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Customer Story
January 29, 2024
5
min read

Omnichannel product sampling strategy shines the light on consumer insights for family-friendly snacks

Big flavors mean big savors that make an impression. Pair that with the perk of free samples and visible brand placements in physical and digital spaces and your customers have a bunch of reasons to smile.

Imagine the market research you could get from such delight, especially if, like the CPG brand we worked with, samplers doubled their purchase intent the moment they tasted the product.

Our target: product awareness and customer insights

When a popular fruit-forward brand came to Recess to promote their wholesome, on-the-go snacks and gather insights about their target audience, we knew how to get started based on successes with other clients in increasing brand awareness and ensuring spectacular new product launches.

To begin, we wondered who we needed to reach with these samples, and where we could be to guarantee they had a nearby food retailer to purchase the product from. Our robust platform and network showed us that executing an omnichannel campaign was ripe with opportunity.

Popular fruit snack brand samples at youth sporting events.

An omnichannel product sampling approach that ensured full coverage

The original idea proposed to us to distribute samples to customers and direct them with enticing signage was great, but we do better than great once collaborative planning begins.

The strategy got both more specific and broad - Recess pinpointed the most ideal locations and events for the winsome family-friend brand and offered additional tools to gather consumer insights and drive purchases: an actionable customer survey and an effective digital advertising campaign.

Product sampling events were held at key outlet malls and youth sports events since the product line was best received by kids. Parents and other household decision-makers were the focus for surveying and digital ad retargeting.

Sampling activations are a hit with kids at local community events!

Sampling by the numbers

The comprehensive strategy resulted in outstanding numbers from just 3 outlet malls and 2 youth sports locations. Nearly 66,000 samples and promotional cards were distributed to the exact people the brand wanted to reach. Additionally, they and others near the event locations were exposed to the digital marketing campaign which garnered nearly 200,000 digital and native display impressions and much social media interaction.

The sampling experience 

While we generally know that  product sampling is an extremely effective marketing tactic to drive sales, this campaign was a clear example of how purchase intent improved greatly. People who enjoyed the product while sampling it told us more often than not that they would buy it.

How sure were they? By tracking sentiment before and after product tasting, we were able to track the change. There was a 105.2% increase in purchase intent, and 72.3% of all samplers rated that they would be likely or extremely likely to purchase within 90 days from the event even though 2 out of every 5 consumers were new to the brand. Talk about a great sampling experience!

 “My son is a snacker, so this product is perfect for a quick go to. Whether it's before I make breakfast because he's so impatient, on the way to school, in a school lunch, after school snack, etc. They are perfect and he enjoys the flavors we've tried so far. Thank you!”
Families enjoy the fruit snack samples at kids sporting events and malls.

Omnichannel product sampling guarantees goals make it in the bag

With such positive results at the sampling events, we were confident that we would see more wins for the family-friendly snacks. We were right. Our end-to-end customer tracking data revealed that 25% of people had already made purchases just a few days after. The power of an omnichannel approach was clear in influencing sales and providing the brand a clear picture of what happens after sampling.

Additionally, the respondents to the dedicated survey revealed impactful insights. Our client learned which major retailers consumers would most likely look for the products in, what ideal package sizes were, when they’d prefer to eat the snack, why they liked it for kids, and what stood out.

We can already think of ways to use that information: build the right retailer relationships, rethink pricing and packaging, scope out competitors in that time-of-day category, better focus marketing efforts, and emphasize differentiators. Boom - better sales.

Want to see similar success with your sampling strategy?

Recess can take you to the next level. With more than 15,000 opportunities for sampling which you can filter by consumer demographic, customer behavior, location, proximity to retailer, Recess can support your unique brand activation and sampling event execution in turnkey, measurable, and scalable ways. Talk to a Recess expert to learn more.

Minerva Thai
Minerva Thai
Writer at Recess

Translates super neat CPG brand experiences and strategies into words. Wants you to say hi to a dog for her.