It’s heartwarming to see the generosity of Sooke businesses as they greet a constant parade of children arriving at their door. It’s not done as a marketing tactic but as a way to participate in the community. I know a lot of business people who enjoy doing it and families that very much appreciate it.
As a thank you to Sooke’s generous business community, here are some ideas on the topic of free samples as a savvy marketing practice that is employed by some of the most profitable corporations. One of the most well-known providers of free samples is Costco. A recent article in the Atlantic discusses how it is used and why it works.
One of the biggest reasons free samples work is a psychological factor called reciprocity. A behavioral economist is quoted as saying that reciprocity is a very strong instinct – humans feel a strong obligation to do something back for someone who does something for them.
For Costco, free samples work to provide a short-term lift in sales for a particular product and in building long term loyalty to the store and brands. One of the biggest reasons it works in the long term is because providing free samples creates an experience where Costco is seen as a fun place to be. Many people have been known to graze the Costco samples for a free lunch.
When businesses create a fun experience the good vibes and karma resonate with their customers. The Sooke trick or treaters and their parents will remember the businesses that were the most fun to visit and they just might come back to shop.
Thanks again for your generosity and hopefully you have succeeded in creating or maintaining a very positive association with your business and brand.
For the full article in the Atlantic, please see the following link: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/10/the-psychology-behind-costcos-free-samples/380969/