Sampling Programs

Sampling Programs: A Reason to Celebrate Special Holidays

Open up a social media page, and you’re likely be reminded that today is a holiday. While the magnitude of the celebration may vary from day to day, don’t dismiss out-of-hand the value that the more brand-applicable holidays can have for your business.

When it comes to sampling events, a day like National Cognac Day, which might not have been circled on your customer’s calendar, can be just what you need to attract an audience. For widely known holidays such as Cinco de Mayo, the opportunity can be even greater. You have the chance to capture your target customers’ attentions when they’re primed to give it. No matter the size, when a holiday fits your brand like a glove, an associated sampling event can be the perfect way to convert potential into loyalty.

Sampling events have stood the test of time in the ever-changing world of experiential marketing for good reason. They’re versatile, scalable, and accessible. But beyond the (still valid) buzzwords, we’ve found a number of reasons that we, over the course of a number of nationwide campaigns for some of our spirits clients, get excited about these product-centric activations.

1. They are social-ready.

Hosting on a holiday means that your events will be social-ready from the word “go”. Our Cinco de Mayo program for Cointreau leveraged the holiday’s established association with margaritas, and coupled with custom Snapchat filters at each of the event locations, encouraged and simplified the social amplification that can take your concentrated reach and broadcast it to many more potential customers.

2. Present your product in a new way.

Chances are, your sampling event will attract a mix of existing and new customers and for both groups, your selected offerings will give them the chance to experience your product in a brand new way. Our Cognac Day sampling events for Rémy Martin featured the Sidecar cocktail, a classic for some, but for many, an intriguing way to use a spirit that’s sometimes more associated with drinking on the rocks or neat. For customers who err on the side of cocktails, this can be a game-changing revelation.

3. Establish ownership over the holiday.

Holidays, they’re annual. The experience that you provide to people on these holidays can leave a lasting impact that will extend to the following year and beyond. Ownership over a holiday is a powerful marketing opportunity that you can build upon in the experiential space and beyond, with repeat events, social promotion, and more.

Holding sampling events during special holidays like National Cognac Day or Cinco de Mayo offers you opportunities to surprise customers when they may not have expected it, while also building strong associations that may turn existing customers into brand loyalists and first-timers into regular buyers. Don’t feel that you are being cliché by hosting an event on what some consider a “made up” holiday, we at SoHo have the sampling program results to prove it’s a successful way to build traction for your brand.