Gold Award Winning Rustlers Supermarket Sampling Campaign

Winning awards and being recognised by your industry and peers is always as enjoyable as it is rewarding. However, when that accolade specifically celebrates the impact you have made to your clients’ commercial success, it becomes especially gratifying. So what exactly does it take to create a 10,400% uplift in sales and win Gold at the 2018 Field Marketing & Brand Experience awards at the same time?

Understand the challenges you face.

When Link was retained by Kepak to help launch their new microwavable range of Rustlers Gourmet Burgers the project came with a few challenges. Client research had identified that consumers held several negative preconceived ideas regarding the product. Chief amongst them were quality issues relating to the burger, bun and garnishes; consumers thought these elements would be low grade and unappealing. Alongside the quality issue, we also had to deal with the idea that microwaving a burger was an alien concept that felt wrong to many people.

Know your product

The golden rule for any successful marketing or sales activity is always to know your product. At Link, we know the devil is still in the detail. Which is why we take the time to visit clients and delve into all aspects of the products production, ingredients and manufacturing process.  With Rustlers, we knew right from the start we had a great product. Each burger was 100% beef from British and Irish farms. Cooked on a real flame grill with microwaving element becoming a simple way of re-heating before consumption. Armed with our first-hand experience of the production facilities and detailed product information we were able to fully brief and guide our field marketing teams to handle objections and help educate consumers.

Understand shoppers

Engaging busy and time conscious consumers right at the point of purchase requires a simple, straightforward and easy to understand approach. Working with shoppers virtually every day over the last twenty years has shown us that they are predominantly interested in three key things. They love to try before they buy, are always interested in a good deal and are keen to know how products can add value to their lives.

Recognising that not everyone buys for the same reason we created a product narrative that was subtly different depending on the various life stages of key consumer segments. This insight enabled our field sales teams to position the product as adding value and being worthy of consideration.

Creating cost-effective standout

Designing, building and running a pop-up a sampling event area that is eye-catching and can be erected quickly and efficiently is no easy task. Ensuring that the same event area can be packed away and transported to multiple locations is another consideration for maximising the return on the marketing budget. During the Rustlers campaign, we utilised three sampling event areas simultaneously to deliver the reach, impact and sales required. We visited 179 stores over twelve months and achieved 26 million store level impressions, 14 million category impressions and directly reached 2 million shoppers.

Influencing consumer purchasing activity

In the final analysis of any campaign, the hard metrics must speak for themselves, and the bottom line is all about units sold. Kepak had set what they believed to be an optimistic sales target of 100 units per day, per store visit. To achieve this, the client estimated that 1,000 samples per day delivering a 10% conversion from sample to purchase would be required. However, at Link, we always like to push the boundaries of what is possible. Our field sales teams were able to deliver an average of 315 gourmet burgers sold per day, per store visit and recorded a campaign high of 559 units sold in a single day. We achieved this by handing out 1294 samples on average per day delivering a 23% conversion from sample to purchase.

The success story does not stop there; the Tesco Ready Meal category enjoyed a 13% uplift in sales across the entire store estate during the campaign. This was because 70% of shoppers who purchased had never bought from the category previously. This massive increase in sales was not only limited to the duration of the campaign,  in fact, the average increase in sales six weeks after each store visit was recorded as an average of 35.6%.

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