The goal of any marketing initiative is to acquire customers and to build and maintain a relationship with them. And while there are numerous ways to do this, few allow you such perfect circumstances to directly reach and engage your target audience as in-store demos and product sampling.
Gone are the days when in-store demonstrations simply meant a person standing behind a foldout table, mechanically handing out pre-portioned samples of the latest potato chip. Today’s successful demonstrators know the product inside and out; from the type of potatoes used to how they’re prepared, and as a result, brands are reaping the rewards. So what does a properly executed in-store demo or product sampling do for you and your brand?
Create Brand Awareness
Sales are not the primary goal of an in-store demonstration, rather, they are a byproduct of a trained product demonstrator building brand awareness. Using a specialist in your product demonstrations to reach consumers will help to ensure the public understands the product and why it stands apart from others. This will help to leave a lasting impression on consumers; one they will remember when they’re ready to purchase.
Provides Proof to the Consumer
It doesn’t take an expert to know the market is heavily saturated with dozens of products in just about every category, and it’s for this reason that consumers are often hesitant to try something new. Consumers have a natural mistrust of salespeople, however, through well executed in-store demonstrations and product samplings not only will consumers learn why your product deserves to be on the shelf, but it will act as a point of differentiation when the time comes to purchase.
Extensive and ongoing studies conducted on retail product demonstrations show that in-store sampling and demos not only increase same-day sales but also increase long-term purchasing habits, brand franchise sales and total purchase amount of the average shopper.
The fact that a potential consumer doesn’t purchase your product the day of a demonstration shouldn’t be an indication as to the success of a campaign, for as anyone in sales can testify, sometimes consumers just aren’t ready to purchase. However, by getting to understand your consumers, their level of interest, and maintaining communication with them, you are ultimately leading to sales in the future. Make sure you have marketing materials like cards, flyers, and pamphlets at the ready, and verse your product demonstrators to collect contact information such as email addresses so your brand stays in the mind of the consumer.
Gain Consumer Insight
While product and consumer testing are imperative to any successful product launch, it often isn’t until the product itself goes to market that brands can get a clear image of consumers likes and dislikes. And while sales are obviously a good indicator of what consumers think, an in-store demo with the right product demonstrators can provide some of the greatest consumer insight. Do they like the colour options? Are they questioning the value for the price? What age and gender are showing the most interest in the product? What reasons are being given for not purchasing? Where did they hear about the product? This valuable information can provide brands with an unparalleled insight into the mind of the consumer and when done properly, can influence future marketing efforts and product development.