6 Rules to Planning In-Store Sampling

written by Melina

How many of us have been inside a supermarket and seen a promotional stand giving away some form of product to passing consumers? And how many of us who have interacted with the activity walked away no more knowledgeable about ‘said’ product?

Even in such a busy store environment, there are still opportunities for brands to engage effectively with consumers, over and above simply giving out free product.

Here are our 6 golden rules when planning in-store activity:

Get the Right Promotional Staff

By hand-picking staff who can effectively represent the brand, this can be a powerful tool in bringing to life the personality of the product. So more than just giving out free samples, the staff are actually representing the core values of the brand and adding an extra layer of information for the consumer.

Train The Staff

It is essential that the staff employed to represent the brand have a deeper understanding, not only of the product they are promoting but the brand itself.  Staff could get asked all sorts of questions from consumers and if they can answer them with confidence and knowledge, the consumer sees the brand as authentic and reputable.

Get the Messaging Right

By shouting out ‘free samples’, people will have no further understanding of the product which is being shoved into their hand or how it could benefit them. The importance of agreeing the key messages upfront and training the staff to deliver these effectively, is key to consumers gaining a deeper connection with the brand.

The Right Stand Design

As space is often limited in-store, the right stand design is essential to the smooth running of the activity. Even if it’s simple and cost effective, make sure that it looks neat and there isn’t rubbish strewn around it. The stand is the showcase for the brand and what message is it sending to consumers if staff are promoting a product from a poorly designed, messy stand?

Get Buy-in from the Venue

It’s important that the store or venue know about the activity and are excited about it, so that they become brand ambassadors too. Offer training for store staff and let them sample the product themselves. It is also imperative that the promotional staff are aware of where that product is sold within the store and what the price point is.

Continue the Consumer Journey

Give a reason for consumers to interact with the product beyond the initial interaction. By designing a data capture mechanic, offering a social media opportunity or even giving out a voucher, it allows people to leave the store with a reason to carry on their conversation with the brand.