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Social proof: using brand activations to build your product’s sales

Posted on:
September 11, 2023

social proof, ugc. reviews and wom

In today’s digital age, consumers are more discerning than ever. They rely heavily on online reviews, user-generated content (UGC), and social proof to make informed purchasing decisions. For brands, this shift in consumer behaviour presents both challenges and opportunities. One powerful way to meet this challenge head-on is through brand activations, particularly direct-to-home sampling campaigns.

What Is Social Proof, and Why Does It Matter?

‘Social proof’ is a term that was created by author Robert Cialdini in his book ‘Influence’, first published in 1984. Social proof is the psychological phenomenon where people look to others’ actions and behaviours to guide their own decisions. In simpler terms, if others are doing it, it must be a good idea. This concept extends to the realm of online shopping, where potential buyers seek validation through reviews, ratings, and UGC.

Positive social proof, such as high product ratings and glowing reviews, can significantly influence a consumer’s decision to purchase a product. It builds trust and confidence in the brand, demonstrating that other people have tried and loved the product, making it a safer choice. It’s the digital equivalent of word-of-mouth recommendations.

The Power of Sampling Brand Activations

Brand activations, especially those involving direct-to-home sampling, can be a game-changer when it comes to building social proof through reviews, ratings and word of mouth for your products. Here’s how:


  1. Genuine User Feedback:

When you distribute samples directly to consumers, you’re not just giving away products; you’re initiating a conversation. Users who receive these samples are more likely to engage with your brand and product, incentivising consumers to leave valuable feedback, reviews, and user-generated content. With Sampl, this averages to 10% review rate for every sample sent.


  1. Authentic Reviews:

Unlike purchased reviews or generic testimonials, reviews stemming from direct-to-home sampling are genuine and trustworthy. These users have experienced your product firsthand, and are gaining no further reward for leaving a review, unlike many reviews found sampling community sites and pay to review methods – making Sampl reviews more authentic and persuasive.

  1. Higher Ratings:

As more users try your product through sampling campaigns, you’re likely to see an uptick in positive ratings and purchase intent. Higher ratings contribute to improved visibility and credibility on e-commerce platforms – and a high review rate is often followed by higher purchasing rates. Sampl’s campaigns not only generate high reviews, but also average a 78.3% purchase intent.

  1. Increased UGC:

User-generated content, such as images, videos, and posts about your product, often accompanies positive reviews. This UGC serves as real-life endorsements of your brand, further strengthening social proof.


  1. Word-of-Mouth Amplification:

Happy customers who receive samples are more likely to share their positive experiences with friends and family. This word-of-mouth promotion extends your brand’s reach, creating a ripple effect of social proof – we often see high recommendation rates for products sampled with our platform, for examples, SEEN haircare reached an astronomical 89% recommendations rate from their Sampl campaign. 

  1. Competitive Advantage:

Brands that actively engage in direct-to-home sampling campaigns often stand out in crowded marketplaces. These campaigns demonstrate a commitment to customer satisfaction and product quality, differentiating your brand from competitors, ensuring your products get into their hands.


Social Proof Concluded

In the age of digital shopping, social proof is the currency of trust. Building a strong foundation of social proof through brand activations like direct-to-home sampling can have a profound impact on your brand’s success.

By fostering genuine user feedback, authentic reviews, and compelling user-generated content, you create a compelling narrative that resonates with potential customers. It’s not just about selling products; it’s about creating a community of loyal customers who vouch for your brand’s excellence.

If you’re looking to improve your brand’s social proof, and build a network of advocates, contact our product sampling agency team today at or by booking a call here.

About the author

Roland Spencer

Roland serves as the Head of Marketing at Sampl, a dynamic product sampling agency. Based in the vibrant city of Brighton, he brings extensive expertise in marketing and content development. With a passion for guiding tech businesses towards success. Roland thrives on crafting innovative marketing strategies and delivering exceptional results. When he’s not immersed in the world of marketing, you can often find him watching Formula E, playing football, gardening and cooking.

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