Product trial comes prior to brand loyalty, particularly in FMCG, but with all low involvement products. Hence, experience motivates brand preference & brand adoption.
Create awareness and product trial through sampling and product education
Properly done, product sampling is the single most powerful way to generate awareness, product trial and first-purchase conversion to brand loyalty in fast moving consumer goods (FMCG).
Product sampling has a powerful motivational influence on consumers, touching core beliefs, values, and attitudes so as to inspire a strong bond and morale obligation. The psychology cuts to the very nature of human behaviour.
Sampling Products creates trial & causes brand adoption
Introduction to the advantages of product sampling
Why sample? Ideally, advertising, distribution, packaging and pricing should be more than ample strategic methods of motivating consumers to try a product.
More than occasionally, however, due to consumers perceiving similarity between products marketed by national and international companies, these methods are not powerful enough to break the straight re-buy behavioural pattern of consumers and, hence, trial does not occur through purchase.
Product Sampling attracts more people to try the product than TV!
Subject to a handful of variables, we KNOW that a certain proportion or range WILL start buying the product as a direct result of experiencing product sampling.
In other words - product sampling DOES get people to try the product and WILL will result in them regularly BUYING the product.
In the low involvement model, it is recognised that once a brand is tried, there will be quite a kinetic effect upon cognitive structure.
The consumer has an opportunity to re-evaluate her perception of a product and the experience of trial leads to a positive attitude toward that product and towards purchasing that product.
From the understanding that satisfaction is adequate reason to 'routinize' behaviour, successful trial is therefore critical and the most vital and major stimulation of brand loyalty.
This grasp of consumer behaviour in regard to low-involvement products helps us to understand why the offering of samples is an old and proven method of sales promotion.
By encouraging trial and use, brand loyalty is created amongst new members of the target audience.
Wise Words on Product Sampling
In business, one of the challenges is making sure that your product is the easiest to experience.
- Mark Cuban
few people know
Learn About Product Sampling
Product Sampling Facts:
► Quantitative studies show:
- Product sampling is a fundamental method that can secure up to 70% first-purchase conversion
- Product sampling, done properly, will - on average, generate 30% second-purchase conversion
► Research has identified Product Sampling can maintain resilient brand loyalty
► Product sampling can deftly position your product & displace old loyalties that would never change with advertising alone.
Product sampling strategies for a new product launch
Launch new products with the help of product sampling to establish brand adoption and build brand equity, while avoiding waste, shrinkage, cannibalisation of existing sales, and maximum conversion from other brands.
How to sample products
To successfully utilise product sampling, you must understand the "total product" is more than the contents of the container.. Once you understand the "actual" product, you can begin to formulate powerful product sampling strategy that will entrench your product in its category for years to come and powerfully cement brand equity into your value offering. ...Learn more
Common Product Sampling Mistakes
- The wrong medium of distribution for sampling
- The wrong product sample size
- The wrong product sampling package
- The wrong product sampling associations
- Not understanding the purpose of product sampling
- Destructive cost cutting that undermines the benefits of the product sampling campaign
Don't risk expensive mistakes...
A new concept in product sampling
Launch Engineering consultants have recently developed a new medium for targeted product sampling.
This method is revolutionary and innovative:
- It eliminates the constant of 'shrinkage' - stopping the many hands that help themselves to stock through the old-fashioned methods.
- FULLY accountable distribution of stock
- Inexpensive distribution costs
- Targeted only to the audience the marketer wants to sample to.
- On a significantly large enough scale to have immediate impact upon purchase cycle, brand adoption, category growth and market shares.
- Mutually beneficial to marketer and to supermarket - so supermarket sales are not cannibalised.
- Category exclusive so the effects cannot be countered and the exercise creates on-going competitive advantage.
This innovative new idea is currently in the last stages of development and interested parties should reserve their category with Launch Engineering by contacting our office.
How to sample products?
The success of a sampling program depends upon the following main points:
The product should perform and be competitive. Like any other marketing strategy, sampling will not succeed if the product cannot be accepted as satisfactory in the eyes of the consumer.
The program must be supported by distribution. A product cannot be purchased if it is not offered for sale in channels of distribution where the consumer performs the purchasing ritual (e.g. the weekly shopping trip to the supermarket). The word "trial" means more than a simple experience of product performance. Consumers must have adequate trial to enable sufficient experience which, in turn, allows the cognitive restructuring of perceptions towards the product.
"Trial" extends to the PLACE where the product sample is experienced - as much as the product which is experienced.
A sachet of shampoo, for instance, offers little opportunity of adequate evaluation if compared to the smallest retail cell. Also, the consumer must be able to recognise the product in an impulse purchase situation as many low involvement purchases are made on impulse.
Thus "trial" is just as important with packaging as it is with the product.
Practically, and economically, the successful program should offer a short pay-back period - in terms of increased distribution - and should minimise loss of sales.
Subconscious attribution of value and an attitude of favourable reaction towards the offer that can be projected to the goods in the sampling offer.
If the consumer can project positive experience onto the product involved, greater and more durable brand loyalty can be established.
The most accepted theories of interpersonal communications emphasize and recognise the power of "group opinion leaders" to stimulate information accepted by peer group members. Through product sampling, the marketer creates the perfect "breeding ground" to generate word-of-mouth advertising to further promote acceptance of this product.
In fact, a classic study revealed an in-home product sampling increased sales of a product by 60 percent during a sampling program, but 12 weeks after the program was terminated, sales rose by 233 per cent.
Regardless of where a product lies in its life cycle, product sampling should be part of a promotional mix whenever the product offers any performing facet that may be appreciated by the consumer or perceived as different from the product that is currently being purchased.
Product sampling allows competition without price, and often wins the generic user back to a branded product or converts the price-hunting consumer (without loyalty) to becoming quality conscious and brand loyal. Product sampling is a method that is simply used to stimulate the product trial process. This wins sales from competitors and strengthens a brand's position in the market place by enlarging the user base, thus increasing a product's market share.
Since the beginnings of commerce and trade, product sampling has been a guild-edged method of creating awareness while winning a brand loyal user base.
Simply, product sampling is a tool that accelerates the product adoption process. It is a strategy that was employed long before the introduction of mass advertising and communication techniques. For instance, product sampling is responsible for the initial success of many long established and well known brands. It is reported that the most effective strategy in the launch of Vaseline Petroleum Jelly in the USA many years ago was, in fact, product sampling. Vicks Vapour Rub also used product sampling as a major part of its promotional mix. The common denominator of product sampling can be found in promotional mixes of many other long established consumer products.
Perhaps the experience of ever shortening product life cycles in modern day consumer marketing has been caused by the trend to rely on mass media as the major promotional tool.
Would product sampling have reversed that trend? Maybe!
Perhaps the proven tool of product sampling could be used in these times to reverse that process.
A controlled test using Kansas City and Memphis in the USA showed a 6 per cent market share for a packaged meat in the non-sampled market yet the same product took a 28 per cent market share in the area where the product was offered for sample.
Another American test/in a beverage category, showed a 47 per cent usage rate in the sampled market but only an 8.7 per cent usage rate in the control market. Closer to home, Aim toothpaste ravaged the Dental Care category when it was sampled through a mass letter box distribution.
Consumers' perception of product sampling?
Consumers see product sampling as an opportunity to try a product with no risk. Trial is necessary before a product is accepted as suitable for long term use.
The long term effect is stronger brand loyalty and accelerated conversion to full revenue purchasing in the market place.
Experience shows that Selective Sampling, properly used, can be one of the most measurably efficient and productive marketing expenditures any company can undertake.
Research and experience shows that an average of only four out of ten people have an active interest in any given product at any given time. By selectively eliminating those disinterested people, money is not lost because product is wasted.
Determining those four "right" homes is the essence of Selective Sampling. Selective Sampling enables marketers to identify their prime prospect and place their products only in the "right" homes. Over ten years of study, through quantitative analysis and market research conversion studies, Selective Sampling is proven to be undoubtedly one of the most powerful consumer conversion tools in marketing today.
Selective Sampling is the sophisticated method of product sampling because it overcomes the traditional problems of random product sampling. Samples are only placed into homes where the product will be used and demanded by that household, yet are not placed into homes already loyal to the brand, thus no subsidising of the franchise and consequent loss of sales occur.
What type of sampling is best?
Three controlled studies on product sampling showed in-home sampling as one of the most viable and beneficial methods of sampling. In Australia, two basic forms of in-home sampling exist.
The first offers mass sampling through "letter box stuffing". This crude method gives a "cheap" image and, although per unit distribution costs are low, the cost of product wastage often makes this form method quite unattractive.
The second method of in-home sampling offers selectivity in distribution. In this case only the prime target segment can be determined and only that particular proportion of the population is sampled without lost sales from sampling to current users.
This method of product sampling is ideal except for the fact that it needs three years or more to cover a large area and the payback is lost through marketing effect by the competition.
The final, and most recent, method of product sampling is Mass Selective Sampling. This offers the benefits of selectivity, while ensuring a massive payback by covering large metropolitan areas (like Sydney) in just a few weeks. Through Mass Selective Sampling, a marketer can convert 15 per cent or more of users of competitive brands to become brand loyal to the sampled brand and all within a few weeks.
In summary, Sampling is an often overlooked and underestimated marketing strategy. Whenever used this strategy has been successful and selectivity puts this no-lose marketing tool in the reach of every marketer.
Better FMCG product sampling
Make product sampling much more effective, less expensive and more enduring with expert advice.
Using advanced consumer behaviour concepts and decades of practical experience, you can maximise your product sampling investment and results!
- When to sample and when NOT to sample
- What size of sample is best?
- How to get samples into the hands of target prospects
- How to avoid cannibalising your existing sales
- Why product sampling is so powerful - the psychology, past results, etc.
- How to incorporate sampling into your total communications/promotional mix
- When to sample
- How to forecast sales and market share effects
- Costs of product sampling (hidden & overt)
- ROI from product sampling (short & long term)
- Implications of product sampling from brand equity to channel impact
Product Sampling for New Product Launch Marketing
New products are the lifeblood of your business… don’t take risks – use trained, knowledgeable new product launch marketing consultants to be sure of success.
Speak to us for FMCG product sampling advice: The methods, dangers, and advantages of product sampling, product sampling when, what, why, which and how.