Psychology of Free Samples – Why People Love Them

Whoever came up with the strategy of giving out free samples knew their business. It is a win-win strategy, which pays compliments for both the retail side and the buyers. Giveaways are a smart investment, complimentary for most products on the market. The psychology revolving around this trend might seem like a simple one, but the real question still remains – why are people that enthusiastic, when it comes to free samples?


When you think about giveaways, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Naturally, perfumes are the most common market that benefits from this strategy. What simpler way to pitch your product to the masses, than by simply spraying a couple of whiffs of your product onto sample pieces of paper? However, although perfumes are the most common giveaway product, there are many more instances of this type of marketing.


Take food samples, for example – although you see many commercials on television, incorporating visual relatedness of what you display to taste is generally a less honest way to advertise – you can’t taste the advertised food, now can you? This is one of the main reasons people prefer free samples – you get to taste a product, before spending money on something you potentially won’t like. Food samples also come in the form of connecting throughout food industry. Take McDonald’s for example – they have been doing business with Coca-Cola for an eternity now, and there truly are many instances when you get a free beverage with an extra-large purchase of, say, Big Mac and large French fries.


Coca-Cola, however, isn’t a perfect example of a giveaway – unless you’ve been living under a rock throughout the previous century, you definitely know what to expect from a fresh bottle of Coke. Energy drinks, however, are something else – how many times have you received a free Red Bull during the summer? The reason why these refreshing beverages are usually given away for free on the turning of spring is quite a logical one – the companies are trying to remind you that you can buy their product, something you’ve ebbed away from during those cold winter months. Furthermore, energy drinks are generally portioned in relatively small sizes, in comparison to their Coca-Cola counterparts, so the loss is even more meaningless, while the gain in terms of sales increase is something necessary to keep their business afloat.

The Digital World

Giving out free samples has undergone a minor revolution, since the introduction of the Internet. It has become something more of a giveaway strategy. Apps such as Taxbot allow you to deduct 100% of the cost of your sample, as long as you properly document it. Furthermore, there are instances of Social Sampling programs, which allow you not only to earn commission on your samples, but purchasing them yourself qualifies you for the residuals (not having to pay for both a product autoship and then marketing costs on top, but simply buying samples to promote your business).

It is also a matter of fact that Multi-Level Marketing greatly relies on the psychology of free samples, and network marketing, in itself is hugely based on the online world nowadays.

With the modern world digging deeper into the online world, chances are that the strategy of giveaways isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The psychology of it might seem (and perhaps it truly is) quite simple, but many still refrain from investing into it, out of the fear of appearing unprofessional. Quite similar to the general misconception that MLM is an unprofessional business, this is completely untrue. In fact, there are no better ways to promote your business, while remaining honest and maintaining your customers’ loyalty.


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