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An Idea A Day by David Thompson

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MARKETING

GIVE THE PRODUCT AWAY

Jim Blythe

GIVING THE PRODUCT away might seem crazy—but in some cases it is the only way to establish it in a new market. When a product is revolutionary, few people want to be the first to try it, so asking them for money up front often simply creates a barrier. In some cases, this is just something we have to live with, but if owning the product means that the customer will have to buy repeatedly, giving away something that creates a dependency is good business.

There are many examples in practice of products that are sold cheap, with the company making its money on the peripherals. Spare parts for cars are ...

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