While many people are enjoying eggnog and hot chocolate, many of our clients are busy plugging away at spreadsheets and finalizing budgets for the new year. Like many other health-minded brands, some of our clients took a break from demos during the holidays and are gearing up to relaunch their demo programs in January. If your New Year’s Resolution is to knock your product sampling program out of the park in 2023, now is a good time to make sure all your ducks are in a row!
How do you set yourself up for success?
1. Set up a strong store list.
Selecting the right stores can make or break your entire demo program. Start by looking at your go-to-market strategy. Are there must-win retailers or cities? Then, spend the time to vet your store list based on traffic, location, and proximity to other key retailers. For more info about how to select your store list, check out this blog.
2. Update your training materials.
If you’ve expanded your product line or maybe your distribution has grown in key retailers, make sure to have the applicable information in your training materials.
Worried your team may have gotten a little rusty during the holidays? Schedule a re-launch training session to get everyone focused on the common goals and sharpen their talking points.
3. Order demo supplies.
There’s really no worse reason to have to cancel a demo than due to not having demo supplies. Make sure to account for the lead time for your branded items (table runners, hats, shirts, coupons) so you have those ready to ship for your January demos!
This reset is also a great time to think through any upgrades you may want to make in your experiential marketing set up. Is there an opportunity to improve your brand positioning with some pops of your brand’s color? Or maybe new signage?
4. Contact your brand ambassadors.
If it’s been a minute since you’ve had work for your team, you’ll want to confirm who’s still on board and their availability before creating schedules. This is also a great time to share any new information for the new year – product launches, new goals, etc.
While a blast email is certainly more efficient, you’ll see better team building if you email or call each of your brand ambassadors individually. It’s a small way to show them how valuable they are to your team.
5. Review any new policies
The rules around product sampling continue to evolve. Some stores require pre-portioned cups with lids, while others require hairnets and hats. Review any updated policies so you can prepare to be aligned with store requirements when you arrive on-site. Being non-compliant can result in some awkward situations…like being asked to leave! Best to avoid that when you can!
It’s important your experiential marketing programs start strong in January, when health is top of mind for many consumers. These few tips can help you start your year off right!
If you think you’ll need help navigating the world of product sampling, give us a shout!