While shopping last weekend I encountered a host of tasting booths at one store. All these demonstrations were offering samples of food with the staff harkening us to “try some free ____.” It was like trick-or-treating for grown-ups.

Then I went to another store that also had a plethora of sampling stations. Only at this place, the message was clearly: “try before you buy.” It wasn’t just free snacking; there was a distinct push to purchase the products that were being shared.

There is a vast distinction between “free” and “try before you buy.” If you have a clear intention for your marketing, be sure to say it in your messaging.

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