Four reasons why accepting free samples make us spend more

Posted on April 25, 2016

Photo: flickr

Why do companies give out stuff for free? From a marketing perspective, letting people try a product free of cost has a lot of benefits because it popularizes a new product, creates feedback about the product that helps to refine it, reaches out to new customers, and creates a more positive attitude towards the product because it's free! Marketing studies have shown that freebies are a powerful and effective promotional weapon. Free samples improve customer loyalty and attitudes, not just towards the product, but also the company offering them.

So, why are free samples so effective?

Firstly, any helpful or friendly gesture immediately makes us want to reciprocate or return the favor. Regardless of whether we liked the product or not, because we have the desire to reciprocate, we may buy another product of the same company; recommend the product to someone who may like it; or even buy a small packet just to ease our need to ‘pay back’.

When we receive free products or services, we begin to develop a relationship with the seller and become committed to buying from them. This is because we like receiving free stuff and hence like the people who give it out. This creates a feeling of loyalty toward the company and hence are more likely to buy from them.

Free samples can also trigger cravings. This is because sampling something reminds us of the pleasure we get from using that product; and this makes us want more of it. When we are made aware or reminded of a pleasurable experience our brain demands more of the same thing to keep feeling good. This typically happens with comfort foods and luxury products.

Most people are wary of new products because they are worried about not liking them.But trying a free sample immediately clears doubts that stand in the way of our purchase. Not only do these samples protect us from spending hard earned money on something we don’t like; but they are also small enough that we can discard something that doesn’t suit our taste with minimal guilt.

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Source material from Brain Fodder


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