Blimpie Finds Success With App Games

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Brands' mobile games build customer sales, loyalty.

A handful of quick - service brands released games for mobile platforms in 2013, and the apps proved to be more
than just for fun. In fact, some brands are reporting increased sales and customer loyalty by integrating games
within their apps.
Among the restaurant companies that found success this year with app games was Blimpie.
A successful mobile game designed to boost sales and customer loyalty, Blimpie's Blimpie Run, rolled out in mid-
September. After nine weeks, nearly 4,400 people had downloaded the Blimpie Run game, and it had generated an opt-in rate of almost 38 percent to Blimpie's e-mail club, dwarfing the average opt -in rate of 2-10percent for most of the chain's e-mail club promotions.
"We definitely wanted to convert our mobile users into our mobile loyalty club. We wanted to have something fun, engaging, and rewarding to our fans," says Matthew Gallagher, digital and social media manager for Kahala Corporation, Blimpie's parent company.
Blimpie added the Blimpie Run game as part of its brand overhaul, which also included a robust mobile marketing strategy, new store design (including booth seating and brighter colors), and a revamped menu, all done in an effort to appeal more to Millennials.
"Many of today's customers were raised on technology, so it's important for us to implement creative mobile marketing programs that fit their plugged -in, on the -go lifestyle, " Gallagher says.
As a way to encourage e-mail club opt-ins, one of Blimpie Run's features gives app users a chance to win free subs for a year via monthly drawings.
"We are seeing a lot of engagement with that: Around 7,000 people have entered the contest," Gallagher says.
Blimpie Run users can also redeem coupons exclusive to the app in Blimpie restaurants. Further, a social media component lets Blimpie Run players share their high scores with friends on Facebook and Twitter.
Overall, there are two or three different opportunities throughout the game for users to enter their e-mail address to join Blimpie's loyalty club.
"We did a good job of getting that e-mail opt-in rate high by implementing those [e-mail input opportunities] at the right point in the process," says Steve Evans, vice president of marketing for Kahala.
Kahala plans to further integrate coupons within the Blimpie Run game next year, particularly focused on its Washington, D.C., and New York City markets, and also hopes to add push notifications to the app. Kahala executives also want to integrate online ordering into Blimpie's app in 2014.
"We launched online ordering for two brands in 2013, and we are in a development plan to test online ordering in the next few months in corporate stores for Blimpie," Evans says.
"Our goal is to roll it out system-wide in 2014.

Franchise Ranking History
Franchise 500: #219 (2014), #198 (2013), #108 (2012), #221 (2011), #438 (2010),
America's Top Global: #90 (2012), #173 (2011)

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Blimpie International Inc.
9311 E. Via De Ventura
Scottsdale, AZ

Phone: (480) 362-4800
Toll Free: (866)452-4252
Fax: (480)362-4812

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