“Free” works like Magic : 7-11 Slurpee Day

The word “free” can be magic to a consumer’s ears. Giving away a product or service will attract customers and can keep the traffic flowing into your shop.

Somehow anything that is offered free has great value for consumers. Retailers have rightly captured this sentiment and psyche to use it as an effective marketing tool.  Whether it is a free glass of coke at McDonalds for delay in

order delivery , a free pastry at a coffee shop, or a coupon to avail free services at a salon, it always leaves a smile on the customers face.

Seven-Eleven , one of the most famous retail outlets enjoyed its 84th birthday bash on 11th July,  aptly dated (7-11-11) by handing out free ice slurpees to hundreds of people who walked into the stores on that day between 7a.m to

11p.m.  Customers treated themselves to a variety of flavors and even though the slurpee cups were close to getting over, the owners allowed the customers to keep coming back for refills of their favorite slurpee flavor.

According to a survey conducted by a leading freebies website, around 50% of people who try out freebies end up making a purchase. There was an offer in June where this chain of stores was promoting the Coke Zero brand and offered anyone who “LIKED” the page on Facebook, a free coupon to redeem a bottle of Coke Zero. Seven Eleven has various gift cards ranging from music and gaming to phones and slurpees.

There are 8,600 7-Eleven stores in North America and 41,500 around the world. There are 26 slurpee flavors on the market, all of which are carbonated and about half of which are based on popular sodas, such as Fanta and Pepsi. The chain gave away around 5,000,000 Slurpees , which is the approximate equivalent of 1,000 per store. The upside was that people who went in to avail this frozen treat ended up picking some merchandise and sales went up by 40% that day!

The trend to acquire something for nothing has been adopted by several companies. Moserbaer on their website is giving a free movie DVD to their new customers who register on their website. Cosmetic companies like Oriflame and Avon offer free makeovers and gifts to people who are willing to try out their products or along with purchases they make. Baskin Robbins Birthday Club members receive an e-mail coupon five days before their birthday which is redeemable for a free 2.5 oz. scoop of ice cream of their choice. When children are registered in the Toys ‘R Us Birthday Club, they receive a birthday card and phone call as well as a birthday crown and birthday balloon in the store on their birthday. When you become a Starbucks Rewards member, you receive a free “handcrafted birthday beverage of your choice” on your birthday. Dunkin’ Donuts and Krisp Kreme offer free doughnuts on certain days. Olay, Ariel, Garnier, Pampers and L’Oréal are just some of the household names distributing samples. This year, anti-wrinkle cream, tea bags, perfume, moisturizer, along with numerous other items have been offered free of charge on various websites.

This is a highly effective way to gain new customers, retain loyal ones and popularize the brand. People tend to have a perception of ‘free’ that exceeds the true value of the product.

Now that you know about this, prepare yourselves for the next 7-11 birthday bash. But what wait for that long? Walk into a store beside you and cash in on the freebies they have to offer you. And if you don’t want to waste time getting ready to step out of home, then just surf sites like freebielist.com, totallyfree.com, itsallfreeonline.com, yesall4free.com and explore the treasure trove of freebies waiting to be found! Are you still reading?? Run along and treat yourself to the excitement that awaits you!

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