Sampling activity for brands in 2022
There is nothing else quite like sampling to build brand engagement, loyalty, emotional connection and real time customer feedback
Sampling provides new customers with a small taster or free product to take home along with key brand messages and information. It creates sales uplift along with emotional, personable and memorable brand connection.
Covid saw a surge in the wellness, vegan and treat at home brand market. This amazing planet and people centred market is really engaging the imagination and buying habits of consumers. We are seeing a shift in consumer spending towards brands with values and people are keen to try the no alcohol brands and vegan brands which have been promoted online via social media. Coming out of covid – spring and summer 2022 is going to be a big opportunity for brands to engage with their customers at events, festivals and via experiential marketing activity.
We know every brand is different and we are happy to build bespoke campaigns that work for each company. We can work with small budgets alongside field sales reps to drive small retailer localised orders, tradeshow sampling activities, guerilla street marketing in on-brand areas all the way up to large scale experiential build, roadshow and festival activity. Our main aim for sampling activity is to fulfil what the brand wants to achieve and for maximum return on investment and customer acquisition whether this is measured as purchase or social media share.
I thought it would be useful to list the different options brands have with sampling – we are really happy to chat, find out about your brand and what you hope to achieve from a campaign or activity.
Guerilla and Street Marketing
High impact, localised sampling via sampling bins at train stations, busy shopping areas and outside events has always been the most popular dynamic for brand sampling. It’s highly targeted, fast and engaged with maximum product entering the hands of a large number of consumers. With QR codes on sampling collateral – staff can also quantify the sample with a scan or app download. Street marketing is a highly visual activity and the brand is able to share imagery and videography on social media for PR awareness. Guerilla Marketing is also a straightforward activity to organise. It is highly reactive. We are able to fix any permits, sampling bins, transportation of stock (be it refrigerated or chilled), staffing and also full live reporting for the activity and images for the brand.
Store Collab and Field Sales Sampling
Brands who have recently launched into new retail territory and stores are often interested in engaging customers in the stores directly. For larger retailers we are able to amplify this activity with a competition dynamic, voucher QR code redemption and a highly store specific sales drive for the particular store. For smaller retailers we can provide smaller scale sampling activity alongside field sales / sell-ins to stores and order taking.
This type of activity is more localised and allows slowly engagement, brand messaging and a longer conversation about the brand. We are also able to provide sales figures from the stores and share customer feedback on new product ranges, and market research awareness. We are able to cover cross UK regional stores – driving purchase and brand awareness outside London to cities such as Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield and eventually Europe through our partner agency in France and across Europe.
Consumer and b2b tradeshows are a fantastic and highly targeted way of sampling a new brand or product directly into the hands of buyers and new customers. People visit tradeshows with a qualified interest in the brands and products exhibiting. Sampling sparks conversation and when qualified it can lead to life changing collaborations and partnerships. Using sampling staff who are invested and engaged in your brand and company – expands presence and sales teams at shows. Our staff are trained to ask questions about visitors to shows and to forward over interested buyers to sales teams and capture data and information. My background is at tradeshows and we are able to 360 support companies however large or small. We have an excellent sustainable creative build supplier, an eco merchandise partner for tote bag giveaways, a logistics partner for stock deliveries and management and understand build set up and breakdown.
We also have global coverage and can support at European tradeshows including Anuga Cologne, Sial Paris, Tutto Milano and Gulfood Dubai.
Experiential and Roadshow Sampling
For brands with a larger vision, we are experts at organising creative experiential activity to fully immerse new customers in brands supported by sampling. We encourage brands to be as imaginative as possible. Experiential activity can include interactive games, ball ponds, live digital walls and hybrid marketing alongside social media to promote a brand on and offline. Creative activity is great as it naturally sparks conversation interest and engagement. We can fully support any roadshow, festival or experiential activity. Branded wrapped vehicles are really popular including converted VW camper vans, ice cream trucks and electric milk floats. We are able to organise high footfall permits for this activity and also any health and safety regs to organise.
Influencer, Door Drops & Surprise & Delight Sampling
Lots of brands were born online during covid and have large support from influencers with social media followings and loyalty. We are able to engage with influencers offline via surprise and delight activity and immersion with our offline experiential activity where they make appearances. This works really well and influencers share engaged content through TikTok and Instagram and can be quantified and measured by social media teams.
Measuring ROI, Data from sampling and Return on Investment
We are fully driven on maximising return on investment from sampling activity especially with the smaller brands. We know marketing is working cross budget with a social spend and our goal is to make sure the brand is achieving return from activity. We work with Bowimi to manage and track all our sampling activity. We receive live data on samples distributed, locations and we also capture the number of QR code scans and downloads for instant feedback on activity. When there is an in-store promotion we provide full sales activity return and we share all our feedback with the brand to improve on activity. Our goal is to make brands successful and to run more activity across the UK and Europe and expand markets so we want sampling to be as successful as possible.