Is product sampling a good idea for your brand?

Posted by - 31 March, 2015 - Blog

Sampling aims to get people to try a new product or a new twist on an existing one.  People get risk free access to try a new product and can then decide for themselves if it’s worthy of a purchase.  So although product sampling has been around forever, it’s one of the tools in the promotions arsenal that is being used more often in recent times in T&T.  Why?

With traditional advertising getting so much competition from mobile and online sources, brands are searching for new ways to get consumers’ attention.  Our own client Vemco has been using sampling extensively in its launch of its Yogos Yogurt Drink.  Consumers get to try a 310ml bottle of their new liquid yogurt made in Germany that you could have “on the go”.

There is no hard data on if sampling works in T&T but based on observation, it is clear that some brand managers believe in its effectiveness in driving awareness and purchase.

Here are a few basics rules of effective execution of sampling:

  • Promoters must be out going and pleasant (real comfortable interacting with strangers)
  • Promoters should be knowledgeable about the products they are offering including knowing its contents and nutritional facts, where it is made and who distributes it
  • The consumer must receive perfect product (e.g. right temperature, fresh)
  • Sample in the right place (go where your consumers are and that’s not only the supermarket isle)
  • Make the sampling an experience (e.g. music, decor, uniform of samplers, merchandising materials)

And what of the cost of sampling including:

  • Value of product sampled
  • Cost of promoters and infrastructure including transport
  • Some locations charge a fee
  • Time allocated by brand managers

The more interesting you make the sampling experience the more likely you will get positive attention.  No press ad can compare with putting your product in a consumer’s hands.  The thing is the press ad in T&T can reach over 200,000 people, while the sampling reaches a few hundred.  The latter provides intimacy over reach.

Sampling must be done really well or my advice would be for you to just stick with those press ads.

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