Chloe's Ice Pop Product Sampling - Portland, OR
Secret Deodorant Music Concert Product Sampling - Central Park, New York City
Supermarket Seafood Product Sampling Company Example - Chicago, Il
Scharffen Berger Chocolate Product Sampling - Googleplex, Mountain View, CA
Vitamin Supplement Product Sampling Street Team Company Example - Financial District, New York City
Cheese Product Sampling Marketing Activation - Seattle, Washington
Scharffen Berger Chocolate Product Sampling at Holiday Ice Skating Rink - Union Square, San Francisco
GNC energy bar street team product sampling marketing - New York City

PRODUCT SAMPLING and Why It's Essential

Sampling increases brand awareness, shares your story, and gains market share

Get your brand sample into people's hands, homes, and workplaces

Reach ideal audiences at the right time with product sampling and brand demos

Align your brand sampling with specific lifestyle activities

Incentivize sales with call-to-action coupons and promo codes

Extend your sampling impact via social media contests


What is the definition of product sampling?

Product sampling is the distribution of trial-size samples for people to experience a brand and incentivize sales.

A strategic product sampling initiative makes a brand appealing, memorable, and shareable.

It can take place in a variety of environments; on public sidewalks, inside stadiums, outside transit stations, and in-store.

Typically samples are presented via a well-trained brand ambassador to converse with people, answer questions, and demo brand benefits.  

Ideally, a brand sampling concept is a multi-sensory experience involving smell, taste, touch, and sound. 

Initiatives can take on many forms ranging from micro-experiences consisting of a sample and a few words to an elaborate experiential marketing brand demo.

Strategic and creative product sampling initiative weave the brand story throughout presentation, message, and call-to-action.

Although product sampling is predominantly leveraged to introduce people to new products, smart brands set up year-round initiatives to ensure a continual flow of new customers. 

Note product sampling is often categorized under shopper marketing or retail marketing by specific brands and agencies.


Product sampling strategy checklist:

1.) Establish your goals (e.g., awareness, demoing product relevancy, immediate sales, etc.) 

2.) Know your ideal customer, and choose locations they frequent

3.) Integrate sampling booths or signage 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-activation to incentivize purchases

8.) Integrate social media activities, contests, and promotions whenever possible 

9.) Budget for an onsite manager to oversee set up, 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


Once you have your strategy aligned, it is time to create a concept to attract, engage, and motivate people to purchase your product. 


Top 10 product sampling ideas and tactics:

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 is a natural fit for most consumer product goods (CPG) brands, and with a bit of creativity, it can work well for service-based businesses and apps too.

We got covered nationwide from New York City to Los Angeles to Chicago and every city in-between. 

ALT TERRAIN helps companies streamline their product sampling needs from staffing to booth build-outs to logistics. 

Contact ALT TERRAIN for experiential, brand story-centric product sampling ideas, strategies, pricing, and company examples.

Get your brand into people's hands!