Black Box launched to a very excited consumer audience in 2014, and now has a membership of more than 140,000. The company organises its customers into databases, which are segmented to allow brands to target particular markets. Products are collected into boxes which are then couriered to the consumers along with information aimed at converting them to the product. The testers use the product, develop a preference for it, and provide feedback in survey form. More than 100,000 black boxes were delivered in the company's first year.
Having analysed the results from its 100,000 corresponding customer surveys, Black Box has now launched the Members’ Recommendation Awards to recognise the most highly-rated products. Award-winning products will bear a sticker on the packaging.
SampleCo Black Box general manager Clinton Beuvink says consumers had clear favourites. Products which scored more than 90 percent in certain recommendation thresholds get a gold medal, and those achieving 80-90 percent are awarded silver.
Less than 30 percent of products trialled are getting a medal, Beuvink says, with most medal-bearing items made by recognisable household brands.
“People have become very selective and savvy and we believe Black Box medals will help increase the awareness and interest in a product, ultimately lifting sales.”
Beuvink mentioned Black Box’s strong social media following. The organisation’s Facebook page has 88,000 likes and high consumer interaction – more than 100 users have liked every post on the page. Interaction is encouraged through "challenges" where users are asked to post images of themselves enjoying products from the boxes they received.
“These types of endorsements are very powerful because it comes from someone they trust, which carries more weight than it coming from a source they’re not familiar with," Beuvink says.
Black Box plans to soon add an online shopping portal to its website.
Medal-winning products are below:
Black Box Members’ Recommendation Awards gold medal winners
Oriental Merchant – Obento Panko Breadcrumbs
Goodman Fielder - Nature’s Fresh Wraps
Arnotts – Campbell’s Real Stock Chicken
Pacific Refreshments PTE Ltd– MOST Organic Juice
Selleys – Selleys Sugar Soap Wipes
Goodman Fielder – Edmonds Gluten Free Flour
Cookie Time - Cookie Time Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Cookie
Verkerks - Verkerks Chorizo Salami
Simply Squeezed - Simply Squeezed Super Juice Happy Belly
Griffins - Huntley & Palmers Baked Flatbread
Clorox - Mono Magic Non-Stick Foil
Lemon Fresh - Lemon Fresh Lemon Juice and Lime Juice
Arnotts - Shapes Light & Crispy
Black Box Members’ Recommendation Awards silver medal winners
Kellogg’s – Kellogg’s Special K Cracker Crisps Sour Cream & Chives
NZ Sugar - Simply Pure Rice Bran Oil
Asaleo Care - Treasures Baby Wipes
Kleen Co- Green Kleen Multipurpose Cleaner
3M- Scotch-Brite Stay Clean Dishwand
Quantum Pacific - Ceraclen Washing Machine Cleaner
Hubbards - Hubbards Thank Goodness Gluten Free Muesli
Oriental Merchant -Chef's World Pad Thai Noodles
Healtheries - Healtheries Fruit Teas and Be Sleepy
Goodman Fielder - Molenberg Super Thick Bread
Doewe Egbert - Bach Espresso Working Bee & Our Special Place
LHF- Urban Chef Sticky Chilli Mayo
Aspen Pharmacare - Zantac