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THE DEMO DIARIES
Brand Ambassadors are constantly challenged to find new and interesting ways to present the products they represent. They must get in front of a busy shopper without getting in the way. We recently held a Short Story contest in which our Brand Ambassadors were asked to tell us a story about their demo experiences. One of our favorite stories was written by Prentice from Atlanta who writes the tale of “Demo Dodgers”. Prentice presents humor in the situation, which all Brand Ambassadors can relate to!
Read Prentice’s full story in our previous blog entry!
While there is humor to be found in these circumstances, it’s also a challenge that we must manage. A demo simply won’t be effective if a Brand Ambassador allows customers to walk by a presentation.
Here are 5 ways that we’ve learned to combat these so-called demo dodgers:
Thinking Outside the “Retail” Box
We recently had the privilege of presenting JimmyBar! to the employees of Disneyland. Our Brand Ambassadors had a great time sharing the JimmyBar! story and sampling these hearty bars to the hard working cast of the happiest place on earth, Disney!
These events got us thinking about what other ways we can promote the brands we work with outside of the retail outlets.
We asked ourselves:
How can we bring your product to the consumer?
We’re very excited to explore our answers to this question and share with you our stories as we do!
Have an idea for something our brand should be a part of? Shoot me an email at: Caitlin@naturalsolutionsdemo.com
With Brand Ambassadors representing our amazing clients all over the country, we know there are plenty of great stories every weekend!
From the funny, to the inspiring, to the sometimes bizarre, we invited our Brand Ambassadors to share their stories with us about some of their most memorable demo experiences.
The next few blog posts will be made up of those stories!
The first one we’d like to share is from one of our contest winners. This one's from Atlanta, GA, where our Brand Ambassador helped promote Runa Tea. Here we hear about how being a Brand Ambassador isn't always so easy, but with a sense of humor you can still be a top seller like this BA is!
“Demo Dodging: Finding Humor in “NO”
“No.” It’s an inevitability of being a brand ambassador that non-BA folk find hard to swallow. “How can you deal with ‘no’ so easily?” They ask. “That would bum me out.” It’s true. My dream customer would respond to my samples and brand info with “Oh, THEIR NAME! These samples are delectable and your spiel so compelling that I must buy all of your product! I’ll take them all!”
Instead we sample curious customers, well-informed health nuts and grazers (those people who create an impromptu happy hour by buying a wheatgrass smoothie and treating demo tables as hor d’ovures platters). Some will love the product and buy it. Some will not, and then there are Demo Dodgers. The lengths to which these people go to avoid a demo table crack me-up, so here are the most popular ways I’ve seen Demo Dodgers dodge demos:
The Aisle Dodge
The moment these shoppers spot that dreaded demo, they immediately turn their carts into the first aisle possible, even if there is nothing on that row they want or need. To Aisle Dodgers, it’s worthwhile to circle the store in the most inefficient way possible just to get past that BA and his/her pitch, samples, swag, and coupons. “Ha! I showed them,” gloats Mr. Aisle Dodger, after turning a five minute errand into half an hour.
Refusal to Make Eye Contact
“Oh gosh, there’s one of those coupon ladies,” some shy shopper sighs. “Maybe if I don’t look at her, she’ll disappear.” Ms. No Eye Contact then looks straight ahead, ignoring my offerings of organic tea and chia seeds. Lucky for me it didn’t work. I’m still here!
Fake Cell Phone Call
It’s amazing how many people suddenly get a phone call the moment they step in the door and see a demo table. The reception between the automatic doors must be stellar!
These stealthy shoppers truly seize the moment, waiting until a crowd of people are already enjoying free samples and good company around the demo table. At just the right moment, they quickly tip-toe around the traffic, unscathed and coupon free.
Stalking From Afar
Frugal McFrugalson wants to know what I have to offer without talking to me (Touché!). McFrugalson will stalk my table, peeking from afar. If the swag, samples or coupons look worthwhile, he will come out of hiding and approach me, usually from behind my display.
Saying “No” From the Get-go
Honesty is the best policy. Some direct Demo Dodgers are polite (“I’m sorry, Sweetie, but I’m in a hurry,” or “Not today, thanks.”), but some are quite grumpy and rude. Grumpy Cat would be proud! I never want to hassle unwilling customers, so much to their relief, I don’t jump the table and chase them. I may not understand why Demo Dodgers find the idea of receiving a free sample, coupons and a smile so unappealing, but I can always find humor in their antics!”
I'm sure anyone who has Brand Ambassador experience can relate to at least some of these Demo-Dodgers!
Stay tuned for another story here on the Natural Solutions blog soon!
Its been a great year for Natural Solutions, and we'd like to thank all of our amazing clients past and current! We are proud to represent such health and environmentally conscious companies. Thank you for your confidence and business.
We would also like to invite all of our friends to come and check out the latest brands we are representing all over the East Coast, Mid West, and Mid Atlantic. Our schedule can be found by clicking here.
We here at NATURAL solutions would like to wish all a warm and wonderful holiday season!
Caitlin McCarthy & The NATURAL solutions Demo Team
A Little About Myself and Natural Solutions
My name is Caitlin McCarthy and I am the President of Natural Solutions.
I started Natural Solutions after many years of working for one particular brand at a time building support programs.
During my last semester of college, I began working as a part time product demonstrator for a company called Ineeka and quickly realized how passionately I felt about their mission to bring organic, biodynamic, and fair trade tea to the marketplace. I soon began working full time at Ineeka running their nationwide demo program and there my passion and dedication for in-store product support of ethical brands began.
Since Ineeka, I’ve worked full and part time for brands spanning across many different product categories but each socially and environmentally responsible in their own right.
After leaving a full time position for a body care brand, I began to do a lot of soul searching. I knew that I could offer my knowledge, experience and passion to many companies in need of effective in-store marketing strategies.
Thus Natural Solutions came in to the world!
A little about the Natural Solutions Blog
This blog will serve to connect you with anything and everything of interest currently taking place in the natural products industry.
Each week I will be updating the site with a new blog that will cover one of many specific topics.
Some topics you can expect us to discuss on our blog include
- What’s working and what’s not – Ideas, thoughts and suggestion as to what we’re incurring in the field.
- Highlighted key clients.
- Thoughts and links to recent industry articles.
- Messages from employees. What our demo reps are saying.
- Many, many other topics of interest.
Please know that feedback is appreciated and encouraged. This is an open space for anyone to participate, be it a comment, agreement, disagreement or criticism.
There is space below each blog entry to leave a comment and/or feel free to contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to sharing our thoughts, ideas, and experience and to a mutual learning outlet.
President, Natural Solutions