Event Sampling: Innocent Smoothie & The YES/NO Bin

2nd September 2021

Event sampling allows you to reach a large group of customers in a single footfall location. A London music festival enabled 3 friends to quit their jobs and start a global company. Innocent took advantage of event sampling to communicate with their customers, asking big questions. We look further into event sampling to see if it remains an effective strategy in today’s market.

Innocent Smoothies Event Sampling Success 

Back in 1998, while at university friends Rich, Adam and Jon set out with a dream to make it easier for people to do themselves some good. 

The boys headed to a jazz festival in London to sell their first smoothies. 

Handing out product samples the sign above the stall read, ‘’should we give up our jobs to make these smoothies?’’ people were asked to throw their empties into the bins marked yes and no. With an outstanding yes and only 3, no’s they all quit their well-paid jobs to start the company together, and the Innocent Smoothie journey began! 

For them it has paid off significantly. Event sampling allowed them to gather first-hand information from their customers to help them to make big decisions. Whilst event sampling has proven to be effective to boost sales not all small businesses will have the level of success Innocent saw. However, it can still be an effective tool for your business. 

What Was The Key To Innocent’s Success?

  • Innocent made it easy for the customers to provide feedback 
  • A yes / no decision gave them definitive answers

Of course, the product itself played a part in the success as it is the reason Innocent was able to get the valuable feedback they needed. But they understood the importance of time and that the consumer would want to try before they buy. By combining these factors, their event sampling was a success.

Where Is The Best Place To Reach Your Audience? 

Catching your audience in the right place is key and you should consider what data you are trying to get from them. 

For instance, supermarket sampling boosts immediate sales with “Product Sampling Study” by Arbitron and Edison Media Research, finding that 35% of customers who try a sample in-store, buy the product in the same shopping trip. As it’s the last thing in the consumer’s mind as they walk the aisles, it becomes a must-buy in the weekly shop, plus they’re now very much aware of your brand. But supermarket sampling only reaches specific audiences depending on the time of day and chosen location.

Whereas events have a high footfall at a single location. If you are looking for customer opinions, loyalty, trust, and sales all in one; event sampling is key to help the consumer understand the product. Event sampling allows your brand to be more creative and engaging with the customer especially when there are added benefits like competitions etc. Giving the consumer the chance to experience the taste, smell, or touch of a product gives them security in their purchase. 

Why Event Sampling Provides Invaluable Feedback

Go to events with questions in mind. They don’t have to be life-changing like the Innocent yes / no bin, but events with crowds of potential customers creates a unique opportunity to collect honest opinions.

Event sampling provides first-hand data, the customer feels they have a say where they can be honest and in turn feel listened to. Having the opportunity to speak to customers face to face is not to be passed upon. Ask why they like and dislike the products and how could you improve?  

Before launching a new product, event sampling should be carried out as it:

  • Gathers first impressions and opinions which allows time to implement changes if necessary
  • Builds brand awareness
  • Makes the customer feel special, they have had an exclusive experience before it reaches stores and therefore are more likely to buy and share the experience with friends and family

Brand Awareness

Having a presence at events provides the opportunity to bond with audiences and gain loyal customers. A sampling event needs a well-trained team of Brand Ambassadors to ensure the audiences leave the experience feeling informed, trusting the brand to perform. 

Consumers Want Something For Nothing!

The fact is consumers like to feel that they have got something for nothing. Combining product sampling with a simple yet effective way to collect data is the best way to get the answers your brand is looking for, plus while gaining exposure for your brand/ product. Event sampling allows you to creatively combine these factors whilst also engaging with consumers to provide a memorable experience that builds brand awareness.

How GottaBe! Can Help With Event Sampling 

Our expert team at GottaBe! can help you by providing our experienced brand ambassadors to run sampling events across the country. With over 4,500 staff across the UK, we can cover events from the South Coast all the way to Scotland and everything in between. Our dedicated booking team will be on hand to ensure the success of your campaign with our three-hundred-and-sixty-degree event management and planning services. Get in touch today to hear more.