Everybody Loves a FREE Sample, Right?
Humboldt Ice Cream Set up

Everybody loves a free sample, right? In this blog, we’ll explore the pros and cons of retail sampling in a way that will direct your decisions on efforts to reach and engage your target consumers and help you plan and activate a program.

Taking your sampling program directly to retail puts the product directly in front of consumers in a way that exceeds others – it introduces the familiarity of a known quantity, and it is an easy way to land some immediate purchases.

Sampling is also an educational opportunity, so that you are not just introducing your brand to your consumers, but you are educating your consumers while advocating for purchase. This takes your brand from silently sitting on a shelf to having a voice – standing apart in a sea of competition as a more obvious, easy choice for the consumer with much less distraction.

Partnering with retailers to host a sampling program can also build goodwill between the retailer and your brand. Your sample generates excitement with consumers, boosting sales and not just benefitting your business, but the retailer as well.

Now, on to considering obstacles in sampling at retail – the other side of the same coin.

The bulk of obstacles in sampling at retail can come from the retailer itself. Retailer support will change the effectiveness of your sampling efforts, so choosing the right retailer that will be supportive of your program will be a critical decision, and these negotiations should be thorough and should happen early.

You must be able to rely on your retailer to have enough of your product in stock for your consumers to purchase at your event – this can lead to a lack of control on your end, as equipment is often stored at the retailer and is at the mercy of store staff when out of your hands.

There may also be limits on the “Where,” “What,” and “When,” as far as things you can do at your retailer. Where you can take up precious retail space either inside the retail location or even in the parking lot (think wholesale clubs on Sunday afternoons), What activities you can engage consumers with (will they allow a loud sound system?), and When your retailer will allow your sampling event and how that compares to the retailer’s traffic patterns (will you be able to be present during peak shopping times?) – these are all obstacles that could make or break your sampling efforts.

Understanding these advantages and limitations and learning how to balance both is part of activating your program. Often, a mix between retail and special events yields ultimate results and creates the perfect balance between driving sales and engaging consumers. To ensure you’re getting the best results from your efforts, contact the sampling experts at Pro Motion (636) 577-8507 for a retail sampling program optimized for your brand!

Adapted from: https://promotion1.com/2011/06/16/pros-and-cons-of-retail-sampling-with-experiential-marketing-programs/

Brands are struggling with trying to stand out in the cluttered marketplace and Covid-19 is a challenge that none of us were ready for in 2020.  If you are looking for someone to have a strategy session with, reach out.  This is what we do and have been doing since 1995.  We’ve been through a few really bad downturns and we excel in building brands.  Pro Motion is a top experiential marketing agency and we love creating engaging, unique experiences, and effective marketing campaigns. Give us a call at 636.577.8507.

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