PRODUCT SAMPLING and Why It's Essential
Product sampling increases brand awareness, generate leads, and drive sales
Get your brand sample into people's hands, homes, and workplaces
Reach audiences at ideal times and places with product sampling campaigns
Align your CPG sampling with ideal customer lifestyle activities
Incentivize product sales with coupons and promo codes
Extend your product sampling impact with social media
Be the first to share and people will remember you
What is product sampling?
Product sampling is the distribution of trial-size samples to spark interest and transform people into customers. It is a tried-and-true demand generation marketing tactic leveraged by consumer product goods (CPG) brands.
Companies leverage creative product sampling to introduce new products, reach untapped customer segments, and foster stronger brand engagement.
Sampling is especially effective for higher-priced products, making it a popular tactic among beauty companies. When you allow people to try before they buy, it overcomes their purchase hesitations.
Typically, these product samples are presented by well-trained brand ambassadors who aim to entice individuals, provide information, and showcase the benefits of the product.
Product sampling often serves as the first touchpoint between consumers and a brand. It is particularly valuable for new products or brands striving to make a mark in a competitive market. A well-planned product sampling campaign ensures that brand interactions are relevant, memorable, shareable, and sales-oriented.
Effective sampling campaigns weave your brand narrative throughout the presentation, conversation, and call-to-action.
Product sampling can take place in various settings, with the following tactics being among the most popular:
Street Sampling -This traditional method involves distributing product samples to people in high-traffic areas, such as outside transit stations, near concert venues, and in bustling shopping districts.
Event Sampling - Participating in events like concerts, festivals, and sports stadiums, offering access to large audiences in a single day. Event sampling often includes tables, tents, and props to capture attention and enhance brand outcomes.
In-Store Sampling - Collaborating with retailers to establish sampling stations within their stores is an effective way to introduce your product to new customers and facilitate immediate purchases.
Gifting - This approach involves pleasantly surprising independent shops, offices, and hospitals with product samples, sometimes referred to as "shop drops" or "guerilla gifting."
Lifestyle Sampling - A marketing strategy that connects your brand with people via their values, aspirations, and interests. For example, you could sample your brand at yoga studios, dance classes, or Broadway theater shows.
Creative Activation - This tactic combines product sampling with one-of-a-kind brand experiences. It isn't something brands activate daily; it occurs more around holidays, brand anniversaries, or other special occasions. The reach of creative activation sampling is limited, so it relies heavily on influencers and social media to spread the impact.
Product Sampling Services
ALT TERRAIN is a product sampling agency that specializes in creating and executing innovative and engaging sampling campaigns. We work with brands of all sizes to develop sampling strategies that align with their specific goals and objectives. Here's what to expect when working with us:
1.) Sampling Strategy Development: Creation of sampling strategies tailored to reach and influence your ideal customers.
2.) Product Sampling Structure: Brand assets and activities to attract, engage, and move people.
3.) Logistics and Staffing: We handle all aspects of product sampling logistics, staffing, training, and shipping.
4.) Activation and Management: We actively manage, document, and assess your product sampling program.
5.) Continuous Improvement: We apply insights and enhancements on an ongoing basis.
No matter what your product sampling goals may be, ALT TERRAIN is well-equipped to help you achieve them. Our team of seasoned professionals excels at developing and executing successful sampling campaigns.
How to plan for your product sampling marketing campaign
1.) Establish your goals (e.g., awareness, demoing product relevancy, sign-ups, immediate sales, etc.)
2.) Know your ideal customer, and choose locations they frequent
3.) Integrate sampling booths or signs to pique people's interest from afar
4.) Utilize well-trained and outfitted brand ambassadors
5.) Support with a logistics team to receive, store, and transport, specifically for sampling products at events
6.) Use trial-size, packaged product samples so people can easily place them in their pocket or purse
7.) Include an irresistible call-to-action to incentivize purchases
8.) Integrate social media activities, contests, and promotions whenever possible
9.) Budget for an onsite manager to oversee setup, make improvements in real-time, and document the sampling
10.) Measure estimated impressions, engagements, consumer comments, and social media impact
11.) Secure proper insurance to cover the public, location, and the sampling staff
Top 10 product sampling ideas
1.) Surprise-and-delight commuters with a product sample outside transit stations
2.) Standout with costumed characters and attention-generating signage
3.) Activate sampling near locations where people can make a purchase
4.) Integrate influencer visits as part of your sampling campaign
5.) Promote sampling activations before, during, and after on your social media channels
6.) Target trade shows, competitor shops/happenings, and people heading to festivals
7.) Incentivize people to share the sampling experience on social media
8.) Complement sampling efforts with geotargeted social media buys
9.) Tie in your sampling concept with a holiday, national days, and awareness months
10.) Build in a charitable or cause marketing call-to-action
Product sampling teams available in every major US city:
New York City, NY
Los Angeles, CA
San Antonio, TX
San Diego, CA
New Orleans, LA
Product sampling marketing is a natural fit for most consumer goods brands, especially food, beverage, and beauty companies.
How, when, and where you activate your product sampling makes all the difference.
Go beyond basic tabling distribution, adapt a story-centric approach to give people a memorable, shareable experience.
Enlist a product sampling agency to streamline planning, inventory management, fabrication, shipping, storage, management, training, and reporting.
We'd love to hear about your brand and goals; please introduce yourself.
Get your brand into people's hands!
Product sampling marketing FAQ
Product sampling marketing is the act of giving trial-size samples to people for them to experience your brand.
This form of marketing takes place in supermarkets, on-the-street, at events, and host of other locations.
Product sampling is primarily utilized by consumer product companies (CPGs) as it converts a high percentage of people into customers.
Connect with ALT TERRAIN to learn more about product sampling strategies and pricing.
Product sampling best practices:
1.) Focus on one main goal (e.g. on-the-spot sale, online purchase, etc.)
2.) Select sampling locations where your desired customer frequents
3.) Train your staff on the brand history, story, benefits, and FAQs
4.) Create a presence that piques people's interest, represents the brand well, stimulates the senses, and functions for your logistical needs
5.) Ensure safety and cleanliness of your space, setup, staff, and customers
6.) Outfit your sampling staff with, at a minimum, branded caps and shirts
7.) Include a irresistible, time-sensitive offer people to purchase the product
8.) Document your sampling activation in real-time for quality assurance and content marketing purposes
Product sampling marketing rates vary widely depending upon the venue, setup, number of activation dates, staffing needs, and numerous other factors.
Share your brand sampling goals with ALT TERRAIN and we'll be glad to provide you an estimate.
Product sampling conversion rates depending upon the product, location, and offer, although it tends to be in the 5-25% range making it one of the more effective ways to create new customers.
Here is a list of the most common product sampling marketing strategies:
1.) Sample products as close to the purchase point as possible
2.) Sample products during people's mass transit commutes
3.) Sample at festivals, concerts, and similar events to associate your brand with people's enjoyable memories
4.) Sample products to students on-and-off campus
5.) Sample at or near high-profile locations or happenings for content marketing purposes
For product sampling marketing strategies for your brand, please get in touch with ALT TERRAIN for a complimentary proposal.
Essential information to share with an agency to produce an effective product sampling marketing initiative:
1.) Brand goals
2.) Ideal customer profile
5.) Size, weight, and type of product sample
6.) Product sample logistics (e.g., pick-up, storage, etc.)
7.) Offers available to incentive purchase
8.) Marketing assets available (e.g., sampling booths, table covers, tents, outfits, props, etc.)
9.) Any existing supermarket or venue partnerships
10.) What other marketing elements are in-the-mix (e.g., digital, sponsorships, outdoor advertising, etc.) at the same time as the sampling initiative