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How branded vehicles can support product sampling campaigns

By Anthony Beck on Apr 22, 2021 3:25:39 PM

6 min read
Product sampling campaigns featuring branded ice cream van on the outskirts of a city

So, you’re planning a product sampling campaign. You’ve got the samples and the locations lined up, and you’re looking forward to seeing how people react when they try out your product, but how are you going to get those samples into the hands of your potential customers? 

In this blog we’ll take a dive into the ways that promotional vehicles can help improve sampling performance – as well as a rundown of our top vehicles for product sampling campaigns.  We’ll show you how a promotional vehicle can:

  • Form the focal point of your product sampling event
  • Help to create a memorable experience for consumers
  • Provide the storage space you need for your free samples and other promotional items
  • Give you the freedom to change the location of your product sampling event
  • Enhance and promote your brand aesthetic in an exciting way

Why is product sampling important?

Product sampling is one of the best ways of getting your audience to understand the key features of your product (or even service) and helps to increase exposure.  According to a survey by the Event Marketing Institute, 81% of survey respondents said they approached a product promotion because they wanted a free sample whereas only 54% were attracted to a discount or special offer.  So if you want to attract the attention of consumers, offer them something for free! 


How effective is product sampling?

According to a report by Sampling Effectivness Advisors, 73% of consumers said they were likely to buy a product after trying it.  But your product sampling campaign will only be a success if it is a positive experience for people, and they come away chuffed with their unexpected freebie. Therefore, it pays to team up with experienced suppliers who understand how passionate you are about the success of your campaign and won’t let you down.

Where are the best product sampling locations? Find out more here. 


How can vehicles boost the performance of your product sampling campaign?

You can certainly move your campaign up a few gears by incorporating a stunning vehicle wrapped in your messaging into your brand activation plans. Here’s how:

  • Creating a centrepiece – your vehicle will form the hub of your promotion, both visually and practically, like a theatre does for a show. It will set the scene, draw your audience and create a great backdrop for your promo team.
  • Attracting attention – your promotional vehicle, emblazoned with your graphics and perhaps a teaser or two, will be turning heads and rousing curiosity as soon as it’s parked on its pitch. 

Nestle Garden Gourmet burgers for food sampling campaign

  • Creating a memorable experience - If customers feel a rush of excitement and anticipation when they spot your sampling event, that is a great springboard into a successful buying journey.  By providing “selfie spots” in front of your vehicle along with hashtags and a QR code in your vehicle graphics, visitors will be encouraged to share their experience and feedback on social media, further extending the reach of your campaign.  You can even create ‘selfie walls’ or pop-ups around your vehicle to keep the entertainment going even after visitors receive their free samples.
  • Storing plenty of supplies of your free samples – and you can also use the vehicle to transport other items to the event such as promo flags, tension banners and gazebos, ready for your team to assemble on arrival at your site. 
  • Providing mobility for your campaign - Promotional vehicles come into their own if you want to take your product sampling campaign on a UK tour.  They are also great for following footfall and switching locations at short notice if necessary.  If your event is a doorstep campaign, a colourful promotional vehicle is perfect for creating a buzz amongst residents. 
  • Reflecting your brand aesthetic – Classical or quirky, luxury or sporty, with careful planning your promotional vehicle can generate the right vibe to engage your target audience.  Choosing a vehicle that best resonates with your look and feel of brand will help to ensure the success of your campaign. 

See our tips for hiring a winning promotional team for your campaign


What type of vehicle should you choose for your product sampling campaign?

With so many different promotional vehicles to choose from, where do you start? Below is a list of characterful vehicles to help you find the right vehicle for your product sampling campaign:

  • Ice Cream Vans - a promotional ice cream van can serve up to 1,000 ice creams per hour (!) but can also be used for handing out free samples of items such as beauty products and hot food.
  • US Postal Vans – this distinctive truck has a large serving hatch and can be set up with everything you need for a food or drink sampling activation. 
  • VW Camper Vans – camper vans are a popular choice, with their retro style and versatility, making them a great fit for product sampling events.
  • Piaggio Apes – the Piaggio Ape is ideal for drinks sampling but has a flexible interior that can be adapted for various product giveaways, and also has rear and side hatches for coffee machines and chiller fridges.
  • Bikes – From the classic 1940’s style ‘Stop Me And Buy One’ tricycles to modern electric versions, bikes are a fun way to enable your team to get free samples into the hands of surprised customers.
  • Milk floats – these are a great choice if you want to add a touch of nostalgia to your product sampling event and their open back make them a good choice for giveaways.
  • H-Vans and Estafettes- vintage Citroen H-Vans and Estafettes are chic and appealing, equipped with everything you need to give consumers a memorable culinary experience for hot and cold food sampling.

We hope this blog has given you some useful pointers for using branded vehicles at product sampling campaigns.  Choosing the right vehicle for your sampling campaign is important – think about the aesthetic you’re looking to portray, and how much storage space you might need.   When planning a vehicle-based campaign, it is essential to factor in the time required to source your vehicle and get it branded with your graphics in time for your event. For more information about how long vehicle wrapping takes, click here

For even more ideas on other types of promotional events you can hold using a branded vehicle, download our eBook: How to use Promotional Vehicles in Product Launches” for further inspiration. Click below to find out more! 

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Anthony Beck

Written by Anthony Beck

Anthony is an Account Manager at Promohire, helping brands bring their ideas to life. Whether it's a hire vehicle for a product launch event, sampling campaign or a brand activation, Anthony can advise on the best option for you, along with supporting services such as logistics, video, photography and campaign management.