All Articles Food Is Norm killing your check-in strategy?

Is Norm killing your check-in strategy?

2 min read


By now, we’ve all heard about how location-based networks are taking off. Foursquare, Gowalla, SCVNGR and now, of course, Facebook are all part of a new landscape filled with marketing opportunities. Part of what makes these services fun and attractive to consumers are the game mechanics. While I’m personally convinced that there is a “Rob cannot be a mayor” provision in Foursquare’s code, many of my friends and colleagues enjoy the benefit of being a mayor of a restaurant, venue or store. Companies and brands have embraced the “mayor” status as well, with some exceptional levels of success.

Often, the competitive nature of these services helps restaurants gain exposure and generate repeat visits. But what if one super customer is checking in every night and eating up all the benefits of mayorship? How do you innovate and extend the reach of the competitive value of the check-in? Look no further than the brain trust behind AJ Bombers — the very team that became famous for embracing Foursquare early to increase visits and boost sales to their burger joint.

First, AJ Bombers innovated by developing a special menu for their long-standing incumbent mayor, Jim. No one but Jim could order off that prominently displayed menu, which got customers talking. Then, restaurant owner Joe Sorge and strategist Steffan Antonas put their heads together to take this idea a step further and came up with what they call “Loyalty Royalty.”

Using Foursquare’s business dashboard (free to all who claim their business), the AJ Bombers team tracked the three Foursquare users with the most check-ins for the previous 30 days. The next month, all three of those customers help to create the month’s Loyalty Royalty menu. Like Jim’s original “mayor menu,” this menu is built specifically for them. It is filled with items they help to name and create — and can enjoy whenever visiting AJ Bombers.

To give the offer even further exposure, each member of “royalty” also selects one day in the month where their menu item is featured and available to all guests of the restaurant.

Even if you have a “mayor offer” as well as a “frequency reward” as part of your strategy, you’re still just scratching the surface.  Give your “Norms” some company and give them all a reason to talk about your restaurant.