How sampling got simplified


There was a time when the cost of marketers did not dabble much into sampling as it was not a very valid method of marketing. Why, you ask. It was done either through magazines or newspapers, or at a mall, either of which did not reach the target audience and feedback was next to impossible. It was redundant and not very reliable. So how do you get a customer to buy a product that he has never tried before? That’s where Got Try Before You Buy comes in.

“We are the bridge that takes the samples directly to the right target audience. We saw that there was a growing need for sampling but no one was doing it right. Activations in mall is expensive and therefore brands were reluctant to dive into it. Malls can charge up to a lac a day for a single mall activation. We came out with a solution and made it cost effective,” says Dhruv Kalra, Managing Director, Go Try.

Go Try came up with a multi brand sampling platform, giving brands high visibility in malls and delivering the right products to the right target audience realizing the fact that every consumer is a multi brand user. All of this is done through a software that narrows down the samples for a user according to his profile. This is precision sampling.

Go Try installed kiosks in malls with high foot-fall in metropolitan cities. A consumer can go up to these kiosks and build his profile at the counter after which he is given a set of samples to try. The consumer can come back to the kiosk for another set of free goodies, before which he fills out a feedback for the samples earlier tried. Maximum sampling is done by FMCG and F&B companies including well-known clients such as Pond’s, Vaseline, Quaker Oats, Dabur Real, Nivea, Comfort, Knorr, Hippoo, Surf Excel, Tang, L’Oreal, Garnier Light, Pepsodent, Veet and Vanish. Brands are then given a report that depicts the consumer reach and response. Go Try has about 2.5 lac registered users and plans to eventually expand all across India in smaller cities as well.

“The vision is to be all across. Smaller towns will have more excitement for our model. Big cities are saturated now. The future for FMCG and food and beverages brands lies in smaller towns. We are looking to enter into a franchise model in the future,” says Dhruv. Speaking on the number of samples that brands generally invest in, Dhruv tells EE that it depends upon the scale of the brand. “Eno gives us about 2 lac samples to be distributed in a year. But that’s because they are huge and their budgets allow them to do so. But for other brands it is generally 50,000 to about a lac,” divulges Dhruv.

Feedback is the most important part of the sampling model. The reason why brands need to empower audiences to speak is because that enables them to modify the product according to the customer preferences. “And if a new entrant comes in, there’s no other way than to start a dialogue to create a connect. You need to get the consumer to put his foot through the door – and that’s where sampling comes in. Comsumers are more willing to spend their money on a product that they have tried earlier than on a brand new one,” says Dhruv.

So what makes for an authentic brand experience? “When a brand is able to connect with a consumer on the on-ground level, it is half the battle won. The key is to leave a positive impact on the consumer without being too intrusive but still managing to get the message across. A brand should be able to awe the consumer. That’s what the consumer remembers. That’s where experiences  come in. Experiential is the way forward,” concludes Dhruv.

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