Written by Linda Alexander
Bookmark and Share

An recent increase in the number of sampling promotions is allowing more consumers than ever to try products before they buy them. In fact, it has become so effective and so popular, that customers are actually asking for samples. At stores where sampling is regularly featured, people expect to see demonstrators offering a taste test or an interactive setup for consumers.

The rise in sampling is due to its effectiveness. With today's cluttered "brandscape," consumers are bombarded with advertising messages through all the media, plus the Internet, email, and even their mobile phones. When the consumer feels like she or he is in control, a memorable experience with a brand is much more likely to occur. Sample promos facilitate memory because the consumer is involved and can interact with the product, by using it, tasting it, or comparing it to another product they already use.

Supermarket Sampling: Only One Way to Sample

These programs don't just appear in supermarkets anymore. Often tied to events, sampling is done in malls, parking lots, and through mobile marketing vehicles. Everybody remembers the Oscar Mayer hot dog truck. Nowadays, companies are catching on, launching their own mobile event vehicles, and taking them to concerts and sporting events, as well as road shows.

Online is another place marketers get their products into consumers' hands. Freebie websites are many; people have made hobbies out of collecting free stuff. Instead of purchasing trial sizes of products, they simply send away for free samples. Not only is this more effective than mass mailings, because the samples go to people who actually want them, but it also cuts down on waste.

Bookmark and Share