WDS insights: Demo frequency & scheduling

Aspire’s multipack of natural energy drinks launched in Costco back in 2017. At this time, it was imperative that Aspire Drinks grow its brand awareness amongst Costco members. Aspire Drinks also wanted to deliver a long-term view of increasing sales across every warehouse location in the UK. The energy drink supplier had a few ongoing obstacles to overcome which included:

Communicating USPs

Aspire Drinks offers a healthier alternative to other well-known energy drinks. This messaging is a crucial point of difference to other products and needs to be highlighted.

Product Awareness

Building brand recognition amongst Costco members is important as it would ensure repeat purchases and popularity for the brand to steadily grow.

Brand Competition

Aspire Drinks faced competition from other, energy drinks within Costco. They needed a platform to communicate to Costco members which would maximise their in-store exposure.

Consistency is key

WDS believed the key to success would be consistency. So, with this in mind, demos were planned to take place every single week across all Costco locations in the UK. The reasoning behind this was simple, Aspire would gain maximum exposure and be able to target a great number of Costco members. Booking a regular demo slot also ensured they could forward plan their in-store promotions more accurately and they could also retarget members with follow-up sampling to help drive repeat purchases for the brand.

WDS Brand Ambassadors were also specially selected through a recruitment process and received training sessions directly from the brand.WDS and Aspire Drinks implemented an incentive program for all Brand Ambassadors working on demos to encourage sales uplifts. Aspire also elevated its in-store presence for the demo and supplied branded POS and uniforms for brand ambassadors to wear.


Scheduling Demos

WDS worked closely with Aspire Drinks to devise a demo program with the aim to consistently run demos every week during the busier/peak times. They wanted to target days of the week which typically attracted higher footfalls so WDS scheduled demo days accordingly. This was with the intention that our teams could strategically deliver higher volumes of samples and speak to a greater number of prospective consumers during these demo times. WDS also worked very closely with Aspire Drinks to monitor the demo program. Our customer relationship team meet with the brand on a weekly basis via Zoom calls and arranges monthly meetings to recap the month’s performance. Aspire Drinks is also invited to attend the regional meetings held by the WDS operations team. They are allocated time to speak with our demo service managers across the business to discuss the demo activity in each warehouse location.


The repetition and consistency of product sampling have paid off for Aspire Drinks. They become a firm favourite amongst Costco members. On average, they serve up to 883 samples every demo. Over time, this has contributed to boosting their sales across all warehouse locations and raising awareness for their product.

Award-winning results

Coming into Costco as a Challenger brand to other well-known energy drinks meant they needed a platform to create engagement amongst their target consumers. Scheduling demos across every warehouse frequently enabled them to introduce their product to members and show what their point of difference is against other competitor brands. Deciding to regularly commit to demos also allowed the brand to track trends and strategically analyse the benefits in-store sampling provides over a long period of time. More recently, WDS received a silver award at the 2022 Field Marketing and Brand Experience Awards for our teams’ ongoing support to Aspire Drinks. The category was ‘Most effective retail sales experience and sales events.’

The Judge’s feedback: “WDS really impressed with the attention to detail and a focus on the value brought to Aspire by pre-event training and post-event surveying brand ambassadors. The post-event survey meant valuable insight was brought back to the brand and sales uplift.”

The team celebrate our best-ever FMBE Awards.