Many startups try to build buzz about their brands by handing out goodies such as free pens and complimentary phone cases. However, indiscriminate gifting is expensive. To strike the right balance, it's critical to provide freebies that are aligned with your brand and to make sure you are generating results. "With freebies, from a founder's perspective, you have to get some kind of return," advises Ashley Beattie of Kiwi Wearables.

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