Do you run a business where sampling is possible? There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be taking advantage of this fantastic business strategy!
When I first started my side hustle, one of the first things I learnt in training was the power of sampling. Prior to this time I had learned the power of sampling from Alali Hart, who started the Clarins franchise in Nigeria, but never had the opportunity to practice it since I didn’t have a product that could be sampled.
give, give, give!
When Alali Hart started her business she had no shop, no outlet, and just a few cartons of Clarins products. At the time there was no internet in Nigeria, and having no huge capital from which to open a shop, she had to work her way up, and the primary way her mother company taught was giving away free samples; they encouraged their partners to give miniature samples out and expect at least 50% of the recipients to make a purchase. Today, Montaigne Place has a brand portfolio that includes BlackUp Cosmetics, Clinique, Elizabeth Arden, and Murad.
Still not convinced you should give away free samples? Consider these:
- When you distribute samples of a product to potential customers, it is an introduction which marks the start of a relationship between the consumer and the brand. Exposure is key.
- People like free stuff. That’s the truth. When you sample, customers will associate your business with the pleasant experience of receiving something free of charge and they’re more likely to pay attention, and patronize you. Even if they can’t afford or use it, the law of reciprocity is such that they may think of someone who can.
- Sampling makes work easier for your staff as it gives them an excellent way to introduce a new product to customers, instead of promoting the product by merely praising it, or just leaving it on the shelf and hoping customers will buy it.
- Nothing beats an experience. No matter how nice the advertising is, no matter how much you talk about the benefits of your product, the truth remains that the taste, smell, feel, or efficacy of a product can only be known by trying it. Once a customer experiences your product and is hooked, that’s it. As long as they’re your target market (which also means they can afford it) they will become your customer.
- Free samples help you compete with existing brands and win. If your competitors have been around for a while or they’re even a household name, it may be difficult to shift customers’ allegiance from what they’re already used to buying. However, if they get the opportunity to try your brand through a free sample, they can compare it with the brand they’re used to, and you have a better chance of converting them.
- A customer who receives free samples from you can turn into an evangelist! If they enjoy it, you may find them telling others about it and even extending free samples to them. This kind of word-of-mouth advertising can be more powerful than any other, and bring in lots of customers who will in turn help promote your business the same way. And to think it only cost you some free samples!
If you have a product that allows for sampling, and you’re sure your product is a winner, don’t waste time. Include a sampling budget in your business and watch your customer base increase!