How Can a Retail Store be “Brand-Neutral?”

I often tell brands that SamplingLab is a brand-neutral experience for consumers, which sounds rather odd when we’ve built a store full of new products, then invite consumers to try them in exchange for their feedback.

What I mean by brand-neutral is that we don’t promote one brand or product over another, plus there’s no brand rep on-site soliciting an opinion or pressuring consumers to buy what they’ve just tried -- often the real objective of in-store sampling.

Millennials particularly hate that.

Our members often ask what’s good or what we recommend they try, and our response is “That’s for you to figure out.” Offering a comfortable and pressure-free environment is essential for consumers to experience a product and offer honest feedback – something lacking in most in-store and event-based sampling situations.

We’re not dismissing the value of in-store sampling tied solely to making an immediate sale, however it’s time for brands to look beyond that short-term metric and focus on creating a lasting connection with consumers that might lead to a lifetime of sales.