For the past three months I’ve been working with a team of very talented strategists and programmers to bring a white-label version of Foursquare to market. Our philosophy is that brands willing to invest in an app as part of a broader program to reward customers for their behavior in the real world can be an outstanding delivery vehicle for loyalty programs – maybe the best way yet to reward consumers for loyal behavior.
We have the concepts, the code, a great demo and the marketing know-how to build and deploy a great iPhone/Droid/Blackberry app.
Along the way we’ve faced more hurdles than I’d like to recall – we’ve overcome most of them. Our discussions have been with world class brands and events and the people who represent them. Our vision has become more refined and our certainty about being right has never been stronger.
But with all of the momentum we’ve stirred up, we haven’t been able to get a brand to commit. They have not been able to prioritize mobile as anything more than a toy. Our vision is that mobile is the future, that loyalty based on real world behavior (check-ins monitored by time of day, location, etc and loyalty function built on the capture of data representing those activities and others appropriate to each brand) is just one of the examples of the way that mobile apps are going to change our lives.
So the NY Times coverage today of Pepsi’s new partnership with Foursquare, and their own “Pepsi Loot” app is no surprise to us. And their custom app is absolutely the right thing for a smart, well funded brand like Pepsi to execute. What is frustrating is the lack of vision we’ve faced from other world-class brands.
Mobile is the future. In many ways it is a whole new playing field for marketers – and those who are willing to lead will be richly rewarded.
Any brands ready to get serious about a mobile social app that uses real world behavior to drive customer loyalty? Send me a note.