Although you probably wouldn’t know it, today is National Doughnut Day—and in the United States, it’s kind of a big deal.
National Doughnut Day is celebrated on the first Friday of June each year, and has its origins in the trenches of World War I, when Salvation Army officers would give doughnuts to demoralised soldiers.
While many stores celebrate the occasion in the United States, Krispy Kreme is the only company in Australia celebrating, offering a free doughnut to registered customers.
Similar to convenience store chain 7-Eleven’s Free Slurpee Day, National Doughnut Day seems to give Krispy Kreme customers something for nothing. So what do these companies really get out of giving away freebies?
Michelle Gamble, founder and chief executive of Marketing Angels, told SmartCompany these sorts of promotions have a positive effect on consumer attitudes towards brands.
“It creates a lot of goodwill for the business and the brand, and has a long tail effect boost in sales,” says Gamble.
“Because people are sampling the product who haven’t necessarily tried the product before, you tend to find that sales increase in the long term,” she says.
Krispy Kreme requires customers to ‘like’ its Facebook page and register their email in order to receive a free National Doughnut Day coupon.
Gamble says this allows a company to increase their online audience and build customer profiles.
“[These promotions] broaden a company’s reach a lot. It’s a classic Facebook tactic,” she says.