The Advantage of the Inn Environment

Sampling in bed and breakfasts is one of the best settings to reach your customer and has many advantages over other venues including consumers being in a joyful attitude and open to new things, the leisurely and aspirational surroundings with highly accomplished innkeepers handing out samples. The experiences is repeatable once the traveler returns home.

Here’s how one client expressed the advantage of the inn environment

(Sara Lee’s Senseo® coffee pod systems with 700,000 coffee samples at 2,000 bed and breakfasts across the US.)

Senseo wanted upscale coffee drinkers looking for that “perfect” cup of coffee. Here’s what they said,

“The bed & breakfast industry appeals to the exact demographic that we are going after,” commented Pam Venn, Corporate Brands Manager of Sara Lee Retail. “The program allows us to have each innkeeper act as an ambassador for our brand, and brand ambassadors are our single best vehicle for reaching and persuading ‘new adaptors’ to try and buy our system,” says Venn.

Senseo® was impressed by the idea of having innkeepers embrace their product, surrounded by the comforting ambiance of an inn, rather than passing coffee samples out in a grocery store. Venn added, ” In-store samples don’t allow for the consumer to leisurely experience the product and can be costly.”

“Previous demo efforts, over a period of about 8 months, saw us hand out about 1.3 million samples at about 20 different retailers”, says Venn. That is an average of 37,000 samples per weekend. “With American Historic Inns, our program is conceivably providing 700,000 samples during a 30-day period. That’s an average of about 175,000 samples per weekend!”

The program, including a free Senseo® coffee pod system, six Senseo® mugs, and samples of three new coffee flavors (Paris, Killarney, or Vienna), was enthusiastically received by innkeepers and their guests. March Riggio, innkeeper of the White House on High Street in Port Jefferson New York, reports, “We have had the system and samples for less than two weeks and it’s a big hit with our guests…two guests have already purchased a system.”

Deborah Sakach, AHI president notes, “Visitors usually associate a positive experience with the products they are provided at an inn and commonly ask innkeepers where they can buy them.”
AHI’s promotions and sampling department also works with consumer goods companies on their in-store promotions with such programs as Buy-One-Night-Get-One-Night Free in-pack or on-pack promotions, incentive programs, custom tie-ins and customer loyalty/rewards programs.

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