Weekly Column: 2017-04-14

I am in the habit of going to McDonald’s for their free coffee event every few months. Because there are not many people who reject freebies, even people who usually would not go to McDonald’s will drop by before or after work to order a free small coffee during the event. There may be some who will order a cookie or muffin at the time, so is McDonald’s using free coffee as marketing bait? If not, should we just consider it as a marketing means for thanking their customers?

“95% of consumer behavior is determined by unconscious thinking.”
They say that there is nothing free in the world. So what is McDonald’s expecting from their customers by offering them free coffee? As people drink their free coffees, they are able to have a new experience with McDonald’s, and before they know it, drinking this coffee will become a habit. What McDonald’s is mostly hoping for is controlling their habit of purchasing.

The true value of consumer habits shines brightly in times of fierce competition like in the recent market.  Therefore, businesses want consumers to continue their existing purchasing habits.  New companies that pop up, create new choices and encourage consumers to make new purchasing habits. Therefore, if the existing marketing strategies were aimed towards the needs of the consumer, the recent marketing goals are to make new consumer habits by discovering and stimulating the wants of the customer.

The things you learn in life become habits, and habits are not easily changed. If you have a good experience, you will revisit that store or restaurants with good memories, which turn into habits that continue without change until you have an even better experience somewhere else. In that case, habits are ultimately one of the biggest reasons for trusting a certain brand.  Ultimately, you want to change the consumer’s habit by encouraging them to purchase and use other brands, but it's not easy to break down their trust in their current brand. That is why competitors will use new experiences as a way to induce consumers to change their habits. 

McDonald’s cost-free marketing through free coffee naturally entices consumers to go into McDonald’s, try  the coffee, talk about the event and services, and encourages them to share their experience on social media. With the current continuing recession, consumers are less likely to open their wallets, so free marketing at this time is an easy way to introduce products and services while also putting out a positive image for McDonald’s. Although some may see this free marketing as a loss, it is a pleasant way for a win-win situation for both McDonald’s and the consumer.

There are various ways to introduce consumers to a different experience, even if it is not providing free coffee like McDonald’s. If you approach consumers with a unique, relaxed, and special marketing method that is set apart from others, you will be rewarded with a deep consumer trust in your brand.  Launching a unique marketing will instantly captivate the consumer and provide a different experience so you will gain the unlimited trust of the consumer.