Frequency and loyalty programs are effective for increasing customer loyalty. Rewards in the form of discounted or free products are an incentive for repeat or increased purchases. A side benefit of such programs is if customers are buying from you that means they are probably not buying from your competitors!
Reward-based programs are nice, but let's face it- they have strings attached. "I'll give you a free sub sandwich if you buy 10 subs from me" means there will be no free lunch for the customer! Have you ever given customers a reward for their business with absolutely no conditions attached- a gift? Sprint has launched a program in which it is partnering with approximately 500 theaters in the U.S., setting up kiosks that will dispense coupons for concessions upgrades. Sprint customers can enter codes from their phones at the kiosks to get coupons that can be used on the spot at a cinema's concession stand.
Is an up-sell to a large popcorn or soda enough to keep a customer loyal to Sprint? Probably not. The relationship still likely hinges on quality service, reasonable rate plans, and effective customer support. But, the cinema coupon campaign is a great way to treat customers inexpensively. Also, it allows Sprint to engage customers via their wireless devices, reinforcing the brand relationship.
It may be unlikely that a customer would switch to Sprint because he or she can get coupons for discounted concessions at the theater (customer acquisition is not the goal of this campaign, anyway). But, Sprint customers will enjoy a treat at the movies complements of their wireless company, while non-customers will be exposed to the Sprint-branded kiosks and wonder "how can I get those coupons?"
The New York Times - "Lights, Camera, Action for Concession Coupons"
Labels: Customer Relationships, Sprint