Getting something for nothing
Everybody likes to get a freebie - something given to you to try for free. On my commute to work today I was offered a complimentary sample of washing powder and a bottle of new mineral water. Lucky me eh? Well it's not necessarily down to luck - where you can grab a freebie depends on a number of factors.
For businesses, giving out something for nothing is an important marketing technique. We might not give it much thought but they are keen to see our reaction and hear our feedback and ultimately make us buy more. But who they hear from is very crucial. They want to target the so-called trendsetters and influencers, in the hope that they will speak positively about the product and then sell more.
In the UK, the makers of an upmarket popcorn brand gave out free packets at London's Fashion Week to create a buzz about their product by fashionable people. A spokesman said "It's less about immediate increase in sales, and more about getting our product in the hands of people who will excitedly and personally engage in our brand and story."
Living in a capital city certainly improves your chances of getting a freebie. Not only is the population larger but these places are often considered the trendsetter for retail purchases. So if you live in London, Paris or Beijing you'll probably see a new promotional campaign launched there first. The hope is that the fashionable city dwellers will try and like the new item and endorse it on social media. Eventually everyone around the country will know about it.
How businesses give away freebies is also of interest. According to behavioural economist Enrico Trevisan, they have three different approaches: "future selling, cross-selling and up-selling". The first is about giving something away assuming we will like it and buy more later. "With cross-selling, the company tries to gain new clients through an entrance product, with the intention of selling them additional products during their life cycle" and 'up-selling' happens when a basic version is given away for free but charges a client for more advanced and complete versions. Maybe you've experienced one of these approaches?
Of course a freebie is not actually free - someone has to pay for it and this usually comes from a firm's marketing budget which is funded by the products we buy - so the expression 'there's no such thing as a free lunch' could be true!
create a buzz
there's no such thing as a free lunch'