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Influences on free samples usage within the luxury cosmetic market

Insaf Ben Amor (IAE, University of Science and Technology of Lille, Lille I, France)
(Faculty of Law, Economic Science and Management, University of Sousse, Sousse, Tunisia)
Francis Guilbert (IAE, University of Science and Technology of Lille, Lille I, France)

Direct Marketing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1750-5933

Article publication date: 27 March 2009




The goals of this paper are to determine the effectiveness of product sampling in terms of usage, to draw a consumer profile who is reactive to free samples and to determine product characteristics that would lead to free samples usage.


An experiment and a questionnaire inquiry were conducted. An outlet database was also used. Perfume, skin care and make‐up samples were given away to 500 women. In order to test the hypotheses logit models were employed.


Launching product sampling campaigns is quite effective as free samples usage appears to be high (72 per cent). Managers should give away samples of new products involving important advertising budgets. They also should offer samples of product types with a high‐penetration rate. In addition, it is better to sample well‐known brands rather than unknown ones. Moreover, the authors recommend targeting family brand users when offering free samples. Also, it is not profitable to target consumers with low‐annual spending within the product category. Finally, the authors suggest giving away samples to non‐working housewives.


This is the first paper to examine the determinants of free samples usage. Moreover, the study considers three methods of data collection. Finally, it has interesting practical and theoretical implications.



Ben Amor, I. and Guilbert, F. (2009), "Influences on free samples usage within the luxury cosmetic market", Direct Marketing: An International Journal, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 67-82.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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