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Giving it away: Companies bank on free coffee

Posted at 7:33 AM, Sep 29, 2014

It's Monday, which means it's time to get back to your daily grind. And while that's usually no cause for celebration, here's something that's sure to perk you up.

It's National Coffee Day, and businesses around the nation are handing out free coffee!

Dunkin' Donuts is offering up its new dark roast coffee — you can get a free medium-sized cup to celebrate the holiday.

Krispy Kreme will give you a free 12-ounce cup of coffee or a 12-ounce mocha, latte, or iced coffee for $1. It even has signs and eCards to advertise the one-day promotion.

And National Coffee Day marks the last day of McDonald's two-week promotion for a free small coffee during breakfast hours.

That's a latte free coffee! And it got us wondering — why would companies want to give away the caffeinated beverage for free?

CNN says it's all about the marketing. "Of course it's a stunt, a marketing celebration of the juice on which America runs."

And a writer for The Street says free samples are a great way to overcome a difficult challenge in product marketing: "Getting a customer to even try a product is the biggest part of the battle ... With the free sample, a company gets the customer to try a product without putting up a price barrier."

TIME suggests free things are a great way to make sales on the spot or turn an opportunist into a loyal customer. 

To find out why a psychologist says this tactic works, watch this Newsy video.