Many brands have huge success with product sampling campaigns, because product sampling is a form of automatic segmentation.
You see, let’s suppose a company is releasing a new product. Say, for instance, a new type of fruit drink.
That business might think that it has a pretty good handle on their target audience. It might be kids, teenagers, sports enthusiasts… for the purposes of this example, specifics don’t really matter.
Now let’s imagine that they execute a product sampling campaign at a shopping centre. As we know, giving away free samples of a product is hugely important for creating brand awareness and making product iterations, but it’s also good for testing out different markets.
Suppose a completely new demographic of people took a shine to this drink. This one small piece of data could unlock a potentially huge gold mine of opportunity.
Product sampling is also great for testing a hypothesis. Take alcohol-free wine brand Eisberg, for instance. They have rolled out two new sparkling wines in the UK because they believe that they can tap into the booming Prosecco market.
As time goes on, will they target men or women? And what sort of age group? Having a healthy drinking habit is a big issue in the UK, but will a portion of the Prosecco market be receptive to an alcohol-free drink over the long-term?
Only time will tell, but Eisberg are making the most of sampling opportunities. They agreed a sponsorship deal with the Tour of Britain, which has given them the chance to offer drinks samples to over 10,000 people.
Product sampling initiatives allow businesses to trial certain ideas and gather real-life feedback and data. The reality is, regardless of the niche, no one can accurately predict how a market will respond to a new idea. The answer is to test, test and test again.
It just makes for common sense. Rather than committing lots of time, money and effort on some sort of huge launch, new products should be slowly phased in to a business strategy. Decision-makers need to see that an item is a good fit for the industry.
Very few products explode into a market and are immediately successful. That’s just the retail equivalent of winning the lottery. Actually, well-loved products are developed and carefully nurtured, from the drawing board right through to a shop shelf.