Over the last few months, we’ve seen a huge spike in office sampling campaigns. Marketers have recognized this segment as a huge, untapped opportunity, an environment that’s easy to target and a place where “the big fish are feeding”.
Winter is the perfect time of year – outdoor sampling campaigns fall by the wayside as weather becomes too big a gamble, and marketers see the cost advantages of targeting a large group of people under one roof.
The simple reality is that marketers are all trying to find ways to cut through the media clutter, in a complex and fragmented marketplace. That means being ‘disruptive’, and it means getting your brand to pop up in unexpected places. But more than that it means getting the brand-to-hand, a tactile immersive experience, not simply an easily forgotten tasting experience.
Of course, getting an offer for a brand on your phone just when you’re in the shopping aisle could be construed as helpful by some and intrusive by others. Getting a packet of chips just before lunch, whilst seated at your desk, could be perfect timing or it could be seen as intrusive. Suffice to say, it’s a delicate balance.
The Benefits of Office Sampling
Office sampling provides a number of benefits to the prospective marketer:
- It’s easy to reach a significant number of people in a short timeframe.
- It’s easy to get people talking about your brand because they’re huddled around and know one another.
- The people you’re sampling to are somewhat captive – they’re at their workplace so you don’t have to find them and stop them!
- With the right gear, it’s possible to make quite an impact in a small space, ensuring you get noticed and remembered.
- Office sampling tends to rank high on the Surprise and Delight scale, with often the receptionist or office manager being the only people in on the surprise!
- Done well, Office Sampling can be amplified into video content and shared across social media, thereby expanding the audience beyond the office.
- Office Sampling has the potential to buy loyalty because it’s perceived that a brand has actively identified this audience and approached it – it takes effort and that is recognised by the consumer.
Let’s look at a real live example:
Target Market A new type of food product aimed at both males and females aged 20-45.
Opportunity We could target this group through grocery (expensive) or through street sampling (trickier) or through office sampling. Even if we don’t get permission to go inside the office, we know the main times they enter and exit the building, and word soon gets around that you’re sampling!
Most workers these days – and especially Millenials – are time-poor. If something is going to make an impact on their busy schedule it had better be convenient and memorable. So, going into their office space could be the perfect solution. Even if they are not at their desk you can always leave a sample on their table for their return!
So if it's this easy why isn't everyone doing it?
Well, there are a few things that you have to be aware of when sampling in this way. Here are a few pitfalls to office sampling which you should be aware of.
The Pitfalls of Office Sampling
Size and manoeuvrability
Offices pay a premium for floor space, so many working spaces are quite cramped, including the corridors, lifts and around cubicles. Ensure that whatever you use to sample your product is small enough to get around the office and can be easily manoeuvred without causing a scene. The last thing you want is for your sampling team to be disturbing everyone for the wrong reason! Sampling vehicles such as the Sampling Trolley are a perfect solution. They are on wheels, easy to move around and have multiple uses so can be used time and time again.
Use EVERY opportunity to get your message out there. Take a look at these backpacks, which offer another opportunity to communicate key messages and make a lasting impression.
Volume of product
Think about what you are sampling and how much you will need for the office – no one likes to be left out especially when you are offering them something for free. Ensure your promotional stands or your sampling trolley is able to carry the amount you require, and if your staff are walking around with sampling trays make sure there is a place that they can re-stock regularly.
It’s not always the case but many offices either have steps leading into a main foyer or are based on an upper floor, so making sure your sampling unit is portable and lightweight is key. It’s important the unit can fit in a lift, and if you are moving around the offices, that it is on an appropriate set of wheels for the environment. If you are setting up a promotional stand then it needs to be lightweight and portable for your staff to carry, and quick and easy to set up. Keeping it light and simple means teams can sample multiple locations in a short space of time – sampling SWOT teams that can cover a lot of ground and distribute a high number of samples.
Signage and branding
You need people to associate the activity with your brand and to ensure your promotional staff stand out from everyone else in the office. This means thinking carefully about what your staff wear and how they are going sample the product is necessary. Are your staff going to set up a stand or are they going to be walking around the office? Do they simply hand the samples over, or do they engage with their audience? Whatever the decision, make sure your message is clear and can be seen from a distance. It’s vital that your sampling team are well schooled and scripted.
At Brandstand we have an existing range of products that are perfectly suited to office sampling, as well as constantly developing new ideas with our clients. So talk to us about your requirements and we’ll work with you to create an experience around the sampling and deliver a solution that ticks all the boxes.