Sampling is a powerful tool that helps brands connect directly with their audience. Samples and sampling events are a useful tool for consumers who prefer to try a product before committing to a purchase and events can take many forms including (but not limited to) pop-up booths, experiential zones, product demos, and product launches.
As a leading event staffing agency, Elevate has vast and varied experience with sampling events. We’ve seen first-hand how brands can use sampling to showcase the unique features of their products and create an emotional connection with their audiences. Here we share some of the most successful sampling events we’ve seen and show the many reasons that sampling can be a major boost for brands.
1. A first-hand consumer experience – creating loyalty and connection
More than simply telling consumers about a product, the most obvious magic in providing a sample of the product is that the consumer can experience it. They can see and feel the product and understand any unique features. This tactile experience creates a personal connection that leads to enhanced awareness and can build brand loyalty. These connections are also more likely to translate into purchases with consumers proven to be more likely to buy a product they’ve tried before.
Elevate worked with Benefit Cosmetics to manage sampling events across the UK, EU and US. We recruited teams of beauty staff for Benefit’s Fan Fest Mascara both in stores and outdoors in immersive inflatable pop-ups called the “Lash Fantasy Playhouse”. This activation put Benefit’s products into consumers’ hands to try, with the added benefit of generating content for the customer to share on their socials.
2. Increasing brand awareness – big crowds and word of mouth
Sampling is arguably the most effective tool for increasing brand awareness. Properly organised sampling events can reach massive numbers of people, both target and new audiences. There is an added benefit to successful sampling where consumers who enjoyed the product will promote it to their friends and family and build brand recognition organically.
Elevate DACH joined forces with Uber Eats when they wanted to reinforce their presence in Germany. The main objective was to raise brand awareness and educate consumers about the app.
Elevate teams recruited event staff to engage potential customers in five key cities, distributing 160,000 coupons with an engagement rate of 26%!
We were able to highlight 180k engagements, capture essential data and provide insights into consumer behaviour using our bespoke brand intelligence platform Elevate Impact. The overall campaign was a massive success, proving Elevate’s expertise as an event staffing agency across both global and local markets. And showing, again, the high value of sample-based activations.
3. Understanding consumer data – building a valuable database for the future
A major advantage of sampling and sampling events is the natural procurement of data.
Our events staff are particularly adept at gathering feedback through consumer interaction. This is a direct connection to consumer behaviour and is a vital tool that brands can use to improve their offering and tailor marketing strategies according to consumer needs. Sampling events are also a natural forum for questionnaires, competitions and giveaways which create a valuable database for future marketing and sales initiatives.
Since 2022 Elevate has been working with Waitrose & Partners to provide food sampling staff for in-store tasting (sampling) across 70 UK stores. To ensure that all the relevant data was captured across each different brand sampled, our ambassadors are trained specifically on each product through a combination of quizzes and updates from Elevate HQ as well as interactive training videos and infographics. Our teams provided Waitrose with weekly data reports that Waitrose can share with their suppliers. The Waitrose projects have so far sampled over 900k products and our staff have had over 1m engagements for the year to date.
Data from our weekly reports show the total number of engaged consumers, samples distributed, NPS score and conversion rate. Access to this data means Waitrose can provide detailed feedback to clients about how their products were received (and how they might be improved).
Brand sampling – a proven recipe for success
Sampling is a powerful tool that can drive significant results for a brand, particularly when integrated into events. Sampling enables brands to create an emotional connection with their audience, increase brand awareness, and collect valuable data. Sampling can also provide insights into consumer behaviour and help brands stay ahead of their competition.
If you’re planning to utilise events as a marketing channel, consider the benefits of sampling in achieving your marketing goals. As a global events staffing agency, Elevate can support your brand by providing exceptional event staffing services.