Posts Tagged ‘Subway


MOLOSO: Rewarding your loyal customers through mobile and social media


We’ve heard it over and over again: social media is a great, cost effective way to drive traffic into your business and create better brand awareness.

But what about the people who already know and love your brand? It is time that you show your loyalty customers some love.

First, ask yourself what makes your loyalty customers special and what do you want to accomplish? Do you want them to buy more or buy more often? Knowing your goals and the personality of your target audience is key is determining how likely they will respond to your attempts to reward their loyalty.

Second, do not forget about your social-loyal (SOLO) customers. For example, I am a huge SOLO customer of Dunkin Donuts. I follow them online and as soon as the Denver franchises open I will be a loyal buying customer. Here are a few ways to make your loyalty customers feel special:

Texting: Life revolves around our mobile devices. It has been shown that 73% of Americans send and receive text messages. This is a personal way to reach your loyal customers to offer them exclusive time-sensitive offers, notify them of their membership status and bring them in during your slower hours. Check out these examples:

  • Nail Salon: Monday & Tuesday special: free member only upgrade!
  • Frozen Yogurt: You only need 3 more purchases to qualify for a free 10 oz yogurt!

Facebook, also known as the face of social media, visually advertises your business, and allows you to interact with your followers. Loyal customers want to feel special, and through Facebook you can have conversations with them, give away specialty membership contests and reward loyal customers from their Facebook Check Ins.

Also, do not assume your loyal customers know all of the services you provide. Use Facebook to further advertise add-ons, special events, catering, monthly specials and new offers. If they are following your page, they are interested. They will be excited to know they can get more products and services than they may have thought.

  • Chick-fil-A: they offer their catering information (seemingly less known to the public) and (to date) have 2.4 million people talking about their page, and 6.2 million likes

Foursquare: Nearly half (46%) of American adults are smartphone owners as of February 2012. Foursquare is an app that lets you ‘check in’ at the businesses you frequent. If you go to one place more often than your friends do, you become the “Mayor.” The race to become the Mayor gives customers incentive to go, and to go repeatedly. You can further emphasize this incentive by offering the Mayor free products, upgrades, discounts and invites to exclusive events.

  • Arby’s Mayor special: they get to sit in the “4Square Mayor Booth” and get to taste test new sandwich offerings. They also get the special badge on their Foursquare profile.

Twitter: Tweeting may have less impact on purchasing behavior, but is a great outlet to educate your loyalty crowd. Customer service via Twitter is also useful because it will reach a vast number of customers and show them that you are concerned with their happiness. Exclusive offers for free products can also be advertised through a link to sign up with your membership or by registering to join your clientele base.

  • Morton’s: Peter Shankman tweeted to his 150,000 followers, “Hey @Mortons – can you meet me at Newark airport with a porterhouse when I land in two hours? K, Thanks :)” – and they did!
  • Subway: incredible customer service through conversations with their followers regarding what they like and dislike.

With 12 million Americans using social media daily, you have a high probability that your loyal customers will be reached and appreciative that you have taken the initiative to thank them for being loyal. A little appreciation will keep them coming back, and more importantly, spreading a positive word about your business.

What advice do you have for businesses that are trying to reach their loyal customers? Give us your thoughts from the loyal customer point of view on Facebook at Weise Communications or on Twitter @Weise_Ideas.


Franchise Healthy: Mascot Out, Guacamole In

Burger King Retires their King Mascot in Favor of a Fresher Menu

In the past several years, Quick Serve Restaurants (QSR) have starting implementing healthier menus to reach a larger demographic of customers.  This new craze has helped many restaurants increase sales and use new marketing and advertising campaigns to draw in a previously untapped audience of healthier consumers.

The Burger King franchise recently (finally) decided to jump on the healthy trend.  Burger King, the home of the Whooper, is attempting to re-brand the system by adding a fresher approach in their fast-food menu which began with the success of the new Whopper Bars.  The Whopper Bar is a concept designed to create a more “gourmet” atmosphere for “Whopper Connoisseurs.”  With an open kitchen concept and the “create your own Whopper” menu, Burger King was aiming to reach new markets and satisfy new types of customers.  Due to the success of the Whopper bars, Burger Kings is dethroning the King mascot in favor of a fresher approach to advertising that reflects the new menu.

Freshness and healthy meals are some of the most important categories that are increasingly emphasized in the fast food world.  Competitors of Burger King began this new approach a while ago. McDonalds’s started the trend with healthy alternatives such as oatmeal, sliced apples, and salads. Subway also launched its new avocado topping and even the Cheesecake Factory has their new skinnyliciouse menu (can you use the words skinny and cheesecake in the same sentence???). Guacamole, oatmeal, and other healthy foods have proven to be very appealing to mothers and health-enthusiasts, which could be an untapped for Burger King.

Below is Burger King’s new TV spot. Its refreshing in so many ways, most notably because its not a Peeping Tom wearing a crown.

Burger King might be a little late catching up with the new changing food trends, however this new strategy will most likely prove to bring a wider consumer market into the historically  successful Burger King franchise system. According to an AdAge article, a survey by YouGov’s BrandIndex among people who had visited fast-food restaurants in the hamburger category in the last month — the same time that Burger King launched the campaign for the California Whopper — their perception of Burger King had gone from a 24.2 before the ad aired to a 34.3 just two days after the launch of the spot. (YouGov BrandIndex’s scores range from -100 to 100 and are compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive.)

Have you seen other industry trends that companies should jump in to increase market share & revenue? Tell us about it here or visit our Facebook page.


Food Trucks: A Franchise Concept with a Stop Sign Ahead

While food trucks have been around forever, the food truck trend took off in 2008 with the Kogi Korean BBQ, Kogi’s efforts were helped significantly by the proliferation of social media marketing, soaring through the use of Twitter by tweeting the truck’s locations.

In cities like Los Angeles and New York, gourmet food trucks are embraced. If you live in L.A. you can check your wireless device for consolidated tweets of all food truck locations. In New York, if you have a gourmet concept to offer, you could find a permanent home in one of the city parks. Food trucks are growing in popularity, which is why the idea is so mouthwatering to Franchisors. And by many accounts, food trucks are the new wave in franchising. So much so that last month a food truck business, Sauca Foods won the 2010 Great Emerging Franchise Challenge.

Some franchised food trucks started from a stand-alone concept and are growing. Some food franchisors, including Subway and Fatburger are adapting to the concept by hitting the road with their own trucks.

But get out of the top major cities in the U.S., and things start to degrade. This is where franchisors need to start paying attention.

www.cake-crumbs.comThe problem is that many cities don’t know what to do about food trucks. While L.A., New York and Portland may be flying ahead, Denver and Dallas have major hurdles to overcome. In Denver, food trucks are now parked after months on the road because zoning issues finally caught up with them.

Last year in Santa Monica an entire mobile “food court” was shut down due to zoning violations.

And in Dallas foodies are not getting anywhere fast with their slow zoning changes.

I think that franchised food trucks are a marketers dream. They offer consistency in menu and deliverables, the ability to reach your target market where they are and the ROI on social media marketing is extraordinary. Plus initial cost to ownership is lower than that of brick and mortar restaurants.

But the zoning challenges for many markets may put a kibosh on this great idea.  I recently heard a manager from the Denver Biscuit Company say that she believes Denver and other similar-sized markets will eventually come to embrace food trucks similar to the way L.A. and New York have. While the general public may embrace food trucks, the city council members will have to get zoning laws up to speed with the demands of the people.

On a side note – Denverites can still enjoy their biscuits and cupcakes at the Denver Biscuit Company and Cake Crumbs permanent locations while zoning issues are being worked out to accommodate their mobile units.

What do you think? Will traditional brick and mortar franchise food concepts do well to go mobile, or harm their core business? Tell us how your franchise system is adapting to to the truck trend.

Franchisors – don’ forget to visit us at the 2011 IFA convention. Tracy will be speaking February 15, on the topic of integrating marketing tactics for better franchise sales.

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