Matt Eichorn launches a new startup next month: Freeosk. The idea belongs in the genre of “Why didn’t someone think of this a long time ago?” It promises the future of market research that catapults over conventional approaches that yield less reliable data.
Freeosk, as its name suggests, is a kiosk of free samples. Its all-white frame features shelves of products, along with a scanner and high-definition touchscreen. They could soon become fixtures of major retailers, with brands like Airborne and Snickers featuring their products on Freeosks on a weekly basis. To get a free sample, just swipe your loyalty or membership card, and a free sample will be dispensed immediately. Then, if you decide to purchase the product later, Freeosk will “pair up its data with sales data, to have a clear picture of the adoption process,” Eichorn says. “Did you buy the product? Did you continue to buy it? Or did you buy a competitor’s?”
It’s simple and smart. The key is that it integrates with retailer membership services—“it could be a warehouse membership card, or a Wallgreens or Duane Reade loyalty card,” Eichorn says—allowing brands to finally see the impact of their sample touch points. Before, when a customer snatched up a free sample, brands had little if any insight into its affect on sales, at least directly. Did you enjoy that new flavor of Skittles? Were you more likely to purchase it later? Nobody knew.