For promoting product and services, many actions are taken by a company. For example, advertisements are given in the form of billboards or in newspapers etc. There are many other modes of advertising also that are available.
All these efforts are made for making the product popular so that people start using them. One way of reaching target audience and canvassing it for buying product is distribution of free samples of product. Through sampling, customers are made aware of the features and benefits of product. They are also told how product is better than any other in its class.
Sampling is differing from other modes of advertisement. In this way of promotion, final or ready product is put into the hands of end user directly rather than making it popular through advertisements and then distributing it through proper channel.
Unlike in other ways of advertising, customers are not required to pay any price for getting the product through sampling. For example, for reading an advertisement in newspaper, a person has to first pay for it. Since no money is involved, customers are found keen to use the product. They consider it as a gift. If they like the product, they don’t mind buying another from the market.
Not all companies are found interested in sampling of their products. However, consumer product companies do come out with sampling of new products for their promotion. Companies doing sampling believe that it helps them in making a long term relationship with the customer, who would continue to use the product in future.
Sampling must be seen as an effective way of promoting a product and increasing its sales. Results are seen very fast in this way of promotion. Either the user would like the product or would dislike it. But company can know the reaction, at least, in no time. In other forms of advertising, there is long period of wait, after which, results appear.
Main drawback due to which companies are not resorting to sampling is the cost. As samples are distributed without any price, companies have to bear the cost of manufacturing of product. Sometimes, extra cost on samples occurs due to special packing, distribution etc.
Cost of sample can be recovered only when product becomes a ‘hit’ and people start using it in good numbers. Possibility of same is good if product really has some good features and is different from others available in the market.
Sampling is generally recommended for the products that are new and which cannot be described efficiently through other ways of advertising.