I'm sitting here at Barista. I ordered a latte. When I pulled out my card I was informed that my coffee had already been paid for by Umpqua Bank next door. Free coffee is always a pleasant surprise.
So now I'm sitting in the sun, squinting to see my laptop as I work on my Xeric Grant application, and I'm listening to the other customers order their coffee, only to find that it has been comped. There is an Umpqua employee sitting near me. I watch her as a customer, upon learning that Umpqua has paid for her coffee, exclaims, "How cool is that!" The Umpqua employee gets this tiny, satisfied smile on her face, and in turn I wear a tiny, satisfied smile. There is joy in giving and receiving, and there is joy in observing it all.
I don't care if it was a marketing ploy schemed up in a board room - it's always nice to buy someone coffee, and I just might open an account at Umpqua.1
(Well, I've been thinking about doing so anyway. But the coffee might have tipped the scales some!)