The power of samples & social media marketing in 2021

Feb 11, 2021

Who doesn’t love a freebie? The novelty of being given something for nothing is an utter treat for consumers. For brands, the benefits of sampling can be multiple, not least of which is to acquaint shoppers with new products.

Where it all began.
A little-known fact is that sampling is not a modern concept. In fact, the first sampling campaign documented was in the 19th Century for Babbit Best Soap, which gave away thousands of bars of soap, in special packaging bearing a simple tagline reading, “A fair trial is all I ask for it”. Believing the soap was superior, Babbit gave it to customers free to test. Based on this novel “try before you buy” approach, shoppers were hooked and became loyal customers, which is the holy grail for all brands.

Between 1894 and 1913, Coca-Cola also relied heavily on free samples to get the word out about their new product, usually by mailing out coupons to drug stores and random customers. The company estimates that during the 20-year period, 1 in 9 Americans were given a free drink courtesy of Coca-Cola, which was a huge reason for the company’s early growth compared to the countless competitors making similar products at the time.

The benefits.
Giving samples to consumers creates a reciprocity that usually results in them purchasing the product and, in many cases, becoming committed brand advocates, referring the product to friends and family.
Giving away samples cuts through the noise and creates a buzz around the brand and places your product in the hands of a potential consumer. For example, if you buy a moisturising cream at the cosmetic counter and they give you a sample of the cleanser, it immediately feels like a treat. The next time you purchase the moisturiser you are more likely to also purchase the cleanser which you loved when you sampled it.

Changing ways.
Throughout Covid and lockdown, there are fewer shopping trips, less browsing, less impulse shopping, and no opportunities to sample. Switching brands is driven predominately by availability or price.
As consumers move towards subscription streaming platforms, the traditional TV advertising exposure that brands would have relied on is dwindling. Social media marketing has become more important. With lockdowns set to continue, social media usage in 2021 will continue to grow. During 2020 there were 150 million more social network users worldwide. The Special Covid-19 Edition of The CMO Survey found that social media has become critical to marketing during the pandemic. With social media marketing being prioritised, marketers are citing “increased acquisition of new customers” as their top outcome for social media in 2021.

But how does this impact sampling?

Sample It solution.
Sample It is a brand to hand solution, sending samples directly to consumers’ doors. We have a highly engaged social media audience, who share their unboxing and the brands within the Sample It box online. You effectively engage with an online army of social media brand advocates sharing their experience of the samples in the Sample It box.

Sample It provides the opportunity for consumers to experience new and different products while at home. They get to share their sample ‘treat’ experience with their friends and family on social media, with many going on to add the sample products to their weekly shop. At the moment we are all craving a new experience, something new to talk about and something that is exciting and helps us to escape from the monotony of our current environment. Sample It, and the products contained in the box are a welcomed distraction. Recipients also receive a survey, affording valuable feedback on the products in the box, giving brands honest, quantifiable, consumer feedback.

Is your product marketing in need of a little excitement and do you want to get into the hands and homes of your Irish customers while building brand engagement online? Then think about using Sample It, and really give your customers something to talk about.