want to cross-sell to existing customers? Do you want people to post pictures and videos on social media? If it is a brand activation, you likely want to attract new customers. However, this may not always be the case.
2. Think About Your Target Audience
Consider the preferences of your target audience.
Next, think about your target audience. Who do you want to attract to your brand activation by using product samples? Are they existing clients you want to retain or buy additional products? What is the target demographic and their product preferences?
3. Select the Products to Sample
Decide which products will best help you reach your goal.
Decide how large a sample you want to give out. Circle back to the previous two steps and figure out which products are likely to appeal to your target audience and help you hit your KPIs.
4. Plan to Incorporate the Samples Into Your Brand Activation
Determine the best way to sample your products during the brand activation event.
For food or drink brands, you can offer your product as refreshments to event attendees. Are attendees going to interact with your product at the event? Or will they get a sample to take home? Some of this may depend on your product, but you can even do both.
5. Promote Your Brand Activation and Samples
Mention the samples in your ads for the brand activation.
Incorporate terms like “free gift” or “enjoy [product] on the house” in your ads. This will also help bring more awareness to your brand activation. It does not have to be included in all marketing material, but it should be explicitly stated.
6. Incorporate Social Media
Use social media before, during, and after your event to boost brand activation reach.
Social media must always be a part of your pre-event marketing. During the event, encourage people to share content on social media with branded hashtags. You can also get creative and set up photo booths or a table to take Instagram selfies. Social media sharing will then continue long after the event. You should also share photos of the event on your social media profiles as a recap.
7. Track the Results of Your Sampling
Look at impressions and other metrics.
During and after the event, track data to see how successful the campaign was overall. It can be hard to pinpoint the impact of product sampling, but there are ways to get an idea of this. Surveys and polls are both great options.
Product sampling can be beneficial to almost any creative experience marketing campaign. Free samples let your audience try your product, build brand recognition and hopefully become brand advocates.
If you’re ready to launch a creative experience marketing campaign for your brand, then contact NVE today.