Can Nokia’s freebies build brand loyalty?

Mitchell Hartman Jun 15, 2012
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Can Nokia’s freebies build brand loyalty?

Mitchell Hartman Jun 15, 2012
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Jeremy Hobson: The cell phone maker Nokia, which said yesterday it’s laying off 10,000 people, has an idea to stay relevant on college campuses. The company is giving the entire freshman class at Seton Hall University in New Jersey free smartphones — the Nokia Lumia 900.

Marketplace’s Mitchell Hartman reports on whether a gimmick like that will work.


Mitchell Hartman: At the fancy grocery store across from my office, I can usually get a whole lunch worth of free food — just by grazing.

Amy McCandlish: So this is Bubbies pure kosher dills. And then Rick’s Picks, the people’s pickle.

Customers might well buy a product if they can try it in the store, or take home a free sample.

But the Nokia Lumia 900 isn’t a pickle. It’s an expensive smartphone. Retail analyst Patty Edwards says, if students like it, the giveaway is golden.

Patty Edwards: If they don’t like it, however, the ripple effect in terms of social media and how fast that will get out to the world is huge.

Analyst Marshal Cohen at the NPD Group says giveaways can work for cheaper products, too.

Marshal Cohen: All you have to do is look at the beauty business. They’ve been doing gift-with-purchases for decades. They get consumers to spend more money and try new products. People love to get something for nothing.

But it better work. Otherwise, consumers feel cheated — like the product they got for free, wasn’t worth anything to begin with.

I’m Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.