A very interesting article from the New York Times Blog back in May ’08 that discusses the viability of free coffee promotions at Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks. Stephen Dubner of Freakonomics looks at these giveaway promotions from an interesting perspective: the customer service impact of a free coffee-generated traffic rush. Whereas my view has always been that giveaways and discounting degrades the perceived specialty value of your product, the author highlights a more practical problem: a crush of opportunity seeking customers.

Read The Perils of Free Coffee