Fast Company reports that Pizza Hut is making plans to launch a foursquare mayor special. Users who become the mayor of their local franchise will receive a free order of breadsticks. Is a mayor special really the best way for companies like Pizza Hut to reward customer loyalty?
Pizza Hut CMO Brian Niccol told Fast Company, “I do think it’s right to reward your loyal customers, and provide an incentive for others to become more loyal.” He hopes to see a bump in repeat traffic.
According to Foursquare perspectives, Pizza Hut has fewer than 1,400 mayors worldwide (and many of the locations in that count are outside the US). Only one customer at each store will be rewarded for their loyalty. Other customers are left out of the deal completely, unless they’re able to take over the mayorship, which is usually difficult to do once the incumbent mayor is being rewarded.
A more effective approach would be to offer a count based checkin special, offering a deal for every 5th or 10th checkin at a store. That is the kind of deal that encourages customers to visit your store more often, because they have a finite goal that can be reached no matter how often other customers check in.
Additionally, foursquare must implement a way for chains like Pizza Hut to reward customers who visit different stores. Currently all specials are tied to a single location and only checkins at that specific store count toward any specials there. If a user regularly visits two different Pizza Huts, say one near home and one near the office, they would be considered a loyal Pizza Hut customer, but wouldn’t receive any foursquare rewards because their checkins are split across two venues.
What do you think of mayor specials? Does foursquare risk users becoming desensitized to the “special flags” when they’re not actually able to reap a benefit from them?