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Chronicles from a Caribbean Cubicle

9/16/2008

Giving Away to Get

In an interesting article entitled Can Freeconomics Work in African Markets?[Part 1] by Jonathan Gosier, the author makes the point that African business people are learning the value of giving away items for free in order to gain customer loyalty.

It's as if he were describing the Caribbean.

He talks about how tough economic conditions lead business-people to a short-term, gimme now mentality, that works against their success.

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  • I used to think that we were already aware of this principle, as demonstrated through the time-worn practice of "brawta" and bestowing gifts on people you meet for the first time. But the more I think about it now, the more I realize that we have also found a way to undermine this practice, and to shortchange its possibilities. "to' much freeness nuh good." But the freeness exchange also creates new friendships and many opportunities that do not appear to have ulterior motives. Perhaps you can think of a way to operationalize this in today's business environment. For example, I wish more companies would simply donate their time, expertise and resources, rather than people having to beg them all the time. They simply don't realize how much public favour they would get from generosity.

    By OpenID longbench, at 10/21/2008  

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