When you’ve created a good product, other people will give them away for free.

Examples:

  • Free Starbucks if you check out our electronics store!
  • Subscribe to our magazine and you’ll get free iTune downloads!

These are worthwhile products to many people—not to everyone—but to enough people that other companies will consider giving them away to attract attention. They’re worthwhile enough that even other companies in other industries will recognize them.

That’s a pretty big deal.

The awesome part about having a product that people will give away is that they should be a nice tie-in to your other product lines. A cup of coffee from Starbucks may lead to trying out other Starbucks beverages; an iTune download may create interest to the many iPods available.

A product that’s good enough to give away requires a few things:

  1. Cheap production cost. It’ll be pretty silly if giving these things away will put a dent into your operating expense.
  2. Utility. Easy to say, difficult to execute. Your product’s gotta be cheap enough to give away but not worthless.
  3. Value. Even more difficult. Alright, so it’s free, but is it something with enough value in it that people will realize it shouldn’t be free?

Even if you can’t fulfill those requirements, even if it’s not in your interest to create such a product—you should still consider this point: are your products good enough to give away?

Yes, there are some stuff that people will want if it’s free (e.g. a car). Then there’s people that will take something just because it’s free. But then there are also plenty of picky people out there that won’t even look twice at what you’re offering—even if it’s free.

Let’s change the above example a little bit.

  • Free coffee if you check out our electronics store!
  • Subscribe to our magazine and you’ll get free mp3 downloads!

“Ah, it’s just coffee.”

“Uh, I can download mp3 everywhere.”

Change it back to Starbucks and iTune, and you’ll probably get a different result.

“Oooh, free Starbucks!”

“Sweet, free iTunes!”

When someone is excited because they can have your product for free, even though the product would have cost them very little to obtain—congratulation, you’ve successfully created a great product.