Ever since I started reading Seth Godin’s blog, I’ve looked at companies differently, especially in how they market themselves. I wrote about how Starbucks gave out free coffees if you voted. Not a bad deal. Of course, when I went in there to get it, they were offering the smallest size for free. I asked if I could have a Venti (their largest) and the response was that they’d have to charge me for the smallest size and then give me the difference as my “free” coffee. The extra coffee costs, what, a couple pennies maybe?
Today, I went to Panera Bread to get a new coffee mug because Dona told me that you can refill it for free until January 1. It seemed too good to be true, but figured I’d stop in and ask. It’s true. A $6.99 mug gets you free refills until January 1. I asked if I had to stop at the counter and she said no, just go refill it. Do I have to buy something else? Nope. On top of that, $4 of the mug price goes to the Make-a-Wish foundation. Seriously. From free Wi-Fi to free coffee, Panera just gets it.