Breaking with the traditional seller-buyer relationship, more and more companies involve customers in their business processes. Studies predict that by 2017, half of all producers of consumer goods will receive 75% of their innovation and R&D capabilities from crowdsourced solutions. Companies are empowering their customers to benefit from their experience, expertise, motivation and time. But what’s in it for the costumer? To encourage customers to participate in the companies innovation activities there must be a reward for the customer.
One form of customer involvement which includes a win-win situation for the company and for the customer is tryvertising. Tryvertising refers to the opportunity given to consumers to test products for free in order to provide valuable feedback on their experience with the product. In tryvertising the consumer is directly targeted and users are in direct relationship with the company for whom they test.
Tryvertising can be used as a research tool in the testing phase. The testing phase of a product is a very important phase in the new product development process. This step in the product development sequence checks the adequacy and consistency of the end product with its original goals in order to assess the level of refinement required. Therefore, insufficient or ineffective testing phases can lead to dramatic results during the market launch of a new product. To avoid those dramatic results companies can provide experienced consumers a free product in return for their feedback. This feedback can also lead to increased understanding of their consumers’ perspective on a certain products and their purchasing intentions.
Tryvertising can also be used during the market launch of a new product. Companies can provide consumers with a free product in return for a review online. These free products can create an online buzz that helps to increase brand visibility during the market launch. An example of a company that uses this technique is Bol.com. They are partnering up with brands and provide consumers with a free product in return for a review on their website. This generates revenue for Bol.com, the brands and the consumer is rewarded with a free product.
An example of a marketing company that is specialized in tryvertising is Sampleo. Through their online platform they connect brands with consumers willing to test new products and share their opinion on the product performance with the manufacturers or with other consumers online. The reward for the consumer is clear: they get a free product. The founders of Sampleo won a couple of awards with this business idea (Start in Paris #11, Petit Poucet 2012, Graines the Boss competition 2012). Sampleo creates more exposure for products as it directly targets the right end users. The users decide themselves which products they want to engage with.