The myths of in-store and out of store sampling

Activia In-store Sampling CampaignAs brand marketers search for effective ways to launch new products or refresh existing ones, understanding the different ways of distributing samples will ensure that you give consumers the right product experience and be considered for purchase.

People are often blind sighted with great looking stats. But most of the time that is all what they are. Hotcow set out to find out what the true difference between in-store and out of store supermarket sampling really was. We were surprised that the outcome was not as black and white as we had expected.

In-store and out of store sampling both have their place in the marketing mix. It is knowing when is the right time for your brand to adopt which strategy that will appease and appeal to your target market.

The fact is that the outlay cost for in-store retailer sampling appears to much lower and more cost effective then front of store retailer sampling. But when we created a like for like comparison against the two, the numbers didn’t stack up. It was actually costly to go in-store than in front of store.

Why? Simply because with in-store sampling, you have less influence on the type of person who will represent your brand, less visibility to a wider range of customers groups, consumers receive only a small taster of the product rather then a full sample, and you have less human interaction and conversations meaning people are less likely to listen to you. Front of store sampling whilst being more cost effective to execute and reach a bigger bulk of people, you have to work harder to convince people to try the product.

Hotcow have conducted this research to pull the plug on how to get the best response from live sampling campaigns. Consumers opinions varied in response to sampling preferences, different age groups felt more attracted to in-store sampling rather than front of store sampling, and different regions again had different opinions.

The ultimate outcome is: don’t believe everything you read. Understand the stage / growth phase of your own brand and what is the best way to speak to new or existing audiences. Then you can decide on the best execution strategy to suit that goal.

Whilst activity both front of store and in-store goes on quite regularly, we were fascinated to discover that most people rarely ever see these types of experiences in action. This really drove home the point that only being seen once, your message and brand is very unlikely to stick in peoples hearts and minds. Brands need to consider how companies like Innocent and Red Bull grew their business from ensuring people were constantly reminded of the great taste of their product and ultimately growing sales.

Make a difference and try something new today. Get in touch if you would like more information about in-store v’s out of store sampling.

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