When most people think about product sampling campaigns, they assume the events are for a new product, but this doesn't have to be true. While sampling is a great way to introduce your customers to something they haven't seen before, it can also be used to reinforce and build on an already popular product. By choosing an old favorite in your brand, you are choosing to host a campaign for a product you know customers love that can create more conversions with the greater number of people you invite to try it. For a sampling event, your existing customers will come out for a free taste of one of their favorite products and new shoppers will have a chance to discover a classic delight. Here are seven amazing ways a product sampling campaign for a well-established product can boost sales and grow your customer base.
1. Using Existing Recognition
If your product has been in stores for years, people will have seen it on the shelves. Whether or not they've bought one, they still have that imprint of brand and product recognition in their minds. This creates a combination of interest and trust. They won't worry that your product is bad for them or potentially problematic because they know other shoppers have trusted you for a long time. This means that when your sampling campaign staff offer them a friendly cup of something delicious and vaguely familiar, shoppers are likely to happily oblige.
2. Playing on Curiosity
The very reason to hold a sampling campaign is that many people will see your product and potentially choose not to buy it. However, every opportunity passed up creates a tiny point of curiosity. Those shoppers that haven't tried your product but have seen it in the store will have wondered, however briefly, what it was like to try. With a sampling campaign, you give them the opportunity to sate their curiosity for free, something that is incredibly valuable to a certain percentage of your customers. A simple spoonful, sip, or crunchy nosh is often the key decision-making point for a curious shopper.
3. Breaking Up Shopping Routines
Especially when it comes to grocery shopping, people are creatures of habit. It's an odd truth that often we buy what we do each week because there was some nebulous 'first week' in which we made a choice and have stuck with it since then. We learn to identify the packaging of 'our brand' of coffee or lunchmeat by color and pattern as much as the words on the labels, meaning that most people don't bother to stop and consider if another option on the shelf might be more to their liking. When you offer them a sample, you break through that automatic pattern-shopping routine and let their bodies do the decision making. If your product is superior to what they normally buy, or uniquely delicious, they are very likely to adopt it into their new routine and become a happy and reliable customer.
4. Converting Customers of Other Brands
It is a common truth of human preference that we like what we know. The kind of crackers your mom bought when you were a kid are likely to be what you naturally reach for in the store as an adult. Changing your brand of anything is adventurous, but it represents a risk as we worry that the next week could be less enjoyable because of the difference. A tasty sample can quickly assure customers who are habitually loyal to other brands that your product is a worthy investment and could, in fact, make their next week better when they make the change.
5. Rewarding Your Existing Customers
When you choose to promote an old favorite product, it already has a lot of people who love it and would be delighted for a free sample in the store. This is like showing up to work on free ice cream cone day, it's unexpected but a real treat. A product sampling campaign of something your existing customers enjoy may not convert those old customers into anything new, but it offers them a delightful reward for their loyalty. Each sample that goes out to someone who already buys your product is like a little thank-you for enjoying your work.
6. Bringing Back Old Fans
For products that have been available for longer than 5 years, there will be many people who used to buy it but have since changed their routine. However, no longer buying something every week doesn't mean they've stopped enjoying your product, although they may have forgotten. Remind them with a product sampling campaign of something they used to love and would enjoy tasting again. This is a great way to bring back old fans by rekindling the flame of tasty desire for your product. Bring previous customers 'out of retirement' and encourage them to start buying your product all over again.
7. Building an Established Community
Promoting a product that already has a reasonable amount of customer support is a great way to build on established foundations. Existing customers who are happy to see you will gather around the sampling booth creating a friendly conversation about your product. They will enjoy roping new customers in to try their old favorite as much as you do and often will share their personal stories about using your product.
Product sampling campaigns can create an incredible amount of positive attention for one of your already popular products, delighting your existing customers, bringing back old fans, and creating new customers from curious shoppers who are only just now discovering your old favorite.