Giving out free samples is one of the best ways to promote your brand. Sampling of higher-end products, however, is no longer exclusive to Hollywood red-carpet events, award shows and big trade shows. It's come to serve a dual purpose of attracting attendants to any event and at the same time giving a brand exposure even if it's already well known in elite circles. Such was the case at last week's screening of the film CoCo Before Chanel, sponsored by the fast-growing women's Web site BettyConfidential.com. Each attendant received a gift bag filled with free samples, including Darac Beauty's Expedition mascara, Repeat Possessions' Niki Biki tube top, and Barneys' Acqua di Parma fragrance. Moments later, several women were buzzing about the pleasant texture of the mascara brush and were curious to find out what exactly is Niki Biki—curious enough to visit the company's Web site, listed on the enclosed business card. While it's just a small example of what sampling can do for a brand, it's a good lesson for marketers who may want to look beyond major events to get consumers' attention.
—Posted by Elena Malykhina