Thursday, March 29, 2012

Beauty Samples in Magazines

Dear cosmetic companies,

While I love it when you include a sample of your product in magazines, please make sure to include a sample that’s big enough to use multiple times.

This month, my issues of Chatelaine and Fashion are packed with samples. Unfortunately, some, like the sample of Biotherm’s Aquasource Nuit, are barely big enough for one use.

While one use will tell me whether there’s anything obvious to dislike about a product (if it has a weird smell or leaves skin shiny, for example), it won’t convince me to buy something, particularly if it’s a skin care product that requires multiple applications in order to see any benefits.

At minimum, any skin care sample should be able to last for four applications. In my mind, that’s long enough for me to get a good sense of the product and whether or not it’s something I should purchase.
Makeup samples can get away with being smaller, since makeup is more about the immediate results, but I do think that even they should be large enough that I can try them out in a couple of different situations (say, once during the work day and once at night).

I realize that these larger sized samples are pricier to put out but it can be done. One of this month’s magazines contains a sample of Garnier’s Ultra-Life Serum + Moisturizer that’s actually two packets of the same product (one of either side of the card), hopefully enough to let me try it out for four days.

If you don’t want to pay for the larger sample size, consider giving away deluxe-sized samples at stores or through the mail, instead of through magazines. That way, the people who really want to try your products are able to and you’re not paying for samples that will just be tossed or used but never really tried out.

Anyway, those are just my thoughts on magazine samples, which, just to be clear, I do like. I just wish they were bigger.


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