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In Bruges

Bec and I were in Bruges with our little Grace last week.

It was Grace’s first trip out of the country, and it went swimmingly, thanks very much – she slept ALL the way there, and even slept for us in the hotel room travel cot.

Bruges itself was beautiful – Christmas markets, picturesque canals, and plenty of high quality (and strength) beer.

We even found some time for a spot of culture, in the form of a city walking tour, which – almost inexplicably – was totally free.

What was rather more explicable was the fact that there were 30 people booked onto the tour, and only 11 showed up.

It was a great tour, plenty of factoids and titbits, and a great way to see the sights of the city, so the value wasn’t in question.

But here’s the problem – making something free can often erode its perceived value, particularly when it’s a service as opposed to a physical product.

Yes, sometimes “free” can be the magic word that makes your prospect sit up, pay attention, and take action, but my Bruges experience is a reminder of its danger.

Maybe the Bruges tourist board have factored a dropout rate in, maybe they get enough money from the government that they don’t care.

But for those of us running businesses, it’s rather more important we get it right, so as you sip your mulled wine this Christmas and make plans for your marketing campaigns in 2023, it’s worth asking the question:

“Will “free” help or hinder me?”

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