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First Impressions

By: Sara Mason
Posted: October 14, 2008, from the May 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 3 of 5

Many sampling programs do not exceed trial rates of 50%, meaning brands are wasting half their product samples. Failure to think beyond targeted delivery is probably the most common error affecting trial rates today. Sampling cannot start with the “who.”

Marketers must consider when and where to reach their targets. “If the sample never gets tried, then it doesn’t matter who the brand has targeted,” explained Johnson. “It’s far better to reach secondary targets when or where they are likely to try the sample than it is to reach primary targets at a time when they are not considering product choices or where they are not likely to try the sample.” She recommends presenting the sample as close to the point-of-trial as possible to overcome these barriers and striving for a trial rate of at least 70% among those who received the sample. Unique ideas for placing product trials at point-of-use are limited only by your imagination. In the past, most cosmetic sampling was done at a store or at a cosmetic counter within a store. “Today’s active lifestyles demand that sampling be possible at the customer’s convenience,” explained Anthony Gentile, director of art and marketing, Xela Pack Inc. For that reason, companies must find ways to get their product samples in the hands of potential consumers rather than expecting the customers to come to them.

Cooperative programs utilizing new means of delivery also enable manufacturers to share costs, and in-packs/on-packs and magazine/newspaper sampling methodologies reduce dollars spent on distribution. For example, sample packaging that suits broad magazine distribution, going directly into the hands of potential customers with little input by the companies themselves, minimizes the cost of sampling distribution to a large audience.

This year, Orlandi introduced the new patent-pending iApply multi-use applicator that can be used for both color cosmetics—including eye shadow, blush and lip color—and fragrance. As an eye shadow sampler, iApply is unique in that it transforms from its flat oval form into a 3D direct applicator. It can be inserted in a variety of media in compliance with U.S. Postal Service periodical rate requirements, yet it functions as a true applicator—conforming to the shape of the skin without exposure to paper edges and enabling a mess-free direct-to-skin application of the product.

Klocke America’s Ready Card, which debuted at HBA 2005, is a credit card-sized foil-backed insert with no secondary packaging, making it ideal for inserting lip color and foundation samples into magazines. Klocke also is getting ready to release Liquid Peel, another cost-effective way of promoting product through magazine distribution.