• Princes Thurs Experiential Marketing Product

How Princes successfully launched two new products

When Princes launched their two new fish-based products they turned to Link Communication to ensure they flew of the shelves. Successfully launching any new product can be challenging time for brand managers. So how did Princes create the engagement, product trial and purchase needed to deliver a successful launch of their infused Tuna Fillets & Mackerel Sizzle.

Princes understood that their mass market TV campaign would drive product awareness amongst shoppers. But when it came to changing shopper behaviour right at the point of purchase they choose experiential product sampling as their go-to activity.

Campaign Key Challenges

  • Drive product sales at Tesco & Asda Supermarkets
  • Encourage product trial
  • Address negative perceptions held by 85% of shoppers regarding mackerel
  • Deliver key product messaging: skinless, boneless, easy, filling, healthy

Campaign Activity

Visiting 32 Asda and 32 Tesco stores on their busiest shopping days ensured the Princes 2019 product sampling roadshow directly engaged 200,000 shoppers whilst they were in active buying mode.

Shoppers were engaged with a purpose built fully branded event area which was staffed with uniformed brand ambassadors who were fully briefed on the Princes products.

  • The event areas comprised of a 4.5x3m gazebo, with catering, product displays, print, TV adverts, game & sampling area.
  • Each day the display area was able to be constructed about one hour, enabling hot sampling from approx 10am each day.
  • The kit created for the RLB event day was effectively utilised, with additions created at the start and also renewed during.

All samples were presented using both biodegradable pots and sporks to remain in line with sustainable brand values. Whole packs were on display next to tasters to allow customers to recognise packaged products on aisle to further aid and encourage purchasing. Vouchers were handed out to interested customers from the mackerel packaging to incentivise purchasing in store.

Link provided a dedicated catering chef who ensured each sample was presented hot & freshly made for each customer. The inclusion of the mackerel station allowed customers to see and smell the cooking method which created huge interest. Small portion pots with rice displayed to show customers, with freshly cooked hot taster portions made and given to everyone.

Tuna samples were very popular, customers often opted for the tuna samples first when offered a choice of tuna or mackerel. Infused tuna was well received, customers enjoyed the lentil salad which helped to show the ease of preparation. Drained tuna was served with mini jackets, this was a favourite predominantly with children and less adventurous eaters.

Target Throwing Game 

Additional engagement was created with a carnival style throwing game. The game area provided a platform for the team to interact with families who had young children and get everyone involved. Prizes were awarded for direct hits which ensured further brand engagement opportunities through promotional merchandise and products.

Consumer Feedback – Brand and Product Presentation

The recognisable Princes brand name helped to attract and engage shoppers, and was especially helpful in prompting trial. The branded elements of the event area, the uniforms, POS signage and attractive displays all worked well in combination. Everyone approached was familiar with the Princes brand, but virtually no-one knew about the re-brand or range of new products.

Consumer Feedback – Mackerel

The major take home learning was that UK shoppers are not familiar or comfortable with mackerel, until they’ve sampled it. Mackerel was the most popular dish on the menu, but also the most negatively received, prior to the sampling interaction. Most customers said they’ve not tried or bought mackerel but were pleased to ‘discover’ a healthy / tasty / easy new fish.

Consumer Feedback – Drained Tuna

Drained tuna was popular with customers as the ease of not draining was a big hit – especially amongst older shoppers. This product was also very popular for families who were wanting to use it as a sandwich filling for their children’s lunches. Common feedback from customers was that the lack of oil or water didn’t dry it out and was still moist and flavoursome.

Campaign Results

  • The Princes 2019 sampling roadshow achieved sustained sales increases of 637% on average across 64 flagship stores.
  • 1,250 samples prepared and presented each day to 3,000 shoppers on arrival, from in front of each store.
  • Combined reach to 200,000 shoppers in active buying mode, presenting 100,000 sample tasters in total.
  • The success of the campaign has seen Princes book future activity covering more supermarket multiples.

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