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Giving away products for free (in order to make money)

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 2 months ago



Giving away products for free (in order to make money)


There is an ongoing rise of free, valuable stuff that's available to consumers online and offline. From AirAsia tickets to Wikipedia, and from diapers to music.  This trend thrives on an all-out war for consumers' ever-scarcer attention and the resulting new business models and marketing techniques, but also benefits from the ever-decreasing costs of producing physical goods, the post-scarcity dynamics of the online world (and the related avalanche of free content created by attention-hungry members of GENERATION C), the many C2C marketplaces enabling consumers to swap instead of spend, and an emerging recycling culture.  Expect this trend to become an integral if not essential part of doing business.  read more from trendwatching.com 



As indicated in the definition above, the rise of FREE LOVE* can be attributed to:


  • An all-out war for consumers' attention (make that saturated consumers), including various handout and sampling techniques.
  • The online world, with its amazing capacity to create, copy and distribute anything that's digital, with costs that are close to zero, forcing producers to come up with new business models/services, which are often purely ad-driven.
  • The ever-decreasing cost of physical production makes it easier to offer more (nearly) free goods in the offline world too. In fact, many goods have actually become insanely cheap. Just one example: the price of televisions has fallen, on average, by 9 percent each year since 1998, according to U.S. Dept. of Labor data.
  • The avalanche of free content created by attention-hungry members of GENERATION C.
  • C2C marketplaces enabling consumers to swap instead of spend, making transactions cash-neutral.
  • An emerging recycling culture.
  • And all of the above fueling consumers' expectations to get online and offline stuff for free.



* For a much more detailed (and excellent) analysis of these drivers, and their impact on economies and businesses, keep an eye on Chris Anderson (yes, he of Long Tail fame). His new book 'FREE' will be about, well, all things free. A preview can now be found in the March 2008 edition of Wired magazine.


Free newspapers in emerging markets


From Brazilian Destak to Russian PubliMetro to Indian MetroNow to Chinese Metro Express. Secondly, a rise in 'niche' free papers, mainly business-focused: from London's City A.M. and Scotland's Business7 to Prague's E15.






Does anyone under 18 (if not 36!) still pay for phone calls? Pioneered by the likes of Skype, the free telecom war is moving from computer-to-computer to regular handsets, fixed and mobile:






Springwise covered mobile virtual network operator Blyk both before and just after its launch last year. For those who have been wondering how the company is doing, last week it reported that it had reached 100,000 members in Britain in just six months. Blyk targets 16- to 24-year-olds with its free mobile phone service, which includes 217 texts and 43 minutes every month. In exchange, of course, they get advertising—up to 6 messages sent to their phones each day. Britain's youth don't seem to mind—Blyk reached that 100,000-member target six months ahead of schedule. Blyk will launch in the Netherlands in the second half of 2008, followed by Germany, Spain and Belgium in 2009.









The Sample Lab, which opened in July 2007 in Tokyo's Harajuku, is a members-only space that invites consumers to sample and test new products. Members pay a modest JPY 300 (EUR 2, USD 3) registration fee and JPY 1,000 (EUR 6, USD 10) annual membership fee. Members need to be over 15 years of age, and gain entrance to the lab by showing a QR code stored on their cell phone. In addition to store-like shelves stocked with merchandise, the space also features a powder room where women can sit down to try out beauty products. Besides trying everything out in the shop, members can take home up to 5 items per visit. To harvest their precious feedback, Sample Lab asks visitors to fill out surveys about the products they've tested. The concept was created by marketing agency Mel Posunetto, with the dual purpose of collecting user feedback and sparking word of mouth advertising. Business seems to be thriving: since late January 2008, customers have to register two weeks in advance to make a reservation. (Tip of the hat to Verena Dauerer.)





Consumer to Consumer:


Never before have we witnessed such an explosion of free content, courtesy of individuals who—for free, nada, zilch—are happy to share their thinking, their novels, their photos, their movies, their music, their knowledge and expertise, their advice, their crafts and more.



Call it GENERATION C, the HOBBY ECONOMY, the GIFT ECONOMY or CROWD MINING, as long as you don't forget that besides undeniable passion, this user-generated FREE LOVE provides participants with visibility, with respect, with status. Even if they participate anonymously (Wikipedia is a good example), it gives them bragging rights among other GENERATION C members.







Read more from:  www.trendwatching.com/trends/freelove.htm



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