Why do companies offer freebies?

Whether you request a coffee sample, granola bar or sippy cup you can get them with a few clicks of the mouse. This leaves us to wonder — what is the company offering the freebie or sample have to gain by offering all of this free stuff? They stand to gain a lot.

Giving out free samples is not a recent phenomenon. Large supermarkets, for instance, have been offering them for quite a long time. Walk in many large grocery store during peak hours of the day and you will find a friendly person handing our food samples, usually along with a coupon for that very product. If you try a sample of the product and like it you might just buy it and maybe even tell a friend who then might tell a friend, and so on and so on.

Another reason why companies offer all these types of freebies is to enhance their brand image. When combined with other marketing activities, free samples can indeed increase sales, raise awareness and create a buzz around products that may otherwise go unnoticed.

The vast majority of people are selective over the samples they obtain, but others aren’t so picky and have a tendency to pursue anything they can get hold of that comes free of charge. “How can a company guarantee their samples are being used, and the investment is worthwhile?” It’s a balancing act. Companies take the good with the bad and hope that by distributing enough samples, their busines will reap the rewards.

With the potential to reach thousands upon thousands of people, companies turn to the Internet to spread the word of their products. The investment in a website and postage required to send out samples is far less than paying a person to stand in 1 store and give out samples for hours or man a booth at a trade show. Sending out samples through a company’s website also attracts website visitors in large numbers. The more traffic the more potential new customers that company can obtain.

Giving out freebies, coupons, and samples through the Internet is one of the cheapest ways a company has with a very captive audience.

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