3 Reasons Johnsonville’s “Guerrilla Sampling” Idea is Awesome

Johnsonville Guerrilla Sampling

If your product or service is something that has to be tasted or tried in order for your customers to fully appreciate it, samples are probably already an important part of your marketing strategy. We’ve all seen the glorified lunch lady handing out samples at a grocery store, Costco, or sometimes even at a fair or farmers market if the brand is really adventurous. Recently however, Johnsonville (the company that makes breakfast sausages), took sampling to another level by creating a “guerrilla sampling” campaign. For three days each week, brand ambassadors distributed samples of Johnsonville products to commuters on Atlanta’s MARTA rail system.

Here are three reasons this is a great idea:

It allows you to be in the right place, at the right time

People who take the train in the morning are probably on their way to work. Most of us are in a rush on our morning commute, and maybe didn’t even have time to find something to eat for breakfast. So there you are: feeling the pressure of the 9-5 grind, feeling like you never have time to eat a decent breakfast anymore, and then BAM! You’re served a hot and tasty sausage sandwich. It’s much more likely that someone will be eager to try a sample in this case instead of if they were wandering through the aisles in the grocery store.

It’s highly shareable

People love to whip out their smartphones and take videos or pictures of anything even remotely out of the ordinary. Johnsonville not only earned the impressions of those people who got a taste of their product on the rail system, they also surely got some great exposure through snapchats, Instagram posts, Facebook statuses, and tweets of people telling their friends: “You’ll never guess what happened on my way to work!” Also, don’t forget about the exposure from good old fashioned word of mouth.

It creates lasting impressions

People don’t expect to smell freshly cooked breakfast sausage in the train station on their ride to work. It’s tapping into the cardinal rule of creative guerrilla marketing: things that are foreign or unexpected are extremely memorable.

There’s also an almost pavlovian effect here: There’s nothing that would make me want to buy Johnsonville’s products more than looking forward to my sample every day for almost a week, and then having to deal with its sudden disappearance.

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