What does the word free really mean? I'll tell you my theory in a second, hear me out first. The average consumer hears and sees the word free a gazillion times a day. So why is it that business owners constantly offer free coupons, consultations, prizes, dinners, seminars, etc.? Some of them don't even know why they do it. They most likely do it because every other business does it. Getting back to my question. What does the word free really mean?
The dictionary says that the word free means this: costing nothing; requiring no money to be paid.
Okay, there you have it. If it cost nothing and requires no payment. Why the hell do folks fear a free offer from a business? I'll tell you why, because the word free is over-used in the marketing and advertising world. You see free on just about every product or service. Some products and services should never be free.
Now let's explore what free means to the average consumer. Free to the average consumer means, Of no value, beware, and do not trust. Consumers have been burned everytime when the word free is invovled. They don't want to take anything free, because in their mind it means cheap. To some it means a business cannot sell an item or service for a price, so they give it away. No matter how good the product or service is, to a consumer free means, be cautious.
And with good reason. How many times have consumers been lured in with marketing and advertising using the word free? Gazillions! It is no wonder that we no longer know what the word free really means. My suggestion is this. Give the word free a rest. Let's stop using the word free in any form of marketing or advertising. There are a ton of other words in the English language that we can use. Such as: complimentary, or you can have it. I happen to like complimentary it sounds proper. Let's not just change the word, let's change the reason. Giving a product or service away should be just that, and with no strings attached. That's my take on the word free. Leave a comment regarding how you feel about the word free being utilized in marketing and advertsing.
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