With “experience” being a customer service buzz word, product sampling agencies are increasingly required to think creatively to produce memorable and distinct experiences that customers appreciate. The typical customer journey is a culmination of various touch points both online and instore. Brands understand that although they communicate their key differentiators, it is often the brand experience that truly bring these to life. Experience has become increasingly central to brand strategies and one of the simplest but most effective experiential method is that of product sampling.
Offering a product sample allows the consumer to try your product without having to commit to a purchase. Also known as engagement marketing, as it directly engages consumers with the brands. Offering samples raise brand awareness and provides a distinct opportunity to be memorable while adding your product to the consumers consideration set.
Due to the proximity to the customer, product sampling has increasingly become competitive. Product sampling agencies have had to think strategically and creatively to make the sample experience extraordinary, raising the bar to leverage the product sampling experience as a brand differentiator.
FMI we are the selected product sampling agency for Dunnes Stores. Working on their Simply Better brand range, we understand their brand values and the focus on quality. Our experiential product sampling campaigns are designed to support this premium positioning.
FMI created the Chef Cooking Stations concept. Cooking Stations were set up instore and managed by qualified chefs. The Chefs demonstrated how to cook delicious recipes and shared their tips and tricks when preparing dishes which the consumers ultimately got to sample.
This form of products sampling created an immediate distinction from traditional samples. While everyone likes free stuff, getting a delicious snack freshly prepared by a Chef is pretty hard to beat. Not only was this interactive and fun, but consumers got to experience first-hand the quality of the Simple Better product range.
Another part of effective product sampling is to find ways to make the experience more personal. Increasingly consumers want the authentic tailored experiences. FMI set about delivering this to consumers in Dunnes Store by offering personalised ribbons and chocolates for seasonal events like Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day.
When thinking about appointing a product sampling agency, you should look for an agency who is comfortable implementing the following:
An agency who is able to understand the broader strategic objectives and
translate the insights into an engaging instore product sampling experience
While different locations can add to the allure, it can also be tough to organise. The agency should be familiar with the various requirements different locations entail and to be familiar with the Health and Safety restrictions that may apply.
Pulling together the various elements that constitute effective product sampling can be extremely time consuming and requires excellent attention to detail. Having prior experience in project managing campaigns like this is crucial for success
Onsite storage and transport are one of the many factors to consider especially if the campaign runs for longer than a day and the location is not a secure abode.
Perhaps the most crucial of all is to ensure that the staff who deliver the experience are knowledgeable about the brand and product.
Product sampling agencies understand the old adage that ‘happiness is when experience exceeds expectations’. Finding the right agency who is bold with their creative ideas and who have the knowledge and expertise to make the plans a reality is imperative. The quality of execution is what separate the beginners from the professionals.
The potential of experiential product sampling is worth considering if it is not currently part of your marketing strategy. Get in touch with our team today to discuss how we could help you raise the bar.