Yes, the number one rule of marketing any food brand should be: Get it in people’s mouths. But with so many new brands, with new claims and new miracle ingredients, I’d argue, when you get someone to taste your product, you’re only taking the first bite out of the overall problem. And that problem is, people are more confused than ever about what to eat.
So let’s look at some ways to make the lowly demo demonstrate a greater ROI. Why?
- The demo is the near-perfect time to make a personal impression on a potential consumer
- It’s also a chance to ask that consumer a few questions — instead of just giving them a free snack
- That’s right — it’s a great chance to learn
You probably think you’re already doing a pretty good job on that first point. Assuming you have a likeable representative manning your fold-out table, assuming they have a good talk track, etc. But let’s talk for a moment about the structure of that talk track:
- Is it structured to tell or ask?
- Does your brand rep launch into a list of free-froms and product attributes?
- Is there anything that potential consumer has to give you in exchange for that free taste?
These are important questions — they’re motivated by my having experienced many, many demos and many, many, MANY food brand trade show exhibits.
The issue is, there’s too much telling and selling. Your consumer candidate is numb to the schtick because they’ve heard the same thing every time they walk up to a table like yours. The answer, flip the script as they say. Instead of telling, start asking:
- ”Do you buy products like this a lot?”
- ”What brand do you typically buy?”
- ”How do you think our product stacks up?”
- ”Would you be willing to tell us more about what we could do better for (NUMBER) free (BARS/PACKAGES) of our product?”
In other words, don’t talk about your product — at all, unless the person asks a question. Otherwise, talk about HIM or HER. See if you can get some info. Write it down after the person walks away. Offer a way for that person to go to a landing page on your site (or better yet, send you an email that will allow you to automatically capture theirs), where they can answer some questions — in return for what you offered above. That information is worth ten times the cost of the freebies you send back.
The entire point I’m making — and please, execute against this suggestion in your own way — is, stop thinking of the demo as a way to sell a few hundred dollars worth of product — look at it as a way to learn about your consumer. Then use that knowledge to make better marketing.
Snack on that. And tell me how it tastes.
Be digestible. And thanks.