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Big Brands Take Motley Routes to Mobile Loyalty

  |  June 6, 2012   |  Comments

American Eagle, Denny's, and Sovereign approach on-the-go consumers in distinctly varied ways.

In what represents a microcosm of the sprawling mobile loyalty landscape, American Eagle Outfitters, Denny's, and Sovereign Bank have unveiled starkly different programs in the space during the last three days.

First of all, American Eagle Outfitters today rolled out a loyalty initiative with Shopkick, a mobile app that rewards users for "walk-ins" instead of the check-ins feature offered by Foursquare, Scvngr, and Facebook. The Pittsburgh, PA-based specialty clothier recently concluded a two-year pilot program in 200 stores and will now offer Shopkick rewards in 900 North American locations and more than 100 stores for sister brand Aerie.

During the next week, American Eagle and Aerie will offer 15 percent discounts each day for different product categories. For instance, walk-ins recorded by Shopkick users on Thursday can get discounted footwear, while on Friday they can receive 15 percent off swimwear purchases.

Fred Grover, EVP for American Eagle, in a statement said his company aims "to be an early adopter of technologies that matter to our customers."

Denny's Checks In With Branded App

Denny's, which yesterday announced its mobile app, will bypass partnering with Shopkick, Foursquare or any other loyalty platform and pitch check-in specials directly to consumers. To promote the app, the diner chain is offering Grand Slam breakfasts for a year to anyone who checks in at a Denny's location in all 50 states.

Other mobile rewards currently offered by the restaurant include 10 check-ins for 10 percent off a bill for one meal; and 25 check-ins for a free Pancake Puppies sundae - an ice cream treat featuring a cross between pancakes and hush puppies.

Frances Allen, CMO of Denny's, told Mashable that the brand developed its own app rather than partnering with platform such as Foursquare because "it allowed us more flexibility and functionality for future mobile campaigns."

levelup

Banking Giant Tests LevelUp in Beantown

On Monday, Sovereign announced a partnership with LevelUp, the mobile payment/loyalty startup from Seth Priebatsch, the 22-year-old digital wunderkind who also founded Scvngr. The brands are awarding a $10 credit to customers who sync up their Sovereign debit cards with the LevelUp app and then scan one of 500 QR codes appearing this summer in Boston. The QR codes will be seen on outdoor ads throughout Beantown and in Boston Globe Magazine; the creative will reflect a citywide celebration of its waterfront neighborhoods.

The $10 credit can be used at LevelUp-partnered merchants in Boston, including waterfront establishments like seafood retailer James Hook & Co., Boston Harbor Cruises, and Ben & Jerry's. Such purchases will have to be completed with the LevelUp app.

With the campaign limited to the Boston area, Sovereign, which is owned by global financial giant Banco Santander, seems to be dipping its toe into the mobile loyalty waters.

"Mobile transactions are emerging as the preferred payment method for quick, on the go purchases," said Eduardo Tobon, head of Santander's U.S. Cards division, in a prepared statement. "Our exclusive promotion with LevelUp offers an innovative and rewarding mobile payment option that will build long term loyalty among our cardholders."

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christopher Heine

Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.

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