Product Sampling as Part of your Campaign Strategy


Compared to other sales promotion techniques, product sampling has a lasting impact. Giving away freebies to customers is an effective way of promoting a product. Reactions of customers to free samples can also become components of ads.

Although the campaign ran into the controversy of cultural imperialism, Burger King’s “Whopper Virgins’ had its own degree of success.

It had people from remote places who had never tasted burgers before comparing the Whopper and the Big Mac. No one could deny the innovative twist in the campaign. The campaign was an attempt to create the world’s ‘purest taste’.

Creative Product Sampling Techniques

There have been unusual instances of product sampling. In 2008, the rock band Oasis launched their ‘Dig Out Your Soul’ album in an ingenious manner.

On the streets of New York buskers performed the songs on the album it was released. London’s National Gallery’s ‘Grand Tour’ campaign also deserves a mention in this instance. It placed reproductions of the most famous works of the gallery around the city, accompanied by plaques and a number to phone for an audio guide.

There are three factors that have to be taken into account while understanding the psychology behind product sampling technology:

1) Reciprocity – When customers try free products they tend to feel indebted. They feel a desire to reciprocate it in the future.

2) Avoid risks – Customers have nothing to lose. They can try new products without any commitment to purchasing or any obligation of any sort.

3) Experience – Customers get a chance to taste and smell the product with free samples.

There are different types of product sampling practices:

1) Mail delivered sampling

2) Direct sampling

3) Online influencers sampling

Mail Delivered Sampling

Direct mail product sampling increases brand awareness and sales. According to a study, 73% of consumers will be more inclined to purchase a product after sampling it. There are quite a few benefits of this strategy.

Customers don’t have to leave their homes. With great bulk mailing rates it is cost-effective for the business. T

he brand’s target demographic should be considered for this method. It would be thoughtful to include a thank you note for the person receiving the product.

The sample must be of adequate size to give the recipient a clear idea of the product. The quality should also be similar to the real product, otherwise it would discourage the recipient from following up with further interest.

Direct Sampling

Some examples of direct methods are events, street corner sample promotions and hand-outs in stores.

This method is helpful because businesses can reach more customers, the products are made more visible and customers are engaged through personalized experience of the product. Costco’s free sampling makes the stores more appealing and the customers more loyal. The samples lead to cravings. Once you nibble on a slice of cheese, you are likely to want more.

Online Influencers Sampling

Influencers help build relationships between followers and a business. The business can reach a larger audience with enhanced brand awareness. O.b. tampons’ influencer sampling is a success story.

They not only distributed free samples, but by using influencer video segments to promote the free product offer, 39% of consumers who participated in the survey were converted to a customer since the trial.


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