On the Freakonomics blog there’s an interesting conversation happening about “The Perils of Free Coffee”. Author Stephen Dubner tells two stories of free coffee offers that had the opposite effect than was probably intended.
There are, of course, a lot of different kinds of “free.” Giving away a free razor or a free computer printer in order to lock a customer into buying your razor blades or printer cartridges is one model; giving away free merchandise as a pure marketing play is another.
The comments are filled with more stories of people turning away from the “free” offer to go across the street to take advantage of a paid option – all to avoid standing in line.
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Palo Alto Software