Help a Friend to Help Yourself

Last week, Loredana contacted me to tell me about a project she was working on. She told me shortly about her idea, to create a chain of blog posts for one of her clients to help promote their products and services. The idea was a bit strange first time I heard it and I wasn’t so convinced that it would work out. In order to promote, her marketing communication client, Loredana was willing to buy a product from their website and offer it as a gift to a good friend of hers. The effect she wanted to create was to convice the people who she bought presents for (close friends) to do the same for their own close friends.

While the idea sounded good, to give a present to a friend without the excuse of a special occasion, such as a birthday or any other anniversary, buying something to promote someone through it can cause quite a bit of mixed feelings. For example, I was wondering why I should be helping promote spending my own money (albeit, with e 10% discount), when it would have sounded more normal to have them pay me for this promotional service.

A few days ago, after Loredana told me about this initiative, I was looking on their website to see what would be an interesting and useful present for one of my friends, for whom I was planning to buy the present. Browsing through the items listed in the online store, I ran into something that I thought would have been extremely useful. However, the item was something useful for myself, not my friend.

Funny enough, a couple of days later I receive a package. I look at it and I cannot believe it. It was exactly the item that I was really thinking about buying it for myself! It was the present that Loredana bought for me and had deliver it to me. Although we never touched upon the subject of what I would wish for as a present, because she knows me so well it was quite easy for her to pick the right present for me.

Well, if you think about this in pure logical and economic terms, you are not actually spending your money to promote Looking through their offering there was an item I wanted to buy for myself. Through this promotion, I actually received that item without paying anything for it. Since it was a present with a promotion request attached to it, I am now willing to spend the same amount of money that Loredana spent for my present to buy a present of my own for one of my close friends.

While I do spend money to buy a present for a friend (something you do anyways when you do this with any other reason), in the end, promoting in the process does not cost me anything more that the time spent to write about this. The benefit for me was that I received a present myself, while also being able to make a friend think kindly of me because of the present she will receive from me (I will only mention her here, after she receives the present, I want it to be a surprise).

Although it might sound weird at the beginning, do spend the time to look through the offerings of, you might find there things that you would like to buy for yourself or presents that you would like to give to your close friends. Who knows, maybe someone has already entered this online promo chain and you might find yourself receiving a pleasant surprise quite soon.

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