Like having a favorite type of food or favorite genre of music, most Americans have a favorite brand or retailer that keeps them coming back. An obsession with a particular brand can even cross all lines of reason, venturing into “fan-boy” territory, where supporters will defend any and all products made by their favorite companies, regardless of whether they’re actually good.
These individuals may seem extreme, but their loyalty to a select few brands and a willingness to advertise that enthusiasm to the world can actually be a successful approach to saving money.
Knowing how to get freebies from big companies may seem entirely impossible — after all, you’re just one person and they may be a multi-million dollar brand. But thanks to the wide reach of the internet, a genuine compliment from a loyal customer such as yourself can result in free stuff from companies you know and love.
Here is a guide on how saving money is possible if you’re a brand’s biggest fan.
3 Ways to Get Free Stuff From Companies
Most people only ever bother to voice their opinions after a bad experience, offering customer complaints through public forums like Facebook or Twitter in hopes of a future discount or refund. However, other shoppers are equally as vocal about their positive experiences with their beloved brands, and this, too, can lead to a financially advantageous outcome.
#1. Join Fan Contests
If you’re a self-proclaimed number one fan of a company, chances are you’ve already “liked” the brand’s Facebook page and are following them on Twitter. If you’re not, get to it, because these are the fans who often get first-dibs on news regarding contests and giveaways.
David Chamberlain knows all about winning fan-based contests. “When Marked Nutrition launched, they offered consumers that created the best interactions on Twitter about their protein shakes a trip to Pittsburgh for the official launch of the product,” says Chamberlain. “I won and got to stay at the Renaissance Hotel, then meet Mark Wahlberg and Three Doors Down who played for the opening.” In addition to this once-in-a-lifetime experience, Chamberlain says he received freebies like protein shakes and bars, and branded swag like a duffel bag.
“I also [won] a trip to the set of Dallas, the TV show through Klout for being one of [the show’s] top ten fans. I got to stay at the Omni in Dallas and meet Linda Grey along with Julie Gonzalo,” recalls Chamberlain, who also received a tour of the set and lived like an Ewing oil mogul for three days, all expenses paid.
#2. Say Something Nice in Public
I’m an avid user of Yelp, and have used its check-in feature to earn free appetizers or 10 percent off discounts. I’ve also found that writing a rave review of a company via Yelp can lead to money-saving gestures of gratitude from my favorite places.
This example of receiving free stuff from companies is no isolated incident either, as Scott Lazerson discovered when he expressed his childhood fondness of the Campbell’s brand.
Lazerson tells GoBankingRates, “I have eaten Campbell’s Soup since I was a kid, and when I said that on Twitter they immediately followed me, [and] then asked for my address. I got a great package in the mail with soup, a blanket and a note [saying] ‘Stay warm this winter!’ It was awesome!”
#3. Make a Personal Connection
Writing companies for free stuff may seem like an old-school tactic, but Tom Locke proved how successful it can be with his project called, “The $39 Experiment“. He wrote unique messages to 100 brands and companies asking for free stuff and most companies responded kindly with free swag, samples and coupons.
But you don’t necessarily need a 100-company sample pool to get some free goods. Simply making a connection with one brand you sincerely appreciate can be all it takes to start saving money.
Daniel Malkin, a lactose intolerant shopper, shared his experience writing to his favorite company.
“My favorite brand that I am beyond loyal to is Tofutti, a dairy-free product company. I reached out to Tofutti about a year ago to thank them,” explains Malkin. “Because of the brand I can eat ice cream, cream cheese and even Italian foods such as pizza and ravioli. The founder of the company, David Mintz, loved my story and was so touched that I reached out.”
Malkin continues, “He welcomed me into his lab to see how the products are made and even let me sample never-before-seen products. The most amazing thing he did was allowing me to name one of his new products! I also received numerous coupons due to my loyalty and love for the company.”
These tips on how to get freebies from your favorite brands are some of the best ways to get free stuff from companies because they demonstrate how genuine your loyalty is.