Check out our top brand campaigns of 2023 in Recess Wrapped!
Arrow Right.
April 5, 2024
min read

Sharpie S-Gel pens make their mark with bold samples in coworking spaces

Exceptional experiences require a lot of perfect elements to fall into place. Exceptional writing experiences just need Sharpie S-Gel pens. At least, that’s what we heard again and again from customers. We were excited to work with Sharpie on sampling their gel pens to key customer targets in optimal places and collecting impactful consumer insights for their teams.

Leveraging Recess’s robust network of trusted, enthusiastic partners nationwide, Sharpie was able to get their superior S-Gel pen samples in the hands of more than 62,000 people and collect over 1,100 surveys that revealed key information about their customers.

Co-working office puts on an experiential activity to feature Sharpie S-Gel pens.

Product sampling targets: driving retail sales, brand awareness, and insights collection

Customers have many options today for the office supplies they choose for personal and professional uses, but Sharpie was keen on ensuring their brand became the top choice. Not only should it be first to come to mind, it should also be the brand that customers purchase. For gel pens, they had their S-Gel pen to feature when they came to Recess for a sampling strategy.

With goals of driving retail sales, increasing brand awareness, and collecting consumer insights, Sharpie knew that Recess would be the right partner with our hyper-targeted and omnichannel expertise about sampling campaigns. Our turnkey approach ensured that they would be able to achieve their goals without worry.

Signages help co-working members better understand the product samples.
Writing up and executing a smooth sampling strategy with Sharpie

We planned to distribute packages of Sharpie S-Gel pens with promotional cards and boost efforts with social media posts and surveys nationwide. Using the Recess platform with its tens of thousands of shopper traits and behaviors allowed us to pick coworking spaces as the prime location type. To create memorable brand activations, we designed interactive writing walls.

Sharpie sampling results by the numbers

Engaging sampling experiences in more than 300 co-working spaces helped Sharpie reach more than 63,000 people with exciting S-Gel pen samples and coupons. Partners further promoted both online and offline via Instagram stories and signage in prominent places in the spaces.

It was important with all of this exposure for Sharpie to also get insights from consumers. We collected more than 1,100 survey submissions and 566 product reviews, representing a near-perfect survey completion rate despite the fact that many respondents were completely new to S-Gel pens. The product being novel to samplers didn’t stop them from purchasing. An impressive percentage of people made a purchase within days of their sampling event at a higher rate than expected!

Co-working members are excited to pick up a unique sample, perfect for the office.
Product sampling experiences leave positive permanent impressions

Our Sharpie collaboration was one of the most positively received campaigns we’ve ever done, thanks to the thoughtful and creative ways that everyone worked together to build memorable sampling experiences. 

That effort really shone through as both participants and location partners expressed their excitement about Sharpie samples. After sampling, participants showed an incredible increase in purchase intent and were eager to receive the enclosed product coupons so they could go to their nearest retailer to buy their pens.

Overall, the S-Gel pens received a near-perfect rating from participants. There was not a single negative sentiment; they genuinely appreciated the product and shared feedback on how to increase their purchase intent further.

 “The S-Gel pen is definitely more legible, neater and controlled. Love the Sharpie pen!”

Sharpie also got insights from our keen partners who observed that clients who got samples were using the pens throughout the weeks they were there. The S-Gel pens left lasting impressions on participants instead of just being the shiny new thing used only during the moment of sampling.

Sharpie samples are placed in various, high-traffic locations in co-working offices.

Sampling goals: Check

Not only did this campaign with Sharpie result in extremely positive feedback from our perspective, it also was shared by our coworking space partners that it was the best product activation campaign and sampling experience yet.

Participants had fun and got a valuable sample; our partners were associated with positive sentiments; and Sharpie was able to collect valuable insights about their consumers that they plan on using for future sampling events and in their sales strategy. For example, the volume of survey submissions was statistically significant enough for them to evaluate purchase behaviors and make hypotheses on retail relationships to consider pursuing.

Time to ink in an exciting and profitable sampling strategy of your own?

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.