Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sampling and Free Drinks

Sampling Activity @ Mahkota Parade
11-12 July 2009
Samples is one of the main consumer promotion tools. Apart from samples, there are so many promotional tools like coupons, cash refunds, price packs, premiums, advertising specialties, patronage rewards, point-of-purchase displays and demonstrations, contests, sweepstakes and games.

Normally, a company or an organisation will do sampling in order to introduce a new product or to create new excitement for an existing one. Some samples are free: for others, the company charges a small amount to offset its cost. One thing for sure, sampling is the most effective but most expensive promotion tool.

FYI, REVIVE Isotonic Drink is a new generation of re-hydrating isotonic drink which comprises a special formulation of vitamins B and electrolytes to efficiently re-hydrate and replenish body fluids. This isotonic drink has shown potential to significantly help revive and sustain the performance of active people and sportsmen alike.REVIVE is available in three packaging sizes namely 325ml can, 600ml PET, and 1.5L PET, at all retail outlets nationwide. Price ranges from RM1.50, RM1.90 and RM3.50, respectively.

I had a chance to witness and see this sampling activities twice at Mutiara Damansara (in April) and Mahkota Parade (last week). How did I know about this event? Yes, from newspaper advertisement. Basically, the mechanic or sampling procedure is that the consumer will be given a Revive 1.5L bottle for free if they bring and swap any old Isotonics drink to the promoter. However, it is limited one bottle or FOC drink per customer and only those above 12 years old are eligible for this free sample.

From my observation, when they mentioned any old isotonic drinks, most of the customers or consumers will buy or bring 100 Plus isotonic drink (competitor's product). I do not really understand the purpose of this sampling as from my point of view, it does not really serve the purpose of increasing their sales or profit or even their market share. Perhaps, the advantages that this company gains are brand recall and create a hu-ha or excitement to their consumer as well as gain some pocket money by selling the recycle canned or plastic bottle which they had collected for the day.
If your company's objectives are about sales incremental volume, slightly positive growth in marketshare and changes in consumer behavior or drinking habbit, therefore, I don't really agree or support with this kind of promotional tools. As a multinational company, I believe they will try to save or cut down the marketing cost (especially during current downturn economic period) and try to kill two birds with one stone.
I realised that most of the consumer who did not bring the old isotonic canned or bottle from home had bought it from nearest coffeshop, vending machine, news agent, Watson, provision shop and other F&B outlets. And these consumers bought 100 Plus brand, instead of Revive from these outlets. As I saw about 80-90% of the big giant dump bin was filled with100 Plus canned and PET bottle. Maybe these outlets are not selling Revive at all or they might be running out of stock. Here, 100 Plus product was sold out in most of the outlets within the vicinity of the sampling activity. 100 Plus should thank to Revive team for running this kind of activity which help to increase their sales volume and revenue.
If I were to run this sampling activity, I will amend the mechanic that consumer has to bring ONLY Revive old drink in canned or bottle, in order to swap with FOC Revive 1.5L. It helps to sell the product and increase the market share. Prior to that, the company need to ensure that all shops or outlets sell Revive and have sufficient stock before hold the event.
If you were to do sampling for the sake of trying it out to consumer and to get their response, the company can just do it at any hypermarket, supermarket, and large provision shop. Once they taste the drink, they can just grab a bottle or a can or a carton of the drink. But, those consumer who had swap and get the FOC drink, i guess it is worth of money and value since a bottle of Revive is sell around RM2.70 to RM3.50 per bottle.

Marketing-Hero Note:
  • Before conduct any sampling activity, please ensure the availability of the new product and stock availability at the outlets.
  • Focus on the objective of the sampling and revise the mechanic or promotional tools if does not give any benefits to the company
  • The sampling team or manager must ensure that they set up their sampling booth at the right place and at the right time i.e. at the main entrance, in front of the main stage in the shopping complex, or near to the supermarket for consumers' easy reach to buy the product etc.
  • To measure the effectiveness of this tool, a company should review their market share (from A.C. Nielsen) and calculate the ROIM (return on marketing investment).

1 comment:

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