The New Sampling Landscape

By: Laurel Rundle
Founder & CEO of Aha! Marketing
May 04, 2020

Summer was once a time where brands could hit the streets, covering a lot of highly targeted ground where their consumers would gather for events, festivals, 5ks and other experiential activities. In a post-COVID world, these events are being cancelled- at least for the meantime. Other traditional sampling avenues will also be affected by these changes. Though Stay-at-home orders are beginning to lift, the familiarity of our daily lives has shifted. Grocery stores will likely not be sampling, events and conventions will remain unscheduled and the consumer’s in-store experience will be far from what it was before. Without knowing how long this will go on, how will you continue to keep your brand top of mind for consumers?

Delivering trust is a huge component of our Core Values. Now, more than ever, consumers will be basing their purchases on brands that they trust and brands that they know will show up for them and deliver the results they need. This marketing communication tool ultimately leads to product trial, awareness and ultimately purchase. You may be wondering how you will be able to drive trial as you once did. There are still several ways to meet the consumer where they are both emotionally and physically, and the impact of your brand will be stronger than ever!

Think about all of the essential workers who are unable to work from home. Doctors and other healthcare providers are working overtime, animal shelters have never been busier and people are still having babies! What these people need is support. Empathy. Resources. And a little something to boost their spirits throughout the day. No, your sample may not see the constant traffic that it once did when it was presented in a busy waiting room, but it will get into the hands of the people that are trusted the most, who will in turn deliver your brand to your targeted customers. The providers, the directors and other influential people that the clients know and trust. Once things do begin to return to ‘normal’, they will remember who was there for them and that seemingly small token will ultimately turn into recommendation.


Lifestyle sampling may look a bit different in the coming months, but as gyms, childcare services, veterinarian and healthcare practices begin to reopen, albeit with caution, becoming a part of the ‘new normal’ is just as important as it was before. When they walk back into their daily life, seeing the brands they trust waiting for them is sure to make an impact. How do you plan to have your brand present as businesses begin to reopen? As long as your brand is presented as part of the solution- solving a need, answering a question, providing much needed information, you will see results.

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