Sampling is dead. Long live the brand experience!

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Sampling is dead. Long live the brand experience!

  1. 1. In the beginning It all began in the 19th century with US soap manufacturer Benjamin Babbitt using sampling as a way to get the whole nation advocating his soap. Today, that level of scale and ambition is still inherent within sampling. Brands want to get inSAMPLING as many hands as possible, but that doesn’t necessarily mean advocacy will follow.IS DEAD. An evolving consumer We live in an age where we are the ultimateLONG LIVE curators of our worlds. We ‘like’ and ‘follow’ whoever we please.THE BRAND And because modern life is hectic, we’re more likely to avoid interactions, however transactional, that we deem ‘unnecessary’.EXPERIENCE. Even if you manage to get your product into theAre the days of traditional hands of 100,000 people.sampling dead? We think so.Here we explore how getting •How do you know they ‘get’ your brand? In the summer of 2011, The Loungeproduct into consumers’ hands •How can you guarantee their future engagement created the ‘social showering’ with your brand? phenomenon at UK festivals tois becoming more exciting. encourage guys to experience the Sampling really shouldn’t be just a numbers benefits of Lynx in a new and engagingWe’ve all been there…whether it’s making our way game anymore. It plays a role, but it isn’t way beyond traditional samplingthrough a busy train station or ambling through ahigh street – we’re struck by a branded presence everything. mechanics.and handed a sample. www.theloungegroup.com/lynxshowerFrom bread to booze, cereal to soap – sampling istypically an FMCG’s first and only choice in terms ofgetting their brand into the consumer’s hand. Brands need to think about the value that GÜ provided a branded can be derived through every interaction.Particularly a new product launch. retreat last December,However, we know that consumers are wising up. encouraging consumers Brands need to ENRICH every consumerThe interruption age is truly dead. To get consumers to rest their weary feet, interaction to deliver that value.to understand the benefits of your brand, your be made-over in styleactivity needs to run deeper. Read on and we will tell and try out GÜ puds in ayou the what, why and how. sparkling, decadent thoughtreport#1In the beginning environment.
  2. 2. It’s all in the experience It’s about reinforcing brand values THE LOUNGE GROUP’S TOP TIPSProviding experiences beyond sampling Basic sampling says what about your brand andenables brands to gain traction with their its values? By doing something humorous, 1. Create a destinationaudiences and command real interest. challenging, educational, mysterious or childish Somewhere standout that people want to head to, rather than be interrupted by. with it, you can fully engage the consumer with your brand’s personality and values. 2. Facilitate exploration and discovery Help your consumers to understand your It’s about delivering competitive brand and have fun with it – they’re more stand-out likely to share it. When your competitors are sample-zigging, zag 3. Understand the needs of the consumer away with an experience! Be bold and category- A brand experience might look cool, but will challenging, you’ve got so much more to gain. your consumer enjoy it and will it add value? We make sure our ideas are intelligent The wonder of Word of Mouth (founded on real consumer insight) and we We want to get people talking. Word of mouth is always test out ideas with our consumer critical to drive advocacy as it’s 10 times more network to make sure they’re spot on. effective than TV or print!(1) And now within the age of social media – it’s never been quicker or 4. Use brand experiences to drive interaction and content in other Hendricks Gin ‘Refined Courtship Clinic’ ran easier for your audience to spread the word. channels in the build up to Valentines day. Providing Brand experiences aren’t random stunts or visitors with a Hendricks G&T whilst And the great thing about brand experiences is one-offs, they’re the ‘living, breathing’ part of immersing consumers in the Victorian world that they’re naturally built to drive WOM. They’re the marketing mix, which have huge PR and of romance and courtship encouraged interactive, engaging and allow consumers to get social media potential. More on this in product trial whilst educating about the closer to your brand than ever before. another issue. brand’s story and personality. 5. Express yourself Because of the level of engagement typically Your experience must be an expression of generated, people who get involved in a live your brand personality, don’t forget that. brand experience are also likely to spread theHere’s a bit about what brand experiences can word – to an average of 17 people each.(2) 6. Be more than transactionaldeliver, that sampling alone cannot. The best brand experiences are a rich It’s these sorts of numbers that matter. dialogue between brand and consumer –It’s about engaging, entertaining sampling is always one sided. Don’t fall intoand informing Sampling is a transaction, which delivers product the trap of offering ‘creative sampling’. ThinkGrab your audience’s attention. Create into hand without the additional engagement experience at all times.something they proactively want to get involved status and consequent WOM driversin because it adds value to them immediatelyand/or in the longer term. This could involve 1. Buzz Marketing The Lounge Group is a brand experienceentertainment, developing new skills, a 2. Experiential marketing: A practical guide by Shaz agency that uses intelligence and insight,challenge or a game. Be remembered. Smilansky through our network of 10,000 consumers, to develop effective ideas that connect with your audience.

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