The lowdown on in-store demos and product sampling

By April 6, 2017General

If you’ve ever been inside a shop, you will have seen some sort of in-store demo or product sampling campaign in action. But what is the benefit of such a strategy and, more importantly, what are the nuances that you must know?

Product sampling is a great way to promote a product.

That much is obvious. Usually, sampling is associated with a new product that needs a strong launch, but equally, such a strategy can also be used to revive an old item. If sales are flagging, there’s nothing quite like a sampling campaign to reignite interest.

Demos mean engagement.

Put cold, hard sales to one side for a moment. In-store demos are brilliant for simply getting a brand to speak and connect with their customers. In business, we’re often guilty of focusing on new customer acquisition, but that shouldn’t be at the expense of our loyal customers.

Vendors pay handsomely for demos.

Of course, you could be in the lucrative situation where a vendor wants to run a demo of a product in your store. If that’s the case, then that’s great. Demos and sampling campaigns build excitement, generate awareness and enhance a brand… which can result in a payday.

In-store demos and product sampling strategies are one of the cheapest and most effective ways of building long-term sales and brand loyalty. They require some planning and, in the case of product sampling, it’ll take more than a few samples to create amazing results.

However, don’t forget that all your jobs will be executed in-store so everything will be on your terms.

Can you execute demos and sampling strategies outside your store?

Of course you can. Many brands opt to take products on a little tour or road show. Sometimes, carrying out a campaign at a shopping centre or on the high street can prove to be even more lucrative.

Clearly, by taking a more public approach, you’re automatically widening your potential reach. However, this level of accessibility isn’t without risk. The reason that not ever demo or sampling campaign is conducted like this is that the number of variables and pitfalls increase too.

For starters, everything costs more. You may have to pay for a selling spot, you’ll need more products and more promotional staff. But also, it’s harder to get random people to connect with your business without complimentary branding.

Hotcow is a non-traditional creative agency that specialises in experiential marketing that goes viral. Our campaigns generate buzz through crowd participation, PR and content sharing. Contact us on 0207 5030442 or email us on