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Product Sampling Psychology Is A Win-Win For All

Posted by Sonas on Aug 8, 2017 10:30:00 AM
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What's going on in a consumer's noodle when they engage in sampling products? Well, according to psychology experts, all sorts of good stuff. And, in the end, everybody wins! Consumers have a great experience and get a freebie. Companies get a new customer and increased revenue. If you haven't tried the marketing strategy of product samples, here are 6 benefits you are missing out on:

1. Turning Risk Averters Into New Customers

Risk aversion is a fancy way of describing people who are loathe to try something new in case it turns out that they wasted their hard-earned money on something they end up hating. For people with commitment issues, product samples are a dream come true. For wary consumers who tend to endlessly research a new product as a prospective purchase, a free sample makes them feel like a winner. And then there are the stodgy die-hards who prefer a rut, fearful of the unknown. A free sample draws them out of their safety zone to new territory that they may find simply delightful. 

2. The Lucrative Nature Of Reciprocators

Have you ever done a kindness for someone who turned around and did a kindness for you? Did you suddenly find yourself going round and round in this endless cycle of trying to "out-kind" one another? People who are strongly motivated by feelings of reciprocity never know when to stop! And these are the types of consumers who will turn right around and buy a product after sampling it. Resisting the purchase is simply beyond their control. They feel obliged to say, "Thank you for that little bit. Now, here, let me do this for you."

3. The Easy-Connect With Sentimental Souls

You know those people who have all sorts of useless, outdated bits and bobs in closets and drawers? Quite often the reason they keep those seemingly worthless objects around is because of a sentimental attachment. A common reason for sentimental attachment might go something like this, "Sure, that broken camera can't do anything but collect dust but it once belonged to Grandpa! And he took his first picture of me as a baby with that very camera."

Did you know that the same connection can be made with sensitive consumers who try a sample of your product? It's true! The intimacy of tasting and touching is sometimes all it takes for a sensitive soul to develop a connection or bond with a product. For example, a major sampling company reported that by offering samples of beer, major retailers experienced a 71% boost in sales. For a lover of suds, all it takes is a scent of hops and splash of wheat and a lasting love-match has been made.

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4. The Profit In Fun

Let's face it, for the consumer, sampling is fun. Who doesn't notice the sample booth set-up and make an immediate beeline for it? Even someone who just came into the store for milk and diapers and have their spouse and baby waiting in the car will still take time for a sample detour. And what about that little thrill that comes with thinking that somehow you managed to game the system by getting something for nothing? For the company giving away the freebies, a spirited consumer is now more likely to purchase a product they hadn't thought about before simply because it makes them feel absolutely giddy.

5. The Value Of Talk

And fun-filled exuberance lends itself to chatter. A sampling consumer goes away as a Chatty Cathy who shares their experience with others. These "others" then become more inclined to try your product. Other shoppers in the same store who spy someone's little sample cup or tidbit on a napkin will ask, "Where did you get that?" They will then be promptly directed to the sample booth. Marketing research indicates that people who received a freebie talked about that item 20% more than another item they purchased sample-free. 

6. And Then Some

Did you know that the surprise of receiving something free, like a sample, evokes the same emotions as when a person receives a gift? That's why sampling is a sound strategy despite the diminutive size of what is received. It is the element of surprise in receiving something unexpected and seemingly undeserved, rather than the quantity, that moves consumers toward a purchase. That's because consumers know that to receive a product they should pay that product's price. To simply have a company place it in their hands, obligation-free, why that's just so nice! And the final result for such a lovely and unexpected surprise is that, for the most part, a consumer will usually end up spending more money on that brand than they would have otherwise. 

So How Do You Sample? 

The type of product may determine how you craft your sample strategy. For example, a sample of laundry detergent may simply be a give-away in a cute, tiny bottle. That's pretty easy. However, if a food company is launching a new pizza flavor, you will need a set-up where the pizza can be cooked, sliced and served by a marketing professional. Once your strategy is devised, here is what you can expect: 

  • A sales increase of 20-40%
  • A goodwill image branding of your product with the public
  • Consumers becoming brand advocates as they share a positive product experience with other consumers
  • Capturing a new market as consumers switch brand loyalty to yours

Why Engage A Marketing Professional For A Sampling Strategy? 

Marketing professionals already know exactly what to do. They can take sampling programs already proven to be successful and tailor them to your brand's unique characteristics. Experienced marketing firms already have the talent available to effectively engage the public or can provide the necessary training for your own employees to play the role of sample ambassador. With recognized leaders in manufacturing and retail using professional marketing teams for their sample strategies, any company would be wise to follow in those same footsteps. So partner with in-store sampling leaders to take your brand awareness to the next level.

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