Wet sampling for impactful brand activation

New Age Food And Beverage Brands Use Wet Sampling For Impactful Brand Activation, But HOW?

India’s food and beverage (F&B) market has been growing for years and is expected to reach $156.25 billion by 2026. Many foreign brands have been finding success in India through wet sampling for brand activation alongside our homegrown brands.

The past year has seen Indian companies partner with foreign players to bring new food and beverage brands to the country. A recent partnership between Reliance Industries’ lifestyle arm and international coffee chain Pret A-Manger introduced the brand to the country. 

Over the last few years, several Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) new-age F&B brands have entered the market and are facing off with established players. These startups are developing a wide range and assortment of F&B products, be it snacks, beverages, ready-to-cook meals, or condiments. 

Let’s look at the significance and impact of wet sampling for new-age F&B brands, the approach & methodology they use for brand activation, and powerful case studies where F&B brands used wet sampling as a brand activation activity.

What is wet sampling for F&B brands, and how does this benefit new-age F&B brands?

Wet sampling for F&B products effectively targets your audience and potential customers up close & directly. One of the most effective direct sampling methods, in wet sampling, you let your consumers experience your product firsthand for a more immediate and firsthand account of their product feedback and hand-holding them towards purchasing if needed.

Wet sampling effects on brand activation

However, the question arises, is wet sampling truly an effective brand activation exercise for all new-age F&B brands? Let’s dive in and look at the benefits of the wet sampling method for F&B products and their brands.

1. Brand Activation

Launching a new product in the market can tire consumers of loyalty and effectiveness. Trying your product will likely make a positive impression on consumers and raise consumer trust to develop brand loyalty. Wet sampling eliminates fear and allows consumers to test your product risk-free.

2. Face-to-Face customer feedback

When a customer tests a new product, they often make personal notes about your product and compare it with a competitor’s product. 

With face-to-face customer feedback, you get direct feedback from your target persona and pointers on how you can enhance your product’s experience. With this handholding from your target customers themselves, your product is equipped to surpass the customer’s expectations, giving you a competitive edge.

3. Deep understanding of your product

Wet sampling will enable your targeted audience to get a firsthand experience of your product and better understand your product’s USPs. This helps build a connection and sense of loyalty between your customers and your brand.

How New-Age F&B brands use the Wet Sampling approach for their brand activation!

In the past, food and beverage brands would use traditional methods for brand activation, such as print or television advertising. However, with the rise of new-age media and channels, F&B brands are now using the wet sampling approach for better access to their target consumers. Wet sampling is a form of experiential marketing where brands let potential consumers experience their product to generate word-of-mouth buzz and make these potential customers your brand ambassadors. 

Here are key focus areas when conducting brand activation for your F&B product through a wet sampling activity-

1. Set narrow goals 

Set specific, measurable, and achievable goals for your sampling campaign. Figure out what you want to achieve with your sampling campaign and determine if your goals are time sensitive or are tied to standard marketing metrics.

2. Set a budget 

The size of your budget should determine what goals you can realistically achieve. Making tough decisions about where you allocate your marketing budget – location, staff members, or samples. It may be a beneficial practice to offer your product as an in-kind donation at community or company events that align with your brand and demographics from time to time to save money on sponsorship fees. 

3. Know your audience

Consider the needs, habits, and wants of your current customer base and the new group you’re trying to reach. Where do they spend time? What other businesses do they shop from? When are they most approachable? Is seasonality a factor? What kind of sample would be most beneficial to them? What would make them hesitant if they bought your product in a traditional setting?

4. Identify which products to sample 

When deciding on a product, determine the variety and the size of the product you want to sample. Factors like your budget, sampling location, space, and the primary goal would determine what version and size of your product you can sample.

5. Identify how you’ll sample 

There’s an extensive list of sampling techniques, so you must choose the right one for your needs. You’ll also need to decide where and for how long you’ll do the sampling. Remember to think about the overall sampling experience. You could hire an external agency with expertise in wet sampling and brand activation campaigns to assist you in creating something more experiential – something more fundamental.

6. Campaign planning

You need to take your plans and turn them into action. This includes contacting suitable venues or businesses, booking slots, ordering and sending products, signing contracts, and assembling a team to run the sampling. You should work with brand ambassadors if you need to supervise the sampling campaign. 

7. Brand visibility

Invest in advertising content and build a social media plan with key messaging for the few days before and during your direct sampling campaign. Consider ordering promotional material, like a banner or business cards, to use during your direct sampling campaign. Additionally, you can ensure that you keep full-size products on hand to increase your chances of converting potential customers into actual customers. When consumers recall your product, you will have a higher success rate.

8. Campaign execution

Make sure all your preparations are in place before you start. Keep track of your stock levels and sales. If you’re in a retail setting, know where sales have been in the past so you can see the impact of sampling. 

9. Consumer data and feedback

Ensure people can express their opinions about your product easily and quickly. To get them to engage with your brand on social media, use a QR code, questionnaire, or a website form. If you would like a report about the most popular flavor or questions, you can also ask your staff or brand ambassadors for one. 

10. Analyse and Measure results

Following the campaign, gather your thoughts and findings and compare them to your goals. Discuss what went well and badly with your team, and incorporate the critical takeaways into your product or business strategy. Keep track of everything – make sure to complete post-analysis.

Wet Sampling Case Study of a New Age & Upcoming F&B Brand

High on chicken

High on Chicken sauces makes preparing delicious and nutritious chicken recipes easy and fast. High on Chicken sauces were created to make cooking good food simple for everyone! You can make a new chicken dish daily with the range of High on Chicken sauces. High on Chicken wants to promote its sauces to the affluent people of Gurgaon. So we help them find their right target audience and create a wet sampling campaign in high-end societies in Gurgaon.

We conducted wet sampling for High on Chicken sauces, successfully created brand activation, and converted their potential customers into actual customers.

High on Chicken has seen a 25% conversion rate from potential customers to actual customers posting a wet sampling campaign by Samplrr, which is a very high success rate.

Through wet sampling, the potential High on Chicken customers could experience their sauces firsthand, learn how to use them, and provide face-to-face feedback about their experience. They could even pick and choose the flavors of the sauces they liked better and make a purchase then and there!

Wet Sampling – A Promising Future of Brand Activation for F&B Products

Wet sampling is becoming increasingly popular as the go-to approach for food and beverage products to increase brand activation and create impactful marketing. Effective customer targeting and product experience are the primary factors that contribute to the enormous success rate of this brand activation approach. 

When it comes to new-age F&B products, wet sampling holds a promising future to help them achieve accurate targeting and create a loyal space for themselves in this huge expanse of industry.

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