What products can be sold through samples?

The present article describes what kind of products sampling works for and how important it is to define its purpose.

Product sampling – when does it work?

Sampling is a tool that allows us to experience, taste or touch – in short, to test things out. A sample is designed to work through our senses and evoke specific emotions – the stronger they are, the greater the chance to make the product memorable.

Product sampling, namely distribution of its samples, is a tool used to:

  • enter the market
  • change the direction of business activities
  • enter a new industry or change industries
  • build your image or re-build it
  • introduce new products or their new varieties to the market
  • change the design or composition of an existing product

How do you translate the goal into a suitable sampling method?

All of the above-mentioned uses of sampling can be further narrowed down and divided into two general categories.

The first one is about reminding customers about your business, refreshing your image, focusing on a given product – it includes releasing new products, its new versions or changes in design or composition of an existing product. The other one is about creating brand image and awareness. It’ssampling focused mainly on the brand – its position, nature, perception etc.

These categories are related to the purpose you want to achieve in your sampling campaign. At the beginning of any campaign, you need to ask yourself what you want to achieve with it. Setting predetermined goals will keep you on the right path to achieve them. The same goes for a sampling campaign – first, you establish your goal and then choose a suitable method.

For instance, your brand is known on the market for its natural cosmetics, but you’d like to expand the business and decided to enter the food market. Your brand has gained a strong reputation for its natural products, so this is the category you’ll want to stick to. You introduce healthy snacks to the market, for example bars. Thus, you’ve entered a new industry. In this case, your goal will be to build a new brand image and ensure its recognition, but this time in a different industry. The best tool in this case is sampling of the new product. Sampling can be targeted at your customers by adding a sample of the new product to their purchases. As the bars will bear the same brand signage, the customers will be assured that its the same manufacturer whose products they’re used to buying. Thus, the customers will be encouraged to get to know the new product and convinced to get it. It’s also a way to build a new customer base – those who got interested in your new food product will also pay attention to your main and original cosmetics range.

What products are best sold through samples?

Sampling will be useful in the case of products that can be tested in small quantities and allow customers to form an opinion based on the very first sample. Products that need to be tested over the long term and whose effects can’t be known immediately are not suitable for sampling.

Cosmetics are a good example of a product that works immediately: the first time you apply eye shadows, you can already decide if they’re a fit. The same goes for food products – by testing them, we can asses their taste and usefulness to us. Another sample with an immediate effect and therefore suitable for sampling is a chemical product, such as a washing capsule, that allows you to check how it works at the first use. These also include wall paints samples, thanks to which we can immediately see if the colour works in our interior.

It has to be stressed that sampling shouldn’t be done through handouts, as then it wouldn’t have the desired effect, but instead generate losses. This is why it’s so important to define the target group for your products. In the example of introducing healthy snacks to the food market (from a brand so far known for its cosmetics), defining the target group may take form of targeting the present customers of your brand or a group of customers interested in healthy eating. This is why before launching a sampling campaign you must understand your customers’ needs. An effective sampling campaign is one that reaches your target group, is well-thought-out and presents a quality product and packaging. Remember that a good sampling plan is key for minimising its costs.

You’ll find more on defining a sampling target group in the article “How to Select the Right Sampling Method for Your Product?“.


Sampling allows you to establish a relationship with customers and let them form an opinion about your brand or product. In case of fragrances, a mere ad or description is not enough for a consumer – this is when a sample becomes essential. This approach works for many brands where you can test if the product suits your preferences based on a single sample. With a sample, you don’t give away the entire product, but only a taste of it that may encourage potential customers to reach for more, not only from the category of the specific product, but the whole range offered by the brand.

Sampling constitutes a gate to the brand’s world that allows us to get to know it better. If the encounter leaves a positive trace, we’ll be more inclined to use its products.

Burgopak Poland can help you pack your product in a way to run a successful sampling campaign and increase its sales. Contact us – for years we’ve designed and produced packaging for companies in Poland and internationally.





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