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Online start-up PINCHme partners with Procter & Gamble

Friday, 22 February 2013 | By Michelle Hammond

Sydney-based start-up PINCHme plans to build up a database of two million Australian consumers after securing consumer goods giant Proctor & Gamble as its pre-launch partner.

 

PINCHme, founded by Jeremy Reid, lets consumers sample products from leading brands for free. Consumers can claim samples for beauty, confectionary and food products, among others.

 

Each day, members are offered to try one product, sent to them within 48 hours.

 

After the trial, members must answer six questions online about their experience within 30 days or be banned from getting more products.

 

Investors in the business include Seek founder Andrew Bassat, media magnate Kerry Stokes, the Smorgon family and the Liberman family.

 

Stokes has invested in PINCHme though his investment vehicle Australian Capital Equity, but none of the ownership stakes have been disclosed.

 

PINCHme, which went live on February 13, is preparing for a full website launch on March 7 and has signed up Procter & Gamble as its pre-launch partner.

 

Procter & Gamble will offer products from brands such as Pantene and Head & Shoulders. PINCHme says Nestlé, Johnson & Johnson Pacific and Heinz have also signed up.

 

The company’s commercial director, Melissa Dean, told StartupSmart the partnership with Procter & Gamble will propel PINCHme into the Australian market.

 

“Procter & Gamble has premium brands. There is really good brand awareness among consumers in Australia,” she says.

 

“It’s the whole surprise and delight [concept]. When you’re able to claim a sample of something that is a premium product, it goes back to the ethos of the brand, which is ‘pinch me – I can’t believe how good this is’.”

 

“We want to make sure consumers are aware it’s quality products that are arriving at their door.”

 

Dean says PINCHme has big plans for Australia.

 

“Product sampling in the past has been very traditional… We wanted to be able to offer a platform whereby [brands] could get their products into the hands of consumers and get insight back,” she says.

 

“We’re rewarding our consumers for engaging and [offering] insight… The platform is really cost-effective and highly engaging. We make a very small margin.”

 

In exchange for the freebie, consumers’ information will go onto PINCHme’s database.

 

Dean says PINCHme is looking to ship 10 to 20 million units a year. In order to achieve this, it has partnered with Australia Post and another unnamed logistics company.

 

“We’ve got a really switched on logistics team so we take all the logistics off the clients’ hands,” she says.

 

“We want to have the most comprehensive database in Australia and it’s our goal to have two million people [sign up].

 

“There will be anywhere between two to four products on [any] day, and it’s the consumer that gets to decide what product they want.”