Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Free stuff

The impact of free stuff on human behavior is fascinating to me.

My use of "human behavior" sounds like I'm distancing myself from the svengali spell of something! free!, but I am certainly not immune. I love free stuff. It totally impacts my behavior. I like to think my rational side is always in control. After all, I never sign up for credit cards to get a free Cubs hat, and at some point in my educational career, I learned to not go to club meetings simply because they were offering free pizza. But I can be gotten in other ways.

I pick hotels based on the toiletries.

Love the Bliss stuff at Starwood!
And don't get me started on how lovely our honeymoon stay at the Intercontinental in Hong Kong was (it has Bulgari amenities)!

If I was fancy enough to regularly fly internationally in business or first class, I would probably choose my airline based on the free amenities. Instinctively, if Airline A gave me Fresh Sugar Lip Balm and Airline B gave me Chapstick, I would choose Airline A. Even if the tickets on Airline A were $100 more. Rationally, I understand that I could put that $100 toward 4 tubes of Fresh Sugar Lip Balm, but I'm not certain I would be so rational. I'm a sucker for free stuff - especially free stuff that I don't/can't/won't buy for myself regularly. I may always be.

This stuff rocks

Exhibit A: I went to the Bloomberg offices today to learn about their newest credit analysis tools. And when I came back? Did I talk about all the new Bloomberg functions I learned about? No. Ask anyone in my office, I couldn't stop talking about what a great company Bloomberg is because they gave me free dried cherries. And access to any beverage I wanted (non-alcoholic, of course)! And cashews! And! And! Yikes. They got me. Hook, line and sinker. I'm loyal to this:

because of dried cherries. If Mayor Daley came up with his own mega-cool financial analysis tool, I'd probably stick with Bloomberg. Eventhough I love Mayor Daley and all things Chicago, I would stick with the purveyor of free cashews. Unless of course, Richie wanted to offer me something more compelling...

I can be bought.
Like Andre Benjamin, I'm just being honest.

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