Free lunch and economic recession can go together
Free lunch and economic recession can go together
  • Ko Eun-mee
  • 승인 2009.04.13 22:45
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Staff members at the Richmont Bakery in the ECC serve students new products such as cookies, breads and chocolates for free as part of their marketing strategy in the economic downturn.

Think again if you believe there’s no such thing as a free lunch in the world. Thanks to a new marketing method, students can now take advantage of many free or nearly free products in and near the campus. Free bites of delicious bread in the ECC’s Richemont Bakery, free cosmetic samples in the Sample Zone 30M from the main gate, and a 50 percent discount on copy prices in the Ewha-POSCO building’s copy room are just a few of the areas where you could indulge in free luxuries.








As the global economic recession continues, companies are trying various creative methods to lure consumers. One of those methods sometimes called “freenomics.” Professor Woo Won-seok (International Studies) said that this term describes cases when a company gives something for free to the general public. By doing so, the company hopes to improve its image and market share rapidly. Woo says this is basically a preemptive strategic move by firms in industries that are sensitive to positive feedback effects. Or, in other words, in case where one company has a chance to quickly generate demand for a new product, it can turn that product into a standard before its competitors have a chance to get into the market at all.








In Richemont Bakery’s case, a sampling party is being held on every first Wednesday of the month from 4:00 p.m. at ECC Gate 3, where the store is located. This free sampling party introduces new products such as cookies, bread and chocolates. Parties have been held since 2004 at the main Richemont store in Mapo-gu; the ECC store has been providing the service since its opening last June.








Kwon Hyoung-joon, who manages the production section in the bakery, explained how the party benefits both customers and the bakery: “To us, it is a chance to survey the customers, and to the customers, mostly Ewha students, it is a time to be served free bread,” said Kwon.








The most recent party on April 1 was hosted by German bread Meister, Fredriche Bohme, an advisor to the bakery. At the party, about 300 people lined for the service.








“The breads are so delicious! I want to buy another croissant sandwich, like the one I just ate,” said Seo Ju-hee (Environmental Science and Engineering, 3).








 Another free marketing event was hosted by SK telecom, the nation’s leading telecommunication company, which distributed total of 102,500 used sheets of A4 paper to 14 universities around Seoul including Ewha, andYonseiUniversities from March 16 to 20. Ewha received 5,000 sheets of paper, which one side is printed with an advertisement and the back side is blank. Students can buy copies made on the paper at a cost of 20 won per sheet, half the cost of copies made a new paper.








“We started this project as part of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo campaign, the TV advertisement spurring people to foster a positive atmosphere among college students with cheerful comments despite the economic downturn,” said Melvin Kim, manager of the marketing strategy office at SK Telecom.








Shim Jae-yon (Chinese, 2) who often makes a copy on the used paper said, “If not an important report paper, it’s economical to make a copy in the used paper.”








A second distribution of the paper will be made during mid-term exam periods to the Ewha-POSCO building’s copy room. “Not only SK telecom, but also many other companies are advertising this way, and students are always welcome to ask for copies on the used paper,” said a copy room worker, You Dong-gun.








Sample Zone, which provides free cosmetic samples, is located to the left of the Clue accessory store, about 30 M from Ewha main gate in the direction of Shin-chon.








Sample Zone was started last year insideKoreaUniversity by the college magazine company Deahaknaeil; the shop near Ewha was launched on February 23. This shop allows regular members to get three free cosmetic samples once a week. Premium members, at a yearly fee of 5,000 won, can select from a wider variety of samples than regular members.








 “This place provides a special service for college students who want to try cosmetic samples for free or for less money. At the same time, companies can promote their products,” said Kim Chang-bae, the general manager of Sample Zone.  








Participating cosmetic companies look for promotional effects. Choi Min-ah from the cosmetic company DHC said, “We hope a good response to our samples will carry over to actual consumption. We are hoping to see actual results from this free marketing six months later.”








Lee Jae-yeong (Social Studies Education, 2) who was selecting a sample in the Zone said, “Using this shop is convenient for me since my allowance is limited.”



















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