CAMBRIDGE, MA—Calling it far and away the best initiative businesses can undertake to boost sales and brand awareness, a report released this week by Harvard Business School has found the most effective marketing technique remains handing out little versions of products. “Based on our research, there is simply no better way to attract and retain customers than giving away a product that is exactly like the one you’re trying to sell, only littler,” said lead researcher Neil Mukherjee, stressing that the method proved highly effective at promoting future product sales regardless of whether the complimentary items were little dish soaps, little paint swatches, or little chocolates. “People will use up the little version quickly, because it’s so small. Then they’ll want the big version, and they’ll have to buy it, because the big version costs money. It’s pretty simple, really.” The report also cautioned businesses against allowing any one person to take too many of the small versions of their products, as that was essentially the same as just giving away a big one for free.

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