IMPORTANT: If you are involved in any way with an event marketing food sampling program, you will want to read this story about an exciting eight-week event marketing program for a health food product distributed on the west coast.
I recently wrote about the impact different levels of engagement had on the future purchase intent of a health food product that is distributed on the west coast. As a reminder, the three tiers of the engagement were:
- Tier 1 – The Food Truck. The food truck was the focal point of the experience. Consumers were invited to come over and have a sample of the product. I use the term “sample” very loosely here. Staff passed out full-sized portions of healthy and delicious recipes that showcased the product.
- Tier 2 – Package Reuse Workshop. Consumers were exposed to ideas for reusing the product’s packaging. This was brilliant because it not only got the original product into the consumer’s hands, it also put the product’s eco-friendly, family-friendly image center-stage by demonstrating fun ways for the whole family to recycle.
- Tier 3 – Recipes and Cooking Tips. Two to three times per activation day, the west coast’s most popular bloggers made simple, delicious, healthy recipes the whole family could enjoy. These bloggers would demonstrate the recipes, explaining each step and educating the audience on the brand’s benefits. Think of it as sitting in the audience of your favorite cooking show.
This post explains how the different tiers of engagement impacted the extent to which consumers retained key messaging about the brand and its benefits.
The Tier 1 experience (Food Truck) did a great job of communicating tangible brand benefits that could be experienced through sample trial such as taste, texture, color, size, and the product’s family-friendliness.
Tier 2 (Reuse Workshop) and Tier 3 (Cooking Demo) experiences were able to bring less tangible brand benefits to life, such as value, the application of the product, and health benefits. These experiences were also able to more efficiently convey messages about trustworthiness and eco-friendliness.
So what does that mean for you, the account team of an experiential sampling program? Everything! Look at the goals of your program. Are the messages you are tasked to get across ones that can be realized through sampling? If the answer is yes, then getting product into the consumer’s hands may be where your program should focus.
lIf your messages are more abstract and go beyond what a sample may be able to express, you may want to consider incorporating additional experiences that give consumers more time with both the physical product and staff. This can increase the dialogue between the consumer and the brand, and is proven to help communicate those messages that aren’t as easy to grasp. Remember, retained messaging often leads to higher purchase intent, which in turn increases the value, or return, of a program.