Getting something for nothing 天下沒有免費的午餐

What does getting something for free really cost us? Learn about the marketing techniques some businesses use
No such thing as a free lunch?

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沒有人不喜歡拿免費的東西,但俗話說,天下沒有免費的午餐——在接過贈品的同時,我們其實也付出了相應的“代價”。這期節目探討在哪些地方最有可能拿到免費的樣品,還會為大家介紹商家以激勵顧客消費為目的的常用營銷策略。來收聽本集 《隨身英語》吧,這說不定會是BBC英語教學發放的最好的贈品!

課文內容

Vocabulary: marketing 詞彙: 行銷

Everybody likes to get a freebie – something given to you to try for free. On my commute to work today I was offered a complimentary sample of washing powder and a bottle of new mineral water. Lucky me eh? Well it’s not necessarily down to luck – where you can grab a freebie depends on a number of factors.

For businesses, giving out something for nothing is an important marketing technique. We might not give it much thought but they are keen to see our reaction and hear our feedback and ultimately make us buy more.  But who they hear from is very crucial. They want to target the so-called trendsetters and influencers, in the hope that they will speak positively about the product and then sell more.

In the UK, the makers of an upmarket popcorn brand gave out free packets at London’s Fashion Week to create a buzz about their product by fashionable people. A spokesman said  “It’s less about immediate increase in sales, and more about getting our product in the hands of people who will excitedly and personally engage in our brand and story.”

Living in a capital city certainly improves your chances of getting a freebie. Not only is the population larger but these places are often considered the trendsetter for retail purchases. So if you live in London, Paris or Beijing you’ll probably see a new promotional campaign launched there first. The hope is that the fashionable city dwellers will try and like the new item and endorse it on social media. Eventually everyone around the country will know about it. 

How businesses give away freebies is also of interest. According to behavioural economist Enrico Trevisan, they have three different approaches: “future selling, cross-selling and up-selling“. The first is about giving something away assuming we will like it and buy more later. “With cross-selling, the company tries to gain new clients through an entrance product, with the intention of selling them additional products during their life cycle” and ‘up-selling’ happens when a basic version is given away for free but charges a client for more advanced and complete versions. Maybe you’ve experienced one of these approaches?

Of course a freebie is not actually free – someone has to pay for it and this usually comes from a firm’s marketing budget which is funded by the products we buy – so the expression ‘there’s no such thing as a free lunch’ could be true!

詞彙表

a freebie 贈品,免費品
complimentary (公司)免費贈送的
marketing 銷售,行銷
feedback 反饋意見
trendsetter 引領潮流的人
influencer (行銷)具有影響力的人
upmarket 高檔的,高端的
brand 品牌
create a buzz 製造話題
engage in 參與到……中
retail 零售
promotional campaign 促銷推廣活動
endorse 宣傳,推薦(產品)
future selling 遠期銷售
cross-selling 交叉銷售
up-selling 追加銷售
client 客戶
budget 預算
‘there’s no such thing as a free lunch’ “天下沒有免費的午餐”,即世上沒有不勞而獲的事情

測驗與練習

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What did the makers of a popcorn brand want to achieve by giving free samples to people at The London Fashion Show?

2. How do businesses think consumers will spread the word about new products?

3. True or false: Future selling is a technique that gives away free products in the hope that people will buy more advanced versions later on.

4.Who pays for the freebies that are given out?

5. Name something a business wants to know from us when they give us a freebie.

2. 請你在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. Helen doesn’t like the phone I got her. She is loyal to one ______ and won’t use anything else!

brands        brand        branded        branding

2. My brother is a ______. Whatever he decides to wear, his friends copy him.

freebie        client        trendsetter        cross seller

3. The airport has an impressive business lounge, with free drinks and ______ wi-fi.

retail        budget        complimentary        promotional

4. My new business is doing well – I already have over a hundred ________ on my database.

clients        client        cliants        clienters

5. I knew the salesman was ________. He gave me a free computer game but he’ll want me to buy the one with better graphics later.

cross selling        future selling        free selling        up-selling

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What did the makers of a popcorn brand want to achieve by giving free samples to people at The London Fashion Show?
They gave out free packets at London’s Fashion Week to create a buzz about their product by fashionable people.

2. How do businesses think consumers will spread the word about new products?
The hope is that the fashionable city dwellers will try and like the new item and tell people about it on social media.

3. True or false: Future selling is a technique that gives away free products in the hope that people will buy more advanced versions later on. 
False. Future selling is about giving something away assuming people will like it and buy more later.

4. Who pays for the freebies that are given out?
We do. The money comes from a firm’s marketing budget which is funded by the products we buy.

5. Name something a business wants to know from us when they give us a freebie.
They are keen to see our reaction and hear our feedback

2. 請你在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. Helen doesn’t like the phone I got her. She is loyal to one brand and won’t use anything else!

2. My brother is a trendsetter. Whatever he decides to wear his friends copy him.

3. The airport has an impressive business lounge, with free drinks and complimentary wi-fi.

4. My new business is doing well – I already have over a hundred clients on my database.

5. I knew the salesman was up-selling. He gave me a free computer game but he’ll want me to buy the one with better graphics later.

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