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October 23, 2022
min read

Hydrant launches national sampling program with 4% conversion rate

Recess is the only tool we have that helps us reach a large number of consumers through sampling initiatives in a cost-effective way.

-Christina De Vecchis-Sciuto, Vice President of Marketing at Hydrant

The Goal

Drive product activations at scale across varied consumer types

Hydrant is a hydration-centric wellness brand that offers electrolyte powders for energy, immunity, and sleep. Their consumers integrate Hydrant products during their daily routines, thus becoming an essential part of their lives. Over the past few years, the brand gained national distribution in retail accounts, so they sought to continue their expansion and reach new consumers. As a direct-to-consumer brand, Hydrant relied on digital media to build awareness and acquire new customers. Christina De Vecchis-Sciuto, Vice President of Marketing at Hydrant, shared “the latest iOS update made it difficult to target people effectively, and we realized that we can’t rely on digital alone to reach consumers.” Hydrant was forced to move beyond digital advertising to reach these high-performing, “get stuff done” individuals.

Prior to Recess, Hydrant had a lean field marketing team so activating events at scale was nearly impossible. The Hydrant team tried to hire an agency to help execute their event strategy. "We talked to experiential agencies about building out the street teams for Hydrant, but they were not Hydrant employees,” says Ms. De Vecchis-Sciuto. She felt strongly about the importance of having employees speak about their product. “We wanted to activate for four weeks in specific markets, but we did not use this model because of cost." Along with the high costs of hiring brand ambassadors, Ms. De Vecchis-Sciuto decided to pass on the opportunity because of the agency’s lack of familiarity with the Hydrant products and benefits.

WeWork Community Manager promotes Hydrant samples during an exclusive Member Event.

The Strategy

Accessing more than 30,000 people with a holistic event strategy

Using the Recess platform, the brand was able to get their products in the hands of the right audience in a contextually relevant environment for Hydrant consumption occasions. “One of the key things about Recess was that it allowed us to filter the types of events based on where we felt the core consumer would be present,” says Ms. De Vecchis-Sciuto. Hydrant was able to partner with premium distribution points that catered to their core consumers across multiple target audiences. For example, Hydrant was able to target entrepreneurs at the coworking space WeWork and active lifestyle consumers at the local fitness chain F45. With Recess, Hydrant was able to reach their customers through a single portal and launch a multi-city campaign.

Hydrant activated local sampling events with an aggressive goal of reaching 30,000 people in three months. “For Hydrant, it made sense to make a big splash in one market rather than spreading ourselves too thinly,” says Ms. De Vecchis-Sciuto. “With Recess, we were able to upload our store list to instantly identify partnership opportunities at events and locations near retailers like Target and CVS where our product is sold.” Recess allowed Hydrant’s small field marketing team to execute events on a scale that would not have otherwise been feasible in such a short amount of time.

Runners enjoy Hydrant samples at the finish line.

The Success

Getting optimal results with lower costs and time savings

For Hydrant, the consumer insights were the most valuable asset that Recess provided. The Hydrant team reviewed their weekly campaign metrics and feedback provided by attendees and organizers. Based on the feedback and concurrent market research, Hydrant started reformulating their products to better serve customer needs. Furthermore, the reporting provided Hydrant with visibility into their investment and activation results across their key markets. This information was used to inform the greater field marketing strategy and empower them to make brand decisions more easily.

Hydrant also enjoyed the benefits of using the content from Recess-enabled events. The brand was able to prove their efforts in proactively launching event campaigns and connecting with customers while building a dependence at brick-and-mortar locations. “We use imagery in our presentations for retailers, and we review the reports on the activation results and the support we are giving in those markets,” says Ms. De Vecchis-Sciuto. The Hydrant team was pleased reviewing the tangible engagement with customers and considered the Recess activations successful.

The Hydrant team saved hours of time by booking their events through the Recess platform. “Recess is the only tool we have that helps us reach a large number of consumers through sampling initiatives in a cost-effective way,” says Ms. Vecchis-Sciuto. With Recess, not only did Hydrant accomplish their marketing goals, but they also saved on time and costs in the process.

F45 Fitness Studio at Cupertino promotes Hydrant samples to their members, as a post-exercise treat.

Using the Recess platform, Hydrant was able to get their products in the hands of the right audience.

Rachel Lee
Rachel Lee
Marketing at Recess

Writes about CPG marketing and the coolest brand activation campaigns. A seriously casual golfer.