Event sampling is an excellent way to expose potential customers to a new product or brand in a fun and unassuming yet effective way. More often than not, customers gravitate to their tried and true favourite brands but setting up a sampling within the liquor store or at a restaurant or pub may be just what they need to grab your bottle off the shelf over another the next time they go shopping.
So what do you need to know before you set up your next event?
Depending on where you’re located, the level of certification required by the brand ambassadors you hire could be a bit different. For example, there is “Serving it Right” in British Columbia, “Pro-Serve” in Alberta, “Smart-Serve” in Ontario and “Service in Action” in Quebec (to name a few). While the names may be a little different, the context is just about the same. Public safety is always a primary concern, especially when alcohol is involved.
Your sampling team should be well-versed in the law, be checking the ID of those participating in the sampling and of course, preventing intoxication – while providing customers with key messaging on the brand, price points and of course, distributing the samples and keeping their sampling station organized and clean. The #1 goal of these event sampling executions aside from brand recognition is sales, sales, sales. Make sure you give your team a quota to work towards, such as 1 case of white wine and 1 case of red (or whatever the product may be). This will help keep events staff on target.
If you’re running an event sampling, especially within an on-premise location like the LCBO, events staff will be required to adhere to a very specific set of guidelines over and above what they’ve learned within these certification courses. Make sure you understand the requirements for a successful event sampling.
Some of these details could include:
* having food available – such as crackers & cheese or chocolates (pair appropriately with the product)
* staff should only ever have one bottle open at a time and never, ever leave it unattended.
* what you’re sampling will dictate the sample size (e.g. 1 oz for wine or 1/4 oz for hard liqour)
* to calculate the # of sales, staff should obtain an opening and closing inventory from the store manager.
Off premise events may not require all of these elements but common sense and safe sampling never changes. In our experience, on-premise events are far more sales oriented while the brand image and the personality of the promotional models hosting them are priority # 1 for off premise events.
And, speaking of off-premise events!! Tigris has been working with Peter Mielzynski Agencies since May 2012. Our event sampling program began with a dozen events per month for Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum in Toronto, and soon after Calgary. Since that time, American Honey was added to portfolio in December 2013 and now Cabo Wabo, a tequila imported from Guadalajara and backed by legendary musician Sammy Hagar has been added to the mix!
Of course, tequila was created long before Cabo Wabo. According to an Aztec legen, lightening struck the heart of an agave plant, igniting it and spilling it’s aromatic nector. Natives viewed this as a gift from the gods and drank the “mystical juice,” which was known to product a state of euphoria, with reverance.
To date, the Mexican government continues to show great respect for the agave plant and the tequila it produces by monitoring it’s cultivation and entrusting it only to those who honour its heritage. There are literally very few sanctioned exceptions and as a result, no spirit may be called “tequila” unless it comes from Jalisco, Mexico – the known town of Tequila.
Cabo Wabo is what we like to call the “drink of the wild west”. Our promotional models conduct regular event sampling executions at high end restaurants and bars in Calgary. Some of the top recipes for Cabo Wabo can be found on their website.
For more information on event sampling for your alcohol brand, give us a ring at 416.283.9119. We’d love to bring your brand to life!