Free Samples: Take Advantage of their Marketing Power!

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Who doesn’t love free stuff?

Let’s be honest here…have you ever been guilty of buying something on impulse after trying a free sample? We all have! Maybe free samples and promotional products sound simple and old-school even, but they are still around for a good reason: they totally work!!

The reason these strategies work so well is also quite simple but extremely powerful, and it is even backed by science. They work through a principle called reciprocity, and the idea is that when someone gives us something, we feel obliged to return the favor.

Reciprocity is a very, very strong instinct. If somebody does something for you… you really feel a rather surprisingly strong obligation to do something back for them.Dan Ariely, Duke University’s behavioral economist.

So, it is smart for businesses to apply this science in their marketing strategies, as there are many psychological reasons as to why sampling makes good business sense.

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They create obligation

When you try a mini pizza bite, for example, it’s no coincidence that you feel like you should make a purchase. Whether you prefer to call it reciprocity, obligation, or guilt, it works! Now, whether you decide to buy is something else, but the feeling of obligation is surely there.

They serve as reminders

Even if the mini pizza wasn’t that good, it might have reminded you of the last really good pizza you had, even if it wasn’t in your plans to buy pizza at that moment. Free samples create a particular desire for something, upping the chances of your product to be purchased.

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Sampling is social

A 2011 UK study concluded that “Samplers with a heightened awareness of the presence of others at the sampling station may feel a level of social pressure to make a post-sample purchase.”

Free samples create atmosphere

Sampling creates excitement and gives people something to look forward to and talk about. And although it is what comes easily to mind, sampling is not exclusive to food or supermarkets. There are plenty of stores that give out samples, and you can certainly take advantage of their power to carry out a creative and fun marketing campaign to promote your product or service in Denver!


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