So, what's the catch with BASIC?
There’s the smell of fried food. Gasoline. Sweat. The fair is bustling with people and showy stands manned by loud salesmen who never quite manage to drown out the noise of motorcycle engines. As usual, our stand is rather underwhelming compared to the million-buck pop-up dealerships overshadowing the two refurbished market stalls we’re occupying. I’m shouting loudly into the ear of an elder gentleman wearing a Harley cut, explaining what MyRoute-app is, does and can mean for him. It’s also free.
“So, what’s the catch? You surely aren’t doing this for free.” Famed words that I’ve heard so often. It’s relatable as well. Out of work, I too suffer from the sales pitches of all kinds of figures. Oftentimes things marketed as “free”, “not binding” or “trial” mean “you’re going to pay eventually, usually by some method that is borderline nonconsensual.
I hate such practices with a passion and so does the rest of the team. To create some very clear transparency on this specific subject: of course we’re here to earn a sandwich. The thing is, we invest the majority of the surplus sandwiches back into the company. As such behaviour increases productivity, we’d like to earn as many sandwiches as possible. Sandwiches foster growth, either through allowing us to buy equipment, being able to pay for better supporting services (such as ActiveCampaign as opposed to MailChimp) or by just hiring more mouths to feed. Sure we all like profit, but that profit is hardly being used to reenact the lifestyle of the late Louis XIV.
These days too many products and services market themselves as being something they’re not. Many free services turn people into products and sell them as consumables to other companies, non-binding contracts turn out to be rather binding if you don’t cancel before this- and that date, usually going hand in hand with an innocent looking “trial” period for a certain something. It is really no wonder that these days everyone is conditioned to approach business with suspicion. In the best case you’re shilled for a product that’s relatively useful to you and you end up paying a price that you deem acceptable. We aspire to rise above such practices, even if we require aspects of them merely to survive. After all, the grand utopia where work becomes more hobby than necessity for those wanting to live a comfortable lifestyle is still some time away.
Surviving until that day we’ll be running business based on the idea that our relationship with you is more important than whether you’re able to pay for a GOLD or Navigation package. By earning your respect, releasing features continuously and constantly improving our suite of products and services we aim to inspire those that experience added value from GOLD or Navigation to convert into paying customers. Even if they won’t “buy”, they’ll tell grand stories of this amazing product that they know of to others, increasing over time the chance that these stories reach the right kind of person. A person that wants more than what we offer for free.
Now such practices are hardly measurable a seasoned sales veteran would likely shout. There’s no KPI available and thus no expected value in Euros or dollars. The reality though is that we know that many who started out with a BASIC subscription eventually converted into GOLD users or caused others to do so, even if it took years for those people to feel like upgrading. That’s the difference between us and most other companies. Our goal is sustainability and longlivety.
The fun aspect of this is that after explaining this to someone on a fair, club night or convention I’ll usually be approached as well by people verifying all of the above simply by telling their own stories. People using BASIC and being happy with it, people taking GOLD because they liked the added value of more features, people taking GOLD because they support our mission, people getting GOLD financed by their clubs or people who simply took GOLD because they got it at a discount somewhere.
The catch is that there is no catch. BASIC is free and will remain so. The reason why people pay beyond the free version of what we offer is that there’s tons of reasons. Perhaps the only small catch is that in the end we’re all human and if we like something, we tend to spend money on it. It really doesn’t matter whether that’s a service, a bike, a car or someone you love.
Great words @Timo-Martosatiman-MRA I love the company's ethos