John Vachalek November 12, 2013

Creating Customer Loyalty via mobile apps: Starbucks Tweet A Coffee

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In late October, Starbucks announced their new Tweet-a-Coffee program, yet another way they are enhancing customer loyalty via mobile apps. This allows their loyalty club members to connect their Starbucks’ cards with their Twitter accounts and tweet a coffee to someone.  Once received, the recipient can download a Starbucks gift card and redeem this at a Starbucks location via a mobile device.

On the surface, this may just seem like a really neat idea, but when you look deeper at the possibilities that this type of technology provides to businesses, it is truly amazing.

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1)    The use of the mobile wallet

Starbucks has been one of the most successful players in this space. By mid 2013, payments at Starbucks locations via their mobile apps accounted for over 10% of all their sales.

Customers frequenting Starbucks are the right demographic for this type of system. As well, the company has invested in mobile infrastructure to facilitate mobile payments at their locations.  In Aug. of 2012, they invested $25 million in Square.

To take advantage of the marketing trend of mobile apps payments, companies should begin looking at what this takes and what systems they will need.  This is especially true for any B to C, retail businesses.

2)    The engagement via Twitter

Aside from Twitter providing quick and easy information, Tweet-a-coffee now allows a Twitter account the ability to deliver a warm, comforting latte for your morning drive.  When you think about this, the same delivery method could be used to deliver just about anything directly to users’ mobile devices, including gifts, coupons, movie tickets, etc…  As well, by using the tracking information provided by this type of system, businesses will be able to gather vast amounts of usage information.  When you sign up for Tweet-a-coffee, you must agree that:

This application will be able to:
•    Read Tweets from your timeline.
•    See who you follow, and follow new people.
•    Update your profile.
•    Post Tweets for you.

Twitter, combined with mobile eCommerce and loyalty, is a very powerful tool.  There are endless possibilities for marketers.

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3)    The ability to reward

What if businesses used a tool like this to reward retweets, follows, etc…? What if businesses tweeted a coffee for positive comments, photo submissions or other desired engagement behavior? Think about your business and what behavior you would like to encourage. There are endless possibilities for the creation of campaigns using this approach.

4)    The innovative sale of a product

Tweet-a-coffee is brilliant! It will increase Starbucks’ sales.  As the first player in this space, anyone who wants to tweet a gift to someone will tweet a Starbucks coffee.

This is an amazing example of a company who has effectively leveraged several available technologies to create a marketing tool that has the potential of changing the way gifts are given and rewards are provide for all of humanity.

How to use this Information
Think about how your business could utilize this type of system to:
•    Utilize mobile apps for payments
•    Offer incentives for desired social behavior
•    Utilize Tweet-a-coffee to surprise your customers by saying thank you

At Webolutions Digital Marketing Agency in Denver, we continually identify and study current marketing trends. We believe in making a difference in people’s lives and would be happy to provide you with a complimentary one-on-one evaluation to help you put together a more effective marketing program. Contact us online or give us a call at 303-300-2640.

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