Reporter's Notebook

Targeting Consumers With Mobile Apps

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It’s en vogue for restaurant companies to develop mobile apps.

And like all marketing tools, the best apps are the ones created by companies who know their consumers. Targeting consumers on their mobile devices—and getting consumers to act on the messaging—is key.

Many companies, including Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Zoës Kitchen, and Domino’s Pizza have shown that not only do they know their consumers, they also know how to cater to them.

Here’s how they’re using mobile apps to bolster brand power:

  • Krispy Kreme’s Hot Light app has had more than 300,000 downloads in the past year or so, which is no small feat. The app acts using location based services. When a consumer with the app is near a Krispy Kreme location with hot, fresh donuts, their phone lets them know.

    It’s simple, and it works.

    “For us, the ‘Hot Light’ app was exactly what our consumers wanted,” said Dwayne Chambers, chief marketing officer at the company. “They always want to know when the doughnuts are hot.”

    It’s all about staying top of mind and getting consumers to act. In this case, Krispy Kreme nailed it, capitalizing on a cravable, impulse product and their mobile consumer.
  • Domino’s Pizza turned ordering pizza into a game. With the Pizza Tracker, customers can order a pizza and watch it go through the process from order to delivery on their tablet or smartphone.

    It makes ordering a pizza feel like a fun game, which makes consumers feel engaged in the pizza-making process.

    The app has about 6 million downloads and counting—and has lead to the ordering of a whole lot of pizzas.
  • Southern-inspired Mediterranean chain Zoës Kitchen developed a LIFE app, in part to help them collect consumer data and track usage on their brand. Part of the app’s goal, according to Rachel Phillips-Luther, the company’s vice president of marketing, was to increase the consumers’ connection with the brand.

    “Our core consumers is an educated an sophisticated female,” she said. “ She and her family were front and center when developing this app.”

    The app has a “life goals” portion in lieu of a loyalty program portion, which gives the user goals for the week. Many of these are not directly related to Zoës, and include items like “do a charity run/walk” or “drink 8 glasses of H2O.” This allows the brand to reach beyond their food offerings and into the consumers’ life, making their connection more effective.

    “The LIFE app is the ideal vehicle to deliver both data that will help us better server our consumers, and capitalize on potential opportunities to engage with them,” Phillips-Luther said.

 

 

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