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From Benefits to Outplacement Freemium comes to HR

I don’t know about you, but my pockets are feeling a little barren after the© Can Stock Photo Inc. / dotshock holiday season. With the new year, I’ve resolved to be a little more frugal. Instead of springing for a pricy record, I’ve been enjoying the bevy of free music streaming services out there, like Spotify and Pandora. As a consumer, I love free. Free is great.

Why is it then, that in B2B, “free” feels like a swear word to some? There’s a perception that freebies can somehow cheapen a brand, or make a seller look desperate.

Disrupting the market in recent years is the notion that services can be free–no strings attached. Professional caliber services are available for a variety of needs, from taxes to payroll to outplacement. Often, they have the option to upgrade, a model known as “freemium”.

While its effects are apparent in today’s marketplace, the concept of freemium isn’t new. Freemium is great because it allows companies to share their product with consumers and build a rapport that translates into mutual benefit. Companies get the word-of-mouth endorsement and the consumer gets a great product for a song.

TurboTax is one such service, offering tax services for free to over 60 million Americans. In a market of wary consumers, this may seem too good to be true–a concern addressed in this amusing TurboTax ad featuring theoretical physicist Michio Kaku. The freemium model works great for this service–accessible to anyone with an internet connection, and offering more advanced services as the consumer needs it.

In the human resources space, the free version of Zenefits operates as an all-in-one platform for payroll, human resources, and benefits. As a paid product, Zenefits is a modular and plays nice with other such services. The model here works in that it scales–most businesses can make use of the the free option, especially smaller ones. Larger organizations and “power users” can scale into Zenefits Pro to suit their needs.

StartWire for Employers operates using a model much like Zenefits–we offer a complete product, for free, up front. A variety of further premium services are available, such as social media profile rewrites, but from the get-go you receive robust professional-caliber services at no cost.

Like Zenefits, StartWire for Employers proves that one doesn’t have to pay a lot to get a lot.

In all three cases, these products are intended to disrupt their respective markets and empower business and consumer alike. By offering flexible products and redefining business models, they stand poised to revolutionize their fields.

When services like these are free, everyone wins–the consumers receive a great product for free, the companies build a business model on a foundation of trust, and the nature of a traditional field changes.

To learn more about StartWire for Employers read our Press Release.

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