SAMPLING 1. Extent of sampling.—Sampling has been largely responsible for the success of many standard prod ucts. It is one of the oldest kinds of advertising and, when properly used, one of the best. Little has been written about it, however, and few records of sam pling results have been published. Probably there is no other branch of advertising on which there is so little available data as on the subject of sampling. The average advertiser knows that there are many forms of sampling, and he realizes that many differ ent things have been put on the market with the aid of sampling. He seldom knows all the ways in which sampling may be used, however, nor has he a clear conception of the widely varying commodities that are susceptible to this particular form of direct ad vertising.
In this chapter our purpose is to list the chief ways in which products are sampled, and to indicate the possibilities of sampling by naming actual articles that have been introduced by the various methods named. First, we are to consider typical methods of sampling direct by the mann factures, and then vari ous methods of using the dealer to get samples to con sumers.
2. Three general classes of is divided into three general classes: (1) Putting out on trial—the plan adopted in selling talking machines, adding machines and typewriters (2) Demonstrating in stores or at fairs where the consumer is allowed to taste the food product or to try the use of the punching bag (3) The most common form of sampling; the dis tributing of packages of the product for the ultimate consumer to use, cook or otherwise demonstrate to his or her own satisfaction.
3. Sampling thru distribution by other manufac original methods of sampling have been discovered by clever merchandising men. One of the most successful is that of distributing samples thru other manufacturers. For several years, if you purchased any make of a revolver, you found in the case a neat and attractive sample of Three-In-One Oil. These samples were furnished to the revolver
manufacturers without charge, and the revolver manufacturers were glad to distribute the samples in this way, believing that in so doing they were ren dering a service to their customers.
4. oldest method of sampling is to distribute packages from house to house. All sorts of things have been sampled in this way. An ice company in Kentucky once filled every ice-box in the town with a large-size sample of its goods. More often, however, house-to-house sam pling is used for food products, washing prepara tions and other things that cost little and are used by everyone. Some food manufacturers re-sample a territory every two or three years. This costs much money, but in many cases it has proved profitable.
The success of house-to-house sampling depends largely on the care used by the sampling crew. Each package must get inside the door, because packages left outside are often collected by boys who follow the crew. It is argued, probably with justice, that the housewife Itho might not take the trouble to go to a store to exchange a coupon for a sample will use a sample if it is left at her home. House-to-house sampling is undoubtedly the most expensive kind of sampling; yet it seems to be the most successful in cities of medium size.
5. Sampling in public of the sam pling methods used in distributing Wrigley's gums was sampling in theaters. A perfume manufacturer once arranged with a theater manager to attach a small sample vial of a new brand of perfume to every theater program distributed. The theater is a place where people can be reached in groups.
In cities with a population of a million or over, it is often found advisable to substitute sampling in public places for the house-to-house method. In New York City food manufacturers often place sampling distributors at the elevated and subway stations at the time of the evening rush when people are leaving their business and going home.