June 30, 2015

Bigger Isn’t Better: How Packaging for Samples Can Give Your Brand a Boost

Bigger Isn’t Better: How Packaging for Samples Can Give Your Brand a Boost

As variety becomes a new shopping priority for consumers, brands can set themselves apart by providing new options for customers to try their products.

Our society has traditionally functioned on a basic system — if a little is good, then more must be better. This ideology includes bulk retailers such as Costco offering big discounts for big purchases, super-sized fast food value meals, and huge luxury cars equipped with enough features to make James Bond jealous.

However, this huge mindset could be considered a huge fault in today’s market. Where we were once a culture fixated on giant-sized value, the tide is turning in favor of something a bit easier to digest — Mini-sized products. From individual coffee cups provided by Keurig to Bluetooth headsets small enough to fit inside your ear canal, our products are shrinking at an alarming rate.

More Options, or More of the Same?

The trend makes sense in a changing society where more value is placed on exploring the variety of your options over getting as much for as little as you can. More retailers have already begun offering smaller versions of their standard sizes to reflect the new needs of today’s consumer.

With as many options as we have available for our purchasing pleasure, we’re no longer interested in committing to a product unless we’re sure it’ll meet our needs. To this end, businesses have found great success in providing smaller sized offerings for consumers interested in a try before you buy. This can include offering smaller sized versions of your regular products, or the inclusion of small, trial products with purchase of a full-size.

The Huge Benefits of Going Small

These micro transactions provide consumers with the flexibility to try multiple varieties of a product, most evident in industries such as cosmetics where there are countless options to choose from. Why buy a full-size tube of lipstick that you’re not sure you’ll like when a different brand is offering a trial size for a reduced price?

Of course, this idea is most effective for industries that rely on consumers to purchase different styles of similar products, such as make up or food options. Exposure to variety can be a huge factor in boosting sales for these categories, as many people are loathe to spend money on new, scary alternatives to the styles they’re familiar with. However, including samples takes the risk out of the equation for the customer and allows them to experience something new without any risk or effort on their part. For the consumer, this trend offers a multitude of advantages:

  • Lower prices for smaller sized items purchased on a trial basis
  • Increased ease of testing multiple varieties without breaking the bank
  • Less commitment required before purchasing
  • Confidence that they’ll be satisfied with their purchases

While these are great bonuses for consumers, the benefits extend to the business side as well:

  • Winning sales over competitors who have more limited offerings
  • More full-size product sales from consumers confident in their post-trial purchase
  • Improved brand reputation – inclusion of sample sizes reflect an understanding of the needs of your consumers

To be sure, the inclusion of small product sizes in the marketplace can only be a positive for brands willing to adapt to the trend.

Expand Your Brand

While altering your infrastructure to include sample packaging may seem like a hassle, the benefits that come along with it may be a bigger boost to your brand than you realize. Aside from the cost savings for consumers that are interested in trying multiple offerings without spending much, your decision to offer samples and trial sizes speaks to the heart of your brand.

The essence of marketing, after all, is building connections with your consumers to share products and experiences that are beneficial to both parties. By providing your market with options at little or no cost to them, your brand will stand out as one that is in touch with the needs of your customers and will make it more likely that you’ll end up turning one-time customers into raving fans.


by Kevin Smith
SmashBrand helps brands create, optimize, and launch successful products, services, and customer experiences. Our data-driven process is the key to accelerating sales and minimizing risks.

We use a strategic combination of market research, design, and consumer testing to solve complex brand problems more effectively, create differentiation, and forge more meaningful connections with customers.

Let's work together.

Tell us a little about your project, and we'll be in touch right away.

Your Details

Don't worry, this is for our eyes only, but we want to be able to reach out to you and chat.


Your Project

We help brands solve complex problems to cut through retail clutter to accelerate their sales and growth while minimizing any risks. Tell us how we can help you.

What type of Project are you enquiring about?

What is your budget? $40 - 80k

What is your timeline 4 - 10 Weeks +

Submit Away

Thanks for taking the time to share your project. We'll take a close look and get back to you as soon as possible.

Prepare for a quick response!