The WDS team share their favourite demos of 2019
2019 was a busy and exciting year for the team at WDS. We asked two of our brand ambassadors to share their favourite demos from 2019 and to tell us how they reflect changes in trends in consumer behaviour, and why they were special.
Read on to find out what Jean Lowe and Daniel Steel’s standout demos were, and how their individual approaches benefit both the brand and the consumer.
The importance of telling, and sharing, a story
Good marketing involves telling an engaging and entertaining story – one that customers will remember and that will create positive associations with your brand. The beauty of product demonstrations is – when done well – they allow you to tell that story face-to-face: to share the experience with customers and discover their own stories and anecdotes.
This was certainly the case for Jean Lowe, Deputy Demo Service Manager for WDS at Costco in Haydock, whose standout demo of 2019 was R. White’s Lemonade. Many people still remember the iconic ad that ran in the 70s and 80s featuring a highly memorable jingle… Jane told us; “I asked if they remembered the advert where a man got up in the middle of the night singing ‘I’m a secret lemonade drinker’. They did, and we all sang together!” Identifying these shared experiences and associations with consumers is a wonderful way of bonding, removing barriers to sale, and – quite simply – having a laugh.
No doubt the customers would have left the store that day, reminiscing about the R. White’s ad, as well as countless other famous ads from the past. This is how customer loyalty is fostered and positive brand associations are made.
“By adding extra narratives into the conversation, Jean was able to create rapport with her customers.”
Another standout demo for Jean was Copper Dog Whisky. This product also allowed Jean to share another anecdote with the visitors to her demo. “This was a great demo to be involved in because of the story behind the name. ‘Copper Dog’ was the name of a device used by distillery workers to smuggle whisky home. It was made from copper tubing with a penny soldered to one end and a cork in the other.” By adding these extra narratives into the conversation, Jean was able to create rapport with her customers and give them a story to tell, or an anecdote to remember when they enjoyed their whisky at home.
The changing face of product demonstrations
Product demonstrations are incredibly valuable to brands – facilitating quality interactions with customers and prospects in a welcoming, friendly environment. But how have product demos changed over the years? What formats and approaches are best received by modern audiences? Consumers’ needs are constantly changing and their preferences for the way they are marketed to change accordingly. Gone are the days when product demos relied on simply offering a sample or a quick look at an item or items. Nowadays, people want to engage in a more meaningful way with brands. They prefer to align themselves with companies that share their values.
“Brands are focusing on more in-depth interactions with consumers.”
This change in attitude gives product demonstration professionals a great opportunity to tell their story: to share their knowledge while discovering what makes their market tick. Daniel Steel, Deputy Demonstration Manager for WDS at Costco, Watford, is a keen advocate of this new approach, recognising the potential of these open conversations to foster the brand loyalty that other channels might struggle to deliver. “Brands are focusing on more in-depth interactions with consumers,” Daniel told us. “They want to have quality conversations that encourage potential customers to ask questions about the products and try things they might not have considered before.”
Keen to benefit from Daniel’s expert knowledge, we asked him to share his standout demos from 2019. “The one that really stands out in my mind is Diageo whisky. The demo was presented like a roadshow event with five or so different types of whisky including premium brands as well as more affordable options. It’s nice for customers who don’t usually spend a lot on whisky to get an idea about the different types available, how they differ and the attributes they share. My parents are vintners so I understand that you can get a £40 bottle of wine that tastes just as good as a £600 bottle. It’s great to be able to demonstrate that to our customers, to show them the difference in tastes and aromas and help them make the right choice for them.”
Daniel’s approach meant the demo could be genuinely fun for the participants, as well as informative. There were plenty of positive interactions with customers who got to try delicious brands such as Johnnie Walker, Glenfiddich and Copper Dog, a beautiful Speyside blend. “Some people aren’t aware of the variety of brands that are housed under the Diageo umbrella,” Daniel points out. “This can open up a wider conversation about the drinks industry and really engage people.”
Encouraging customer engagement with high-ticket products
Another favourite demo for 2019 was the Sony Wena Smartwatch Strap. As a smartwatch user, Daniel could see a call for this kind of product and was excited to share it with Costco’s customers. The nature of the demo required a certain level of gravitas, so it was presented in a more formal environment than they might use for other types of demos. With this kind of high-value product, it can be a challenge to make sales on the day itself. Often you are simply raising awareness about the product, answering people’s questions and giving them the opportunity to interact with the product. There’s a lot to be said for gauging the look and feel of tech products in person rather than viewing them online or on an advert.
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Daniel and his team enjoyed the challenge of presenting such a high-ticket product. “Over the four days the demo ran, we made some great sales and the team were really pleased. There was a real sense of achievement. We had so many great interactions with customers, the time absolutely flew.”
Well-run and well-thought-out product demos give brands the opportunity to make a meaningful connection with their audience. They allow companies to tell their story, answer questions and address barriers to sale. These interactions are also great opportunities for understanding the wider concerns of your market and identifying opportunities for improvement or innovation.
The customer interactions our brand ambassadors spoke of are highly valuable for all parties involved. Brands should seize the opportunity to reach out to their customers and share their experiences and knowledge, as well as their products. Telling a great story always wins the day.
Featured image via AdobeStock