Try before you buy

Everything is going digital, including the way you sample. Rohaid Stanley, Co-founder of Tryloka, discusses the ideas that led to a disruptive model

Published: Mon 24 May 2021, 9:12 PM

Picture yourself in a busy supermarket, full of shelves that are crammed with choices. Each product promises to outdo the other - one is efficient, one is cheaper, one is organic, one is recommended by a friend, another is highly recommended by your favourite influencer who also shared a promo code. While the claims may be true, are they tested? How do you truly choose the one that is best for you?

In an age of decision fatigue, consumers are looking to be inspired by products, invest in them rather than simply shop for them. On the other hand, brands want to build and foster long-term connections with their customers by embedding them into all stages of the purchase journey. The challenge is cutting through the noise for both parties. Here, product sampling presents itself to be an ideal solution. However, unstructured sampling (one that is not targeted, without closing the feedback loop) can often create more questions than it answers. 

It was this that led the founders of Tryloka to deeply probe the premise of in-store sampling. Is it a fair exchange for brands that are spending marketing dollars on sampling activation and manufacturing product samples without getting any real-time results or quantifiable feedback? Is it a fair exchange for customers who may accept the sample but not use it or eventually purchase it and therefore not provide feedback for it? 

They realised that a disruptive product sampling model was long overdue. By placing the product sample directly in the hands of customers, brands could accelerate the process of awareness and help recreate the product experience (safely) in their homes. By keeping the process entirely digital (and contactless!), results could be viewed in real-time by brands. This could prompt immediacy in strategic changes. More importantly, it could open an entirely new, structured channel of communication between the brand and their high-value consumers, finally closing that feedback loop. 

Building the technology solution required a deeper understanding of a brand's unique pain points. This would also help Tryloka identify the pivotal differences between traditional sampling and digital sampling. Another key goal was to be able to build a technology that allowed brands to move beyond trial and awareness. Digital product sampling with Tryloka, in conjunction with other marketing activities, would help brands move further down the sales funnel, moving quickly from consideration to advocacy. The company already knew that consumers were looking to deepen their relationships with brands, expecting a more tailored approach. It could be achieved by matching the right sample with the right customer and gaining genuine feedback in return. This became critical as the Tryloka team worked on our hyper-segmentation features and smart matching technology. To ensure no sample gets wasted or mismatched, users build their profiles (for free) and select their interests. Hence, a coffee product sample would only be displayed to keen coffee drinkers, crafted also through criteria provided by the brand for their high-value consumers. 

To keep the conversation going between brands and their high-value customers, our flexible digitised sampling solutions also include remarketing. This enables brands to revisit the same customers with different campaign objectives. For example, if a company began with brand awareness as the goal, it must also be able to reach out to the same customer in a few months to encourage conversion and loyalty. Our sampling experts help leverage consumer insights to ensure a swift journey from consideration to advocacy. 

Tryloka's mission is to help brands in the region establish meaningful relationships with their customers by utilising the power of smart sampling and managing the campaign end-to-end. The company believes that digital product sampling is the future because it allows brands to build direct, long-term connections with their high-value customers, first and foremost along with increasing opt-ins and CRM conversions. It also allows customers to give honest feedback on the product samples they will actually use and eventually purchase. With the service being absolutely free for users, it paves the way for wholly unbiased, quantifiable results that can form the base for key strategic insights. In today's market, it is this exchange that will determine which brands can cut through the noise and the ones that will not.

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