According to a recent Nielsen/Informa study, 62% of consumers say sampling is the most effective way to get them to switch brands or try new categories, while 95% of today's product samples are untargeted and distributed in a way that makes it difficult to measure program ROI. While natural and organic brands understand the value in consumer sampling, many struggle to identify an effective way to reach the right consumer. Without a strategy to match the right consumer with the right products, many dollars are wasted on samples that never get in the hands of people likely to purchase that product.
Enter the rise of targeted product sampling. Companies such as Sampler (our technology partner in delivering the NEXTY Consumer Choice Awards) recognize the major market opportunity to help brands create targeted direct-to-consumer sampling, and big brands and retailers are buying in. Earlier this year, Amazon quietly piloted a targeted digital sampling program by letting brands like Maybelline and Folgers pay to send free samples to consumers—all based on what the retail giant already knows they're likely to buy.
The NEXTY Consumer Choice Awards program gives brands an opportunity to target their sampling efforts and receive valuable product feedback and ratings that can prove market acceptance of a product even prior to arriving at Natural Products Expo West. Not only do participating brands receive 90-day access to a portal of consumer ratings and verbatims, but all NEXTY Consumer Choice participants receive campaign report cards they can use to share insights with retailers at Expo West 2020. The two products that receive the highest ratings in each category are named NEXTY Consumer Choice Finalists, and the product with the highest consumer approval score in each category is the NEXTY Consumer Choice Winner. So how do consumers score the products?
What's the consumer experience?
Sampler curates its database of 50 million consumers through the audiences of consumer-facing health and wellness media brands. Those media brands amplify the database with a sampling call-to-action on their websites, newsletters and social media that gives the consumer an opportunity to opt in to create an account and be matched for samples they may be interested in trying.
Consumers sign up to be matched with product samples.
Consumers are asked targeting questions that include demographics and specific questions about their shopping habits, eating style and where they shop for groceries, which Sampler uses to build the consumers' profiles.
When a consumer is matched with samples, they have an opportunity to select between one and four matches that will arrive in a direct shipment together.
After being matched with samples, consumers have 24 hours to verify and update their shipping address before sample shipments are deployed.
Consumers are prompted to rate their samples and provide feedback that is captured in a portal. Ratings and responses to questions are used to help determine the NEXTY score for each product.
During—and for 90 days after the completion of the sampling campaign—participating brands can access their analytics dashboard to check real-time tracking, as well as insight into their targeted consumers':
- demograpics (age, gender, location)
- lifestyle habits
- family insights
- ratings and reviews
- conversion to purchase
What's the brand experience?
Participating in the NEXTY Consumer Choice Awards is a simple and straighforward process! It takes three simple steps:
- Fill out this quick and fun application by November 15th. A member of the Sampler team will then reach out to you to identify your target audience! The three categories that brands can enter for the NEXTY Consumer Choice Awards are:
- Food or beverage
- Natural living or personal care product
- Send 1,000 of your product samples to the Sampler warehouse by November 22nd. Sampler will then distribute your samples to consumers!
- Patiently wait at your booth at Natural Products Expo West on Thursday, March 5th to see if you are crowned a winner of the 2020 NEXTY Consumer Choice Awards!
- Log in to your Sampler portal to access the plethora of consumer feedback for your product!
If you'd like to take advantage of targeted direct-to-consumer sampling and get a shot at winning a NEXTY Consumer Choice Award, submit an application to nominate your product before November 15, 2019. Participating brands must be exhibiting at Natural Products Expo West 2020 and have 1,000 samples delivered to the Sampler warehouse by November 22nd.