Historic Inns created a sampling campaign for Tom’s of Maine toothpaste and here’s the comment we received from the company’s consumer development head.


I recommend AHI’s sampling services to any company that is looking to reach consumers who visit B&Bs or Inns. The first year of Tom’s of Maine’s participation in AHI’s sampling program resulted in a 14% increase in our natural toothpaste sales – you can’t get a better recommendation than that. AHI contributed to the success of this sampling program not only as an organization respected by B&B and Inn owners, but also through their ability to coordinate the logistics of the program and their flexibility in the face of  changing business needs. We look forward to doubling the size of our program this year.”

 — Erika J. Haas, Team Leader, Consumer Development, Tom’s of Maine


This program included collateral material created by the company and sent in boxes of 48 sampling units of toothpaste:

1.    Letter from AHI / that went in every case of samples

2.    PDF of the flagged toothpaste carton  (all cartons are the same)

3.     PDF of the East insert that will be in the toothpaste carton (in East shipments only)

4.    PDF of the West insert that will be in the toothpaste carton (in West shipments only)

5.    24 “green” mini booklets explaining T.O.M. core values and products

6.    Postcards for inn guests to detail intent to purchase in the future (those who filled out the survey and mailed back, received a Free Night* certificate by return mail)


More than 2,000 inns participated the first year.


Execution at Inn Venue

1.    Innkeepers were given instructions as to the preferred place/way to sample (bathroom counter or in the guest room)

2.    A series of emails were sent during the sampling and each included enthusiastic comments from innkeepers and guests


Tom’s of Maine/AHI matched distribution locations (which did not include the Midwest at the time) with inns and we reached 3,000 inn sampling venues. Brochures carried the Tom’s message in the inns and innkeepers welcomed the collateral materials. Innkeepers reported virtually 100% trial – no tubes left in bathrooms, whereas most other amenities were not taken by guests.


Innkeepers collected comments and were pleased to be providing a unique upscale product which seemed to match their guest demographics/psychographics.