If there’s anything consumers love more than a bargain, it’s anything free. Imagine walking into a supermarket or a department store and being offered a free sample of cheese or perfume?
Would you refuse or dive into the experience? In case you’d choose the former, you’d definitely be the exception.
The primary psychology behind product sampling is “Reciprocity” – the strong sense of obligation to return the favor for something someone has done for you. FMCGs have long harnessed this human tendency by offering the products for free across offline touch-points.
Off late, however, the practice has taken a digital turn. In the era of digital marketing, brands are gravitating to e-commerce and hyperlocal delivery companies to reach a more targeted, intent-based audience to drive adoption and demand for their products.
Dunzo, the popular hyperlocal Bengaluru based delivery service works with over 40 brands to drive recall, engagement, and on-demand delivery through their product sampling service. They are able to build a more measurable and targeted way to reach consumers and promote their offering. Some of these brands include Kingfisher Radler, Perfetti, ASAP granola bar, Epigamia, and MARS Chocolates.
In case you’re still in two minds about product sampling, here are the top 7 reasons why your brand needs to integrate digital product sampling into the marketing function:
1. Tactile Experience: Breaking into the market for a new brand can be tricky these days. Though sampling is not a new concept, it has the advantage of giving consumers real experience with a product. FMCG brands have enabled the product sampling tradition for decades – whether it’s with a sachet of shampoo or a pack of biscuits. While the traditional approaches in sampling, like in-store and distributor-led sampling, are still seen at large, the problem they face is finding the relevant TG for the product.
2. Push vs. Pull: Until most recently, brands have cast a wide net when it comes to sampling, often focused on certain geographies. However, with smaller brands and niche product companies coming into play, budgets are tighter, and reputations are at stake. Though the traditional sampling methods still hold water in some, if not all cases, Dunzo is now able to provide a smarter, faster and efficient method to do the same. How do they do it? It is a case of Push vs Pull strategy – while most traditional methods of sampling use the ‘push strategy’ to make the product available for a wider set of audience, it doesn’t necessarily reach the relevant TG and results in leakage. While a ‘pull strategy’ presents the relevant TG with access to the product, resulting in them engaging more with the brand on a need-based scenario. With data and insights, Dunzo is capable of targeting the right users for the right brand. This makes the sampling more focused and the result you yield from this exercise will help you gather valuable insights about your target audience.
3. Data-Driven: For an upcoming Snacks brand, Dunzo was able to map the samplers with their purchase behavior to understand where they typically shopped – be it kiranas, chains or gourmet stores. This helped the brand fine-tune their market strategies, and whether they should focus on Modern Trade or General Trade. These days the amount of data up for grabs is only limited by your imagination; did you know that people who order Pizza and Biryani prefer Cola over any other aerated drinks?
4.Distribution & Reach: It’s not just about the right TG – your brand must also have good reach while setting forth for a sampling exercise. With Dunzo, considering how sampling is driven completely on the app, it is independent of dependencies like logistics and other factors that sometimes affect such activities, the brand is able to reach a wide set of audiences across different cities in the county. To throw some light on the matter, let’s talk about a sampling exercise they had done for a premium chocolate brand. While their distribution was wide, most of the demand was fulfilled by stores like Godrej Nature’s Basket and Foodhall as compared to any other store in the city. This helped narrow down on distribution and achieve stronger calls to action in these locations.
5. On-Demand: On-demand services have flourished so much over the last decade. There are a countless number of apps that have tapped into this category. However, Dunzo can provide on-demand delivery of samples that provides instant gratification and yields better results. Think about it, some of the FMCG products like chocolate, ice cream, and other comfort foods work for the user based on mood, and it’s a fleeting window of opportunity – if your TG has access to your product at that very instant, it results in a conversation that goes beyond conventional advertising techniques. The world is getting smaller every day when you put companies like Amazon in perspective; what started with a 7-10 days delivery window, has come down to 2 days to 2 hours with the arrival of Prime. While this window continues to shrink, Dunzo is already making deliveries within 45 minutes.
6. Litmus Test: With users ranging from one end of the spectrum to the other, Dunzo presents itself as a fine platform to conduct a litmus test on new products entering the market. There’s always something new coming up every day, and it may be a new source of renewable energy or a new beverage in a new bottle. One such sampling was done for Kingfisher Radler, a non-alcoholic malt-based beverage that was sampled across all cities. It turned out to be the most popular product on the platform.
7.Direct to Home: Needless to say, convenience is a priceless feeling, and the idea of having your brand get delivered to the doorstep of your target audience, and to draw insights from it, will help brands leverage huge benefits from the exercise. It is still an alluring pitch for many, and an enticing opportunity for others; so perhaps it’s true when they say that the doorstep is indeed the best platform ever built.