I heard on the radio yesterday that a bake bean manufacturer are ‘lending’ students in the UK a case of beans for each term. Loan value = £100 plus.
The marketing whizz who was commentating on the initiative said this was an example of ‘experiential marketing’ – where customers get to ‘participate in the brand directly’. Lovely examples of marketing ‘gobbledy gook’. Rather than try to convince customers that these are great beans, they will instead encourage people to try them and make up their own mind.
They don’t anticipate the loans being re-paid – but they do anticipate generations of bean lovers being loyal to the brand. Importantly their taste testing suggests that 75% of students prefer the taste of their beans – so once they have tried it they are likely to keep buying. Sounds like a LOT of hot air to me.
We use a similar approach here at PMN. We regularly run free events and find that a high percentage of those who come later turn up at a paid event.