Your success as a brand relies on your ability to market it effectively. In-store trials, when done right, can add rocket fuel to your sales. It can also open new doors to partner with savvy retailers. Most brands overlook this – learn why this matters

Have you ever pondered the question, if a tree falls in the woods, would it make a sound? Think about it. That’s the focus of today’s podcast. No, we’re not going to talk about trees, we’re going to talk about products. So let me rephrase that question. If you put your product on a retailer’s shelf, will someone buy it? If you launch your product, will people find it, and will they buy it? Product trials are the best way to gain new customers when done right. Maximizing results with proper planning and execution is the best way to guarantee results.

You’ve probably heard me say, that up to 90% of all trade dollars are wasted. The purpose of your trade marketing is to introduce your product to a new customer, period. That’s it. It’s not designed to try to get existing customers to buy your product, even though that’s not a bad thing. And it’s not designed to pay for slotting and all those other fees that don’t drive profitable sales. Let’s face it, retail’s expensive. It’s pay to play, especially if you’re a small brand. That’s why this matters so much, and that’s why this episode is so important to anyone with an emerging brand or an existing brand.

Let’s face it, shoppers can’t buy your products if they can’t find them. Retailers want any brands willing and able to help them drive profitable category sales, increase shopper foot traffic, and convert occasional customers into loyal evangelists. Remember that everything is negotiable, especially in this industry. The first impression shoppers have of your brand is usually on a store shelf, this is why this is so important. Sampling products can be very costly, and it’s hard to target your ideal customer when using traditional strategies.

The best way to introduce your brand to a future shopper is through product trials. One of the most effective ways to do this is through in-store product sampling, this means allowing customers to try your products while they shop. As with everything, there’s a right way and there’s a wrong way to sample your products. Many brands overlook the critical elements required for an effective in-store marketing program. There’s a lot more to this than simply having a stack of your products sitting on a counter or in a cart in a retail store.

Think about it. The reason this strategy’s so effective is because you have the undivided attention of a future customer standing before you and wanting to try your product. This is your best opportunity to convert them into a loyal evangelist for your brand. You definitely don’t want to blow this.

Even though we’re talking about strategies for traditional retail, these strategies work for everywhere you sell your product, including online.

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