For as long as marketing has existed, proponents have understood the power of a free gift. Experts point to the power of “reciprocity,” where people feel obliged to give something back whenever they receive a gift of any kind. While this feeling may be subliminal and difficult to quantify, it is nevertheless a good reason to consider giving free samples as a smart product promotion strategy. If you’re looking for a new way to sell your wares, how should you go about this?
If you’re like many small business owners worrying about every penny they spend on marketing, you may think this is a crazy idea. You may think you’re simply giving away money in the form of a product as you’re not getting any immediate compensation. But instead, look at this strategy as a solid marketing tactic, and you can always put the costs of developing each product down as a marketing expense anyway.
But the trick is to look at this from a bigger perspective. It will be much tougher to get someone to pick up your product on a supermarket shelf (or wherever you sell) if they have no experience and do not know what to expect. Once you’ve given them a sample to test, they’ll be able to tell if they like it there and then, which could prompt them to make that all-important purchase in the future.
When your free sampling approach impresses someone enough for them to want to buy, don’t underestimate the exponential effect. They may tell other family members or friends about their experience and advise them to check out your product. Word-of-mouth promotion is also an essential marketing tool, so you will have killed two birds with one stone.
Of course, you will need to develop a plan and strategy and follow companies that have gone before you and already enjoyed success.
You could begin by offering samples in your own shop. By doing so, you may tempt regular customers to buy something different rather than stick to their weekly predictable shopping list. Try to publicise your sampling activity in the local community so that you draw additional people into the environment that way.
Or, you could take your show onto the street. Offer a sample of your product to people as they come and go. You may also need some backup collateral to give interested parties information so they know where to get more samples or buy the product.
Why not think about sponsoring a major local event? This could score you good points within the community as people would see that you are giving back in this way. Make sure that you get permission from the event organiser to give free samples as part of your engagement. Here, you are hitting people in a friendly environment, and they may be far more likely to engage and enjoy your product.
As you can see, product sampling is a great strategy so long as you plan it carefully and, importantly, have some good brand ambassadors on hand to do the heavy lifting. Clearly, you need the best event staff for this purpose, and they’ll need to be outgoing, friendly, professional and able to motivate others. But where do you find good promotional staff, corporate event staff or exhibition staff members who are cut out for this type of role? Why not work with one of the country’s expert organisations with plenty of experience when it comes to sourcing staff for sampling services? Reach out to Eventeem for further information.