Sampling Staff Scotland

Sampling Staff Scotland

When the Mrs Bridges brand set out to expand its retail involvement, they knew that sampling was the best way to proceed. As soon as customers tasted the delicious preserves, they would immediately like them.

Envisage undertook that first sampling campaign back in 2015. The impact was instant. Mrs Bridges experienced a rapid growth in sales within every retail outlet – and our partnership has continued ever since to bring Mrs Bridges delicious preserves to an ever wider audience.

What makes Mrs Bridges so special?

When organising the sampling campaign, this was one of the first questions we asked.

The reasons were quickly apparent. Mrs Bridges has been supplying high quality conserves since 1938 and has steadily developed a range of over 60 products, many of which are seasonal specials.

In keeping with their heritage, Mrs Bridges still use copper pans to make their produce. The pans are all steam heated, and a traditional rolling boil method is used to create the conserves. Only the finest ingredients are used. Fruit and sugar are slowly boiled in a copper pan to ensure that the flavours are fully released before being allowed to set. The pans themselves are made within the Dundee area, maintaining the local links and craftsmanship that are so important to Mrs Bridges.

The result is a business which, although operating on a large scale, truly maintains its heritage. These are jams and conserves that are made by people, not by robot equipment.

The sampling campaign

We needed to make sure that these messages of quality, heritage and tradition were clearly transmitted to the potential customers at the point of sampling. The sampling programme covers all kinds of retail outlets from garden centres, department stores to artisan suppliers.

We began by trialling a variety of sampling programmes, before deciding that targeting festive events such as Valentines Day, Christmas, Easter by selling hampers offered the best results. Holding sampling programmes at these times encouraged instant sales, as well as encouraging on going sales since gift recipients kept coming back to buy individual products over a long period. Every sampling session immediately resulted in a massive increase in sales simply because people were instantly taken with the quality, flavour and taste of the conserves.

Each day during the campaign, our sampling staff arrived ahead of time to set up a table in a key location. Jams, chutneys and associated products were temptingly laid out so that we could offer a variety of tastes and flavours to interested shoppers. We chatted about the product, and encouraged feedback. At the end of each day, our staff sent over a report highlighting shopper responses and feedback – as well as recording sales. The resultant report also included details of stand positioning within a store, and lots of images taken throughout the day. As a result, we could show how sales increased from day to day, with sales uptake rising from 50% in an existing store to 300% in new ones.

This is a product that really sells itself. We maximised this by using experienced sampling staff who encouraged people to taste more than one variety, to talk about their reactions and seek out as much feedback as possible. An additional advantage was that our sampling staff were really enthusiastic about the brand, having been thoroughly briefed on the history, heritage and production methods. All the tasting was conducted in a thoroughly hygienic and inviting manner by well presented, courteous, friendly staff.

Wherever in the UK , Mrs Bridges wants to enter a new market they know we can provide high quality sampling staff to match the quality of their brand. All they do is explain what they want, and leave us to do the rest knowing that sales are going to increase with a campaign that really works.

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