The other day I was tiding the kitchen and I opened a drawer to clean it and I found about 3 packs of Haribo sweets and 5 chocolate bar (Bounty, Snickers, Milky way..)…I thought:” Why on hearth do all those sweets are coming from/Why on hearth are those sweets doing in my drawer?” then I remembered, it was on fresher week! On one day they were giving out sweets for FREE! I queued up at the stand to get them…..even if I don’t like those kind of sweet I will have just one bite of one of them and then leave them. So, what was the matter with me???
Thinking about it I fall to the “charme” of the magic word almost every time I go shopping for food, clothes etc….I cannot resist. Then I found myself submerged with dozen of biscuits, socks etc…
So, what is it hiding behind this word? Apparently Zero/free price is a special price that make us do strange things. It makes us feel good and it has no downside…apparently.
I guess the free price can be a useful tool to catch new customers that maybe otherwise will not taste/try your product, does it work? The psychologist Susan Krauss Whitbourne argue that since something was given to us without asking anything in return we will feel kind of compelled to buy the product in order to reciprocate. A bit like when someone is giving us a Christmas present and if we have not bought one for the person we feel almost in the obligation to him/her one.
One example is the 7 eleven supermarket Slurpee (ice drink) free day, people afterwards were more willing to buy Slurpee somehow feeling obligated to pay the company back.
Ryanair has done several time a free tickets sale which is very tempting however you still have to add extras like airport taxes, credit card fee and of course they hope that once on the plane you will spend money on foods, drink, scratch cards, duty free…and at the end it will probably cost more than flying with another airline.
Some restaurant chains are offering free meals for children, the benefits will be that parents will be more willing to spend on other things like drinks or dessert which will be probably at the more expensive than a child meal.
I found this one quite funny:
“The ‘free’ suicide curry
Everybody likes something for free. There are a small number of Indian restaurants that offer what is known as a ‘free’ suicide curry. This is a curry with a sauce so hot that few people can stomach it. The sauce is generously ladled over a gigantic plate of rice. The catch is that the suicide curry is only free if you manage to eat it all within a specified period, otherwise you pay the full price. Most people don’t succeed but the fact that it exists and that it’s free, is a major pull of customers to the restaurant.” (http://www.productfocus.com/pricing_psychology.php)