Try Me Free

Retail giant Sainsbury’s recently became the first major UK retailer to commit to putting an end to ‘buy one get one free’ style promotions in their stores. Reports suggest that the move is a response to the growing issue of over-consumption, or rather shoppers purchasing more product than they can reasonably consume.

Buy one get one free, or BOGOF as it’s commonly referred to, offered instant perceived value to a shopper and economy-of-scale to a brand. However, in recent times BOGOF invited controversy when independent reports suggested that unit-prices were habitually exaggerated, thereby misleading the shopper into spending more on a BOGOF offer than they would usually spend on a single item. Additionally, research suggested that shoppers were collectively wasting a huge amount of money on additional items unnecessarily. Ouch.

So, with BOGOF finally bogging-off, so to speak, what ethical promotional mechanics are available to brands in 2016? And how are the morally-sound alternatives perceived by the consumer? One ethical mechanic that Hive have transported into the digital age is the humble Try Me Free.

Hive’s innovative take on Try Me Free is a concept that lends itself nicely to brands who previously relied on BOGOF to improve weight of purchase. It also provides fantastic exposure for new brands and new product lines, who are able to launch their shiny new product with a confident ‘TRY ME FOR FREE’ message on pack.

But, do shoppers assume that the hurdles and barriers to a successful Try Me Free claim are too complicated to bother with? Arguably, yes – that is, until Hive took the reins. Below we take a look at the ‘old’ customer journey and reveal our simplified solution.

The problem.

Historically, the Try Me Free journey for a shopper carried a long-winded reputation. In the footsteps of other ‘manual’ postal promotions, a consumer would purchase a promotional pack, carefully read the instructions and then assemble and post to the manufacturer, often at their own cost; a till receipt as proof of purchase, a section of packaging to validate the purchase, a piece of notepaper containing a product review with a precise word-count and their name, address and telephone number.

Only then, if they had meticulously followed the instructions correctly, at the mercy of the British postal system would they at some point receive a cheque in the post to cash-in at their bank in town.

It sounds very twentieth-century, doesn’t it?

Hive’s solution.

It’s time to give Try Me Free a make-over (or make-under, rather), which is precisely what Hive have done with their unique codes. Here’s how it works. Hive print unique codes on a brand’s packaging.

Try me free packs
The shopper purchases the product and pops their unique code and contact details into a simple website, or into a mobile app if they’re on the move. At that point, the purchase is validated. The shopper then chooses either their Try Me Free refund, or an alternative reward (from a selection from Hive’s catalogue). The website securely captures the shopper’s payment details. Hive transfers the Try Me Free amount directly into their bank account.

The whole journey takes a couple of minutes and provides a quick, satisfactory experience for the shopper.

Try me free screenshot
By the way (and this is an exclusive), we know that a significant proportion of visitors opt for an alternative reward rather than a refund, significantly improving the promotion’s financial return for the brand and keeping those all-important fixed fee partners happy too.

Additionally, once the Try Me Free promotion has closed its doors, the brand can pursue a conversation with their shoppers via a personalised CRM or comms programme, providing further opportunity to drive frequency of purchase driven by unique codes on their packs.

In summary, while we start to wave goodbye to price promotions, we say hello to ethical promotional mechanics that reward both the shopper and the brand. And keep all people happy. Long live the Try Me Free!

To find out how Hive can help your brand to improve frequency of purchase and weight of purchase through unique codes, please contact or call 01509 882910 and speak to Rachel Swann.