If we believe consumers (Study ESE 2011), 80% of them declare that the sample is undoubtedly one of the elements in the promotional mix that motivates them the most to buy a new product. The sample, an unavoidable vehicle to promote sales, acts also as a relay for the codes of the brand and it is finally a gift requested by consumers and distribution. It can also be sold, provided a few rules are followed.
Studies follow one another and they all show the consumers’ interest in samples and their importance in the choice of a product, and the shift from one brand to another. “We are fully aware of the appetite of consumers for samples, the attraction they have for these products,” confirms Isabelle Louis, Marketing Manager, Bioplan.
For brands, the first marketing challenge is to make sure that the sample is distributed to consumers who are their core-target. From this point of view, targeted mailings are very efficient, as well as solicited sendings via the internet... The press still remains the vehicle enabling to reach effectively a given target at a reasonable cost. Then, the sample must give the consumer the desire to try the product and for the test to take place in the best possible conditions. The sample must therefore be attractive, appealing, in line with the codes of the brand, the product must have been well preserved and the application must be simple, as close as possible to the gesture made with the full product itself.
For distribution, the sample is a key promotional tool.
The ultimate goal being of course, that a maximum of tests transform themselves into purchasing acts. But, like Louis underlines, “if 78% of consumers consider that product testing is a essential prerequisite prior to purchasing a make-up product, it is more difficult to measure how successful a sampling campaign was.”
The issue of measuring the impact of promotional samples, on the image or on induced sales volumes is hampered by material difficulties. Sampling campaigns are rarely isolated and they cannot be considered instrumental in a change in sales or for a successful implementation. Moreover, as points out Louis, “the cost for measuring the impact must be reasonable compared to the budget dedicated to the sampling campaign.”
To address this need, Bioplan has several solutions. The Mailpack or the cross-sampler with a reply coupon enables to collect data on consumers.