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Freebies: what business needs to know about giving stuff away

January 29th, 2017|1 Comment

From time to time, you’ve seen companies giving away their products. Lively youngsters with trays of food or drink or small items move around large gatherings or station themselves at select busy spots and, much to the pleasure of the passers-by, give away their free samples. How does this make sense in business terms? One way to look at the practice of giving away free products is to understand that while it might feel like a free gift for the customer, from the point of view of the producer, this kind of activity is essentially a marketing one and it comes in to the business plan not as a free giveaway, but as part of the advertising budget. This is the explanation Professor Jean-Pierre Dube gives of an activity that is far from unique to today’s economy. Dube, a professor at the Booth School of Business, Chicago, writes, ‘giving things [...]

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