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Why your sampling campaign should target key life events

When starting to plan a campaign, there are endless ways to begin. You might have targets to hit, an NPD launch date, maybe even stock going out of date. A lot of different routes can be taken and it can be tough to know exactly when in the calendar is optimal, and as such it can be tempting to consider the standard key retail dates or routine bookings that have had some success in previous years.

How key life events disrupt consumer spending habits

Having been so lucky to have studied Psychology for my BSc, I learned a lot about consumer choices and influences to everyday decisions, and saw a lot of opportunity to maximise the influence that a campaign and effective copy can have on target consumers by applying psychological research. The one simple piece of knowledge I would like to share with you today, is thinking about structuring campaigns around LIFE EVENTS.

The core of this idea comes from a particularly enlightening lecture series I attended on habits, and specifically how we can break them. Ultimately, humans are lazy cognitive creatures, looking for shortcuts and easy ways to execute daily life. We fall into habits, as these help us go about our routines with little cognitive effort to make a fresh decision everytime. I personally have the same breakfast most days, like to have half an hour after clocking off work to enjoy social media and unwind, and do my daily Duolingo as my 11 o’clock morning break. The benefit to these being habits is the behaviour rolls itself out naturally when the environmental cues are there – 11 o’clock alarm, Duloingo time! Time to eat breakfast, easy, I know where the granola and yoghurt are.

Habits also form around consumption habits. I am sure you can picture yourself looking for that exact same brand that you got last time to save the effort of choosing a new one, or repurchased that same mascara when yours has run out. As marketers, we need to interrupt that process, and encourage consideration of our brand instead. Therefore, I’ll quickly mention some research that indicates the best time to change habits (or implement new desirable ones).

Scheduling your sampling campaign around key life events

My lecturer had conducted and published a series of studies looking at the formation of habits and when breaking them would be most effective. For example, encouraging recycling behaviour was found to have the best result when individuals had moved house (a key life event). As habits are bred from routine, experiencing something that shakes it up provides us with the key time to change them. Moving house massively interrupts all your routines and provides a new environment to lay out new behaviours and consumption. What if when that person moved into their house, we gave them a new cleaning product as a sample, and then when they did their next shop they bought yours instead of their standard brand? What if we gave a student who had just moved into their halls your cereal to try when they are away from the routine of their parents’ place, and it is yours they reach for next time instead of their mum’s? A lot of studies speak to these life events as a great time to interrupt habits, and maybe even implement a new one with your brand (HELLO repeat customer!).

At Relish, we can help you build the most effective sampling campaign by providing key upcoming life events of your target demographic, and incorporating this into our strategy for the most effective ROI. Talk to us about your target demographic, and with over 40 retailers in our portfolio, we will get your product into the hands of target consumers at their key life event. I’ll end with a favourite quote of the team that I think sums up the benefits of applying psychological research...

I’ll end with a favourite quote of the team’s that I think sums up the benefits of applying psychological research…

Work smarter, not harder!

- Bethany Webb 28/05/2020


Get in touch with Relish here to discuss your next sampling campaign.


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