NEWS11 May 2023

Sampling can boost brand performance, finds System1

FMCG News Trends UK

UK – Product samples in the drink industry have a long-term impact on brand equity, according to research from advertising effectiveness business System1 and bar discovery app Dusk.

Bar selling drinks

The research, which was carried out with 850 consumers and saw brand health measured one to six months after consumption of the drink sample, found that when combined with advertising, drinks sampling increased brand awareness, led to more intense, positive feelings and reduced price sensitivity.

Sampling also led consumers to spend an additional £13 in bars for every sample redeemed, leading to a 106% and 150% sales increase at the sampling sites chosen for two undisclosed brands.

The research found that drinks samples have a large positive effect on top-of-mind awareness and unaided awareness, with increases between 100 and 300% and 145 to 183% respectively.

Sampling alone saw distinctiveness increases of up to 45% and grew to over 53% when coupled with advertising activity, which the firms said shows consumers would be willing to pay a premium for drinks they had sampled.

The study used System1’s Test Your Brand Platform, a tool which gives brands predictive measures to understand brand health, and used three groups: a control group which had no samples, and two groups who tried the two brands included in the research.

Jon Evans, chief customer officer at System1, said: “Both established brands and newcomers face competition in the drinks industry today, especially given the growth in the low-/no-alcohol market.

“When brands provide try-before-you-buy opportunities and invest in creatively effective marketing via channels like TV, streaming, radio and social media, they can drive profitable long-term growth in an increasingly saturated market.”

Sophie Abrahamovitch, chief executive at Dusk, said: “Drinks marketers looking for the perfect brand-building mix can add both sampling and advertising to their recipe, as this first-of-its-kind research demonstrates the cumulative impact of these tactics.

“We not only used behavioural science to look at how drink sampling works, but outlined best practices derived from our comprehensive study to help brands make their sampling campaigns more effective.”