Non-User to User…a sampling story!

My first phone, a Nokia 3310. A friend of mine offered it to me in 2004. From then on, I became a mobile phone user from a non-user. Are there people who still do not use mobile phones? I wonder. More on that some other time. But when I was a non-user of the mobile phone, I convinced myself that I did not need it and I could easily manage without it. It would merely be an unnecessary clutter on my desk and in my life. I did not want to be environment unfriendly or fall prey to consumerism by possessing one more gadget. Also, I was unfamiliar with this technology. Why should I invest every month in maintaining a new status symbol that I would not use regularly? These thoughts, at first, made me reluctant to accept the no-string-attached, gratuitous offer from my friend. On the other side, I was fascinated with the capabilities that books and newspaper articles attributed to the mobile phone, and the status that was attached to possessing it. Eventually, the lure of this new technology won. I ended up accepting this gift not aware that it had the potential of making me dependent on one of the most sought-after innovation by marketers, businesses, entrepreneurs, and lay folk as well. Little may my friend have envisaged, that that offering me that “sample” of a mobile phone would eventually transform me into a versatile mobile phone user who uses this device for talking, texting, blogging, tweeting, organizing, communicating, reminding, storing, driving business, research, teaching, relaxing and practically managing almost every need of my life.


Product sampling and free trials are back! These are tried and tested techniques that brands have used to introduce people to their products, services, concepts, and insights and to build brand affinity. But they are under-utilized. In a survey conducted by Young America in 2015, 53 percent of those surveyed said they often or always end up buying a product that they sampled. But, 60 percent said they did not receive any trial samples in the past year. For the complete research findings, read:


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