I was at the grocers today. After filling my bag with frozen croissants and fish cakes I assumed they’d take visa, which they didn’t. The woman shrugged and I guessed the response would be (as an underworld figure I used to know often said) “no cash no flash no money no honey”.
But no. “Drop it in another time.” It wasn’t a great deal of money but the trust she exhibited made me a lifelong fan.
I’m not suggesting that giving away content will automatically trigger such loyalty – it’s conceivable that a younger shopper would have smirked and made off with the free booty (which they wouldn’t have called booty either, without an even bigger smirk).
But then it’s conceivable the shop owner wouldn’t have made them that same offer.
And it’s also conceivable that filling my bag with frozen croissants told her more aboutvwhp I was, whereas knives and glue in the hands if a 15 year-old might have provoked suspicion.
All if which to say, in content terms:
1) For some people, spontaneous generosity triggers a strong loyalty response
2) Looking at their behaviours (like buying croissant) will suggest how suitable they are to a freemium content offer
3) The grocer’s business wasn’t predicated on a ‘buy now pay later’ model – but if (1) and (2) above are well handled, it can support it as an additional revenue stream, and probably at a greater margin if the loyalty is well managed
4) The grocer owned the business. If she had been an employee then both she and I would have needed an endorsement from her employer to permit the agreement, which would have robbed the spontaneity, and hence the loyalty I felt.
One last thing. Readers of pop psychology know that men hate being distrusted. Hate it. This kind of trust could pick up a lot of brownie points (or should that be scout points) among the chaps in our audiences.