Nosh founder Clinton Beuvink and business partner Dianne McAteer have a new venture that aims to make in-home product sampling smarter than sending a shampoo sachet to a letterbox.
Sample Co Black Box sends packages of products to consumers that match the information they supply in a profile, then the recipient sends feedback to be eligible to get more items.
The service makes it easier for companies to get their brand in front of potential buyers and to hear what people think of their products, says Beuvink.
"It's the reality for a lot of marketers and brands that getting consumers to become aware of and try their products is becoming increasingly difficult with the changes in how consumers are getting messages. People are watching less TV and can deselect the brand messages. In most print media subscriptions are difficult to maintain."
It's a combination traditional try before you buy marketing and "new tech" with real time feedback from consumers, he says. The idea formed while Beuvink was working in marketing and management and later at Nosh, the specialty food market.
"A lot of marketers are saying how do you get the experiences, not just the message.
"From a Nosh point of view it was about the experiential elements of getting people to try the products before they buy it."
Sample Co has bought databases to aggregate about 30,000 contacts and wants to add signups from among groups that encompass particular demographics, like Grey Power and Plunket.
The first campaigns will start at the end of May or early June. The products won't be limited to supermarket and could include categories like hardware, specialty or pharmacy, says Beuvink.
Marketers pay from a ratecard based on factors like the size and weight of the product, and the unit price is cheaper with more boxes.