Say you’re a cologne brand trying to get your product in the hands of millennial men. Does it make sense for your sampling team to hit the streets in a family-dominated residential area or a home for the elderly? Of course not. Even if you distribute thousands of products in your experiential program, did your really build a connection with your target audience? It’s not just about getting your message in front of as many consumers as possible but actually about getting the product into the right hands.

It’s important to be thoughtful about your audience when planning your experiential marketing and sampling programs.

Sun Drop GroupOne summer, Dr Pepper Snapple Group wanted to create a buzz around their Sun Drop drink.

Our engaging team of brand ambassadors presented a fun challenge to consumers in the streets in the target markets: “drop it like it’s hot” for a Sun Drop! It was playful and fun way to engage the young consumers and create quality connections to the Sun Drop brand. Sales skyrocketed in the sampling markets, going up 368% in St. Louis alone.

Quality experiences can contribute to brand vitality.

Abita Brewery wanted to introduce their new flavor Big Easy IPA, so we hit the streets in the South to bring a true New Orleans style experience to the people. We drew consumers in with an authentic Second Line Band and engaged them with a enthusiastic brand ambassador who spoke their language: the language of good beer. The band brought people into the bars or store locations where they could get a taste of this new flavor. It was a fun and authentic way to reach the target audience of Abita beer. The sampling program encouraged a ton of social media engagement and delighted patrons in markets across the south.Callie Joseph

As you make a game plan for your sampling program, ask yourself, who is the target audience of my brand? How can I get the most quality and authentic connections to drive my brand exposure and vitality?