We are only as good as the good we do. If a company really wants to put their money where their mouth is, then considering their NON-PAYING customers in the business model will achieve this.

This may well involve giving away product or services for free.

This approach is outlined in the book Authentic Marketing. The author, Larry Weber, recommends asking the following big questions:

One of the most impactful and tangible strategies a company can consider builds on this.

Once you have identified people who would benefit most from your product or service but are unable to afford it, you can develop a plan to incorporate an element of free distribution as part of your triple bottom line business plan.

For the ultimate in clear, powerful marketing messages, you can reinvent the old promotional tool of Buy One Get One Free to Buy One GIVE One Free.

This is now being successfully used by a number of innovative, thoughtful businesses:


Toms Shoes improves lives through a programme they call One For One. For every product purchased they provide shoes, sight, water, safe birth and bullying prevention services to people in need.


Mindful Chef, a healthy food recipe and delivery service, run a programme call One Feeds Two. With every meal purchased, they donate a school meal to a child in poverty, which has amounted to over one million so far.


Hey Girls tackles period poverty in the UK by giving a free box of sanitary towels to women and girls in need for every box purchased. This buy one give one approach gives girls the freedom to enjoy normal lives without having to miss school, ask friends for products, or simply go without.

Not all organisations can commit to a full buy one, give one model. If this doesn’t work for your business, consider instead a Buy One, Give SOMETHING approach.

Another initiative that you may already be aware of is Pledge 1% – pioneered by SalesForce.org. Here companies pledge to annually give 1% of equity, 1% of profits, 1% of product, and/or 1% of employee time to worthy causes.

So consider to whom could you give your product (time and/or profit) and how it could become part of your marketing story,