Drink a lot of Starbucks? Now you can become the “Mayor” of Starbucks in your town, thanks to the popular Foursquare application — and as a loyal customer, Starbucks is now offering special discounts just to these virtual Mayors. And, you don’t even have to actually manage a city — you just have to love chugging plenty of coffee at your local Starbucks.
We recently reported on the whole Foursquare phenomenon, focusing on efforts from Taste-D-Lite and Pepsi and, yes, Starbucks, and I remain intrigued by the fun side of geotargeting being highlighted by Foursquare. It’s basically turning what used to be mass promotions into targeted loyalty programs, focusing on key best customers in order to keep them loyal and encourage them to spread the word about a brand.
This “Mayor” Starbucks discount isn’t just pennies, either — a $1 off a Frappucino is a good deal. And even if it is a one-time promotion, it may inspire regular Starbucks drinkers to raise their hand and share their location as the local “Mayor” of their Starbucks branch.
It’s only the beginning of this location-based loyalty trend, but I believe it shows significant promise as long as there is a way to avoid “cheating” to get the discounts. And, it would be great if it went beyond just straight discounts to other kinds of rewards. But the fact that Starbucks is continuing to invest time and effort in this area — which makes sense since it is such a local location-based retailer — shows location-based loyalty, presented in a fun way, is heating up.
In her role as Senior Editor, Sharon writes and edits stories for COLLOQUY magazine. She helps develop future communications and research initiatives, and also works on white papers and thought leadership content for other lines of business within LoyaltyOne.