The psychology behind free samples: why freebies keep customers

Free samples are great, but the concept of giving something you’ve invested in away for free can seem somewhat daunting for many businesses. After all – if your customers aren’t paying for your products, then you are.

However, that simple fact shouldn’t be enough to dissuade you from the benefits of product sampling. In fact, free samples can generate a huge amount of sales for you over time, sometimes boosting profits by as much as 2000%!

Product samples allow you to introduce your new products to unfamiliar audiences, foster loyalty with customers and expand the knowledge your customers have about your products.

Here, we’ll look at the psychology behind why product sampling keeps customers coming back for more.

Helping customers make choices

When it comes to buying something, your customers go through something called the “buyer decision process”, when they need to make a purchase. They begin by recognising that they have a problem or desire before they start seeking out a potential solution.

A huge amount of information can influence a shopper’s decision when they’re making a choice in the saturated marketplace. Everything from price to availability can play a part.

Product sampling can help your company to cut through some of this noise, convincing your customer to make a purchasing decision that works in your favour. Because your customer can try the product before they buy it, the risk of purchasing something new is diminished.

The rule of reciprocity

Another psychological phenomenon that causes product sampling to work to your advantage is something called the rule of reciprocity. Basically, when you something nice for someone, it makes them feel as though they should be doing something nice for you in return.

When your business gives free samples out to customers, they feel compelled to do something for you in response, like purchase a product, or even talk about your company to their friend. This creates a sense of obligation in your customers that keeps them coming back for more after they’ve tried your product.

Improving perception of your brand

Ultimately, free samples improve customer perception about your brand, making people feel warm and fuzzy about your company through reciprocity and convenience. Samples aren’t just for attracting new customers or introducing new products to the marketplace.

When they’re used properly, your samples can also be the secret sauce that keeps your clients coming back in the future.

Hotcow is a non-traditional creative agency that specialises in experiential marketing that goes viral. Our campaigns generate buzz through crowd participation, PR and content sharing. Contact us on 0207 5030442, or email us on info@hotcow.co.uk.

The post The psychology behind free samples: why freebies keep customers appeared first on Hotcow.

Friday Reading #120

Even here at Goodstuff HQ, the impending Blue Monday feeling can sometimes eat into our otherwise steadfast optimism. Fortunately, seasonal variations of mood do not permeate our Friday Reading, so we hope this week’s is a small beacon of inspiration and cheer as Dry January/Veganauary/Self Flagellationanuary begin to bite.

Some good stuff we’ve found this week:

Good PR? Bad PR? Sticking to your corporate values or sticking it to free speech? Answers on a postcard (via email is fine, honestly) please. Whatever your viewpoint, it’s clear that Virgin Trains have caused a splash this week by refusing to carry the Daily Mail on all services. Clearly, 2018 won’t be the year that the increasing politicisation of brands and their values slows down.

Sticking with the news theme, or absence of it, fake news continues to pose issues for Facebook, with some US based stories gaining over a million hits alone. It seems the ongoing issue is eroding consumer trust in Facebook in the US and, if the trend is replicated across the pond this may pose questions for advertisers.

Of course, faking it isn’t always sinister, sometimes it’s cool
too! See here for some nostalgia drenched (photoshopped) images of photographer
Conor Nickerson hanging out with himself as a child.

Speaking of things that tread a fine line between cool and
sinister, In Sweden, Ikea are inviting pregnant women to wee on their latest
print adverts
[insert own urine based pun here]. 

Elsewhere, Coca Cola’s 2 year consultation on Diet Coke has
borne fruit (flavoured varieties of the soft drink). This runs alongside a
re-brand to move away move away from traditional gender based marketing
, a major
shift for the brand and applauded here at Goodstuff HQ.

Sticking with food and drink, and fulfilling the mandatory
condition for any ‘cool stuff’ blog to discuss blockchain, see here for how the
technology is being applied to add greater transparency to food production
.
Whatever the fate of cryptocurrency, there’s no doubt that blockchain is here
to stay, with a wide and welcome range of practical appliances.

Finally, in this season of both personal reflection and widespread
depression, this piece on what JK Rowling can teach us about how to learn from
failure
is both instructive and inspiring.

WHY AI CAN’T TAKE OVER SHOPPING (YET)

Integer’s I&S Director Jacquelyn Ethredge penned a byline surrounding Integer’s Artificial Intelligence research, appearing on The Huffington Post and AW360.

“AI has been integrated into shopping in ways people haven’t fully realized, and we’ve only just begun to proactively and intentionally use it. As we head into a future fueled by data and powered by AI, there is a gap between what shoppers are currently using AI for and what they say they’ll let it do. Brands and retailers looking to innovate with AI should take action to be a part of the change that’s coming to the future of shopping by providing value that is customized to shoppers, targeting chore transactions and improving search experience and accuracy.”

Click on the links above to read the rest of the article.  For more information on Integer’s AI research, visit: integer.com/artificialintelligence.

WPP Prepares for Brexit, Acquiring Portugal Shop


Amid the specter of Brexit, WPP is strengthening its European presence with the acquisition of Portuguese creative agency Bomptempo, Anahory & Ralha.

The agency is merging with Ogilvy & Mather Portugal to create BAR Ogilvy, which will be run by BAR’s three founders, Jose Momtempo, Diogo Anahory and Miguel Ralha.

BAR’s clients include Sagres, Nespresso, and TAP Air Portugal. It was founded in 2009 and revenue for 2016 were $3 million.

Continue reading at AdAge.com

Is there a wrong way to offer free samples?

Free samples can be an incredible way to improve loyalty in your customers and attract new markets to your business. In fact, with free samples, you can even entice your existing customers to buy more from you.

However, before you allow your customers to sample everything you have to offer, it’s worth knowing that providing too much can be a bad decision.

When people are presented with only a small selection of choices, deciding what they do can feel like a manageable experience. However, when you start adding more choices into the mix, our ability to choose one option starts to decline. Eventually, we reach a point where we can’t decide at all because we’re so overwhelmed.

Offering freebies, the right way

Everyone loves a free sample, but if you want your sampling campaign to have a positive impact, then you need a plan for the products you’re going to offer. Before you simply start to give things away, you’ll need to think about the following questions:

  • How are you going to measure the outcomes of your sample campaign? This could help you to avoid a spray and pray approach to sampling.
  • Who do you want to engage with your product? Are you introducing your samples to a new customer base, an existing one, or are you simply trying to generate loyalty for your brand? This will help you to get your samples to the right shoppers.
  • Why are you offering free samples? What are your goals and when do you hope to achieve them? Answering this question will help you to determine what to offer, where you should offer it, and how long your campaign might last.

Incorporating sampling into your business strategy

Science tells us that samples can be a powerful solution for modern companies because they help to create a sense of loyalty among customers and incentivize new clients to make a purchase. This is great for your business, but you might wonder how you can incorporate sampling into your strategy when your company is primarily online.

Remember, with the right plan, product samples don’t have to be reserved exclusively for physical retailers.

You can always consider offering a sampling pack to any customer that makes a purchase on your website or give people a digital download that they can take advantage of from your virtual store.

Offering samples correctly is about being creative, strategic, and customising the process to the needs of your brand. Don’t just give freebies out randomly, choose a sampling solution that works for you.

Hotcow is a non-traditional creative agency that specialises in experiential marketing that goes viral. Our campaigns generate buzz through crowd participation, PR and content sharing. Contact us on 0207 5030442, or email us on info@hotcow.co.uk.

The post Is there a wrong way to offer free samples? appeared first on Hotcow.

NASA sees direct proof that the hole in the ozone layer is slowly shrinking

Good news for the planet for once: NASA scientists have found direct proof that the hole in the ozone layer is shrinking. In 2017, NASA reported that the size of the hole in September was at its smallest since 1988. Now thanks to some nifty instruments strapped aboard the Aura satellite, they have found incontrovertible …

Good news for the planet for once: NASA scientists have found direct proof that the hole in the ozone layer is shrinking. In 2017, NASA reported that the size of the hole in September was at its smallest since 1988. Now thanks to some nifty instruments strapped aboard the Aura satellite, they have found incontrovertible evidence of it, showing that chlorine from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) is diminishing in the ozone hole, and that ozone depletion is slowing down as a result.

Read Full Story

Why product sampling is crucial for marketing new products

Bringing a new product to the marketplace can be a complex and challenging experience.

You need to convince your target customer that the item you’re offering is better than what your competitors have to offer, but you also need to compel them to take the risk and trust your brand, in an age when consumers are more sceptical than ever.

The good news is that no matter how saturated the current marketplace might seem, you can still carve a space for yourself in your chosen industry with the help of one simple tactic: product sampling.

The challenge of selling a new product

If you’re delivering a brand-new product that’s never been seen before, then the challenge is convincing your customers that they need this item you have to offer.

On the other hand, if you’re introducing a variation of a pre-existing product, then you’ll need to compel your audience to switch to buying from you, instead of sticking with an already well-known company.

Product sampling is the solution that helps you to overcome both of those issues as cost-effectively, and efficiently as possible. It works on the premise that your customers simply want proof. They need to know for certain that you can offer them something valuable that they can’t get anywhere else.

While you can write a million marketing messages telling your customers that you’re the best, and share those messages on everything from television, to social media, the only true way to convince your clients that they need your product, is to let them try it for themselves.

Product sampling delivers long-term results

A lot of companies assume that the only value of product sampling is that it’s more likely to convince customers to buy your product when they’re browsing options in a local store. Tasting or trying a new product is exciting, and a little sample can be enough to convince your customers that they want more from your brand – but the benefits don’t stop there.

Product sampling also allows you to overcome the problem with “unfamiliarity” that can stop customers from purchasing your item in the long run.

Every time you give out a free sample, you can encourage customers to talk about their experience in the form of feedback and testimonials. Not only does this boost your exposure to word-of-mouth marketing, but it also means that you quickly gather the social proof that puts your product on the map.

With sampling, an unheard-of item can go from obscurity to viral fame in less than a week. Why not see what this strategy can do for you?

Hotcow is a non-traditional creative agency that specialises in experiential marketing that goes viral. Our campaigns generate buzz through crowd participation, PR and content sharing. Contact us on 0207 5030442, or email us on info@hotcow.co.uk.

The post Why product sampling is crucial for marketing new products appeared first on Hotcow.

How effective is product sampling? Stats for 2018

There’s nothing quite like getting something for free.

When you want to earn the attention of your target audience, draw focus towards a new product, or simply generate loyalty among your existing customers, one of the best things you can do is simply give your target market a taste of what makes you so special.

Plenty of companies have heard of product sampling before today, yet a surprising number of brands still aren’t investing in this strategy for their own business. Now that 2018 is finally here, we thought we’d examine the numbers that prove product sampling is worth a second-look.

How product samples prompt purchases

Customers today want to try a product before they buy it. This process helps them to bypass the potential “risk” of sampling something new because they can instantly see the benefit of the item.

According to the EventTrack Survey from EMI, 65% of customers will purchase a product or service promoted at an event. When asked why they made the purchase, 78% responded that they were happy they had the chance to try it first.

Additionally, a “Product Sampling Study” conducted by Arbitron and Edison found that 35% of customers who try a sample will buy that same sample on their shopping trip. Additionally, 24% of people will replace existing items on their shopping list with the sampled product.

How product samples augment awareness

The benefits of product sampling aren’t exclusively linked to direct sales either. One of the biggest things that modern companies want to achieve when it comes to building their brand, is stronger brand awareness.

According to respondents in a study, 81% of customers will approach a branded display if they think they’re going to get something for free. This means that you’re instantly more likely to capture the attention of your customers if they think they can get something from you.

Opportunities for exposure don’t stop with events and conferencing too. Product sampling and word of mouth marketing work together hand-in-hand. Nielsen found that around 59% of customers are more likely to tell their friends about a product after they’ve received a free sample.

Once you’ve nabbed your customers, they’re also more likely to stick with your brand, with reports showing that 85% of customers who sample a product agree that they would buy it again in the future.

If you’re looking for a way to attract and retain customers, while increasing sales at the same time, then product sampling could be the answer.

Hotcow is a non-traditional creative agency that specialises in experiential marketing that goes viral. Our campaigns generate buzz through crowd participation, PR and content sharing. Contact us on 0207 5030442, or email us on info@hotcow.co.uk.

The post How effective is product sampling? Stats for 2018 appeared first on Hotcow.