Text – Without the Book – Loyalty

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May 31, 2005
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By John Hennessy

Starburst is running a “More Juice More Burst” campaign that seeks to engage teens into using their cell phones to text a unique promotional short code found under specially marked packs of Starburst Fruit Chews.



Using the code J-U-I-C-Y (58429) across any cell phone carrier, and online at starburst.com, users can find out instantly via a return message if they’ve won juiced-up technology prizes like a 42-inch flat-screen TV, iPod Photo and more. The campaign runs through Sept. 30, 2005.

The Starburst brand first harnessed the power and popularity of text messaging in 2003 with its “Sour Outburst” campaign. The online/text campaign allowed users to send text messages from their computers directly to a friend’s cell phone. This campaign proved so popular it is being continued for its third year.

Moderator’s Comment: Where are your customers and are you reaching them there?

Another example of a manufacturer doing some innovative things to connect with customers and expand sales.

This Starburst program does a lot well. It understands how its audience – teens – interact. Teens IM and text message endlessly.

The program also offers rewards that appeal to its customers with some of the lesser prizes in quantities where there will be a fair number of winners.
That tends to keep people playing the game.

One catch to the program is that to enter your codes online you have to first register. The registration process requires a fair amount of personal information.
Good for Starburst marketing but more privacy invasion than I expected in exchange for a sweepstakes entry based on the purchase of a candy item.

However, the program isn’t selling me any Starburst. It is selling Starburst and a stronger connection to the brand to their target audience. Starburst
isn’t trying to be all things to all people; it’s figured out a way to stay connected to and involved with its core customers.

John Hennessy – Moderator

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7 Comments on "Text – Without the Book – Loyalty"


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Doug Fleener
Guest
15 years 9 months ago

John, you say it well when you say that Starburst isn’t trying to be all things to all people; it’s figured out a way to stay connected to and involved with its core customers. I see so many retailers focus too much on the customer they don’t know rather than the customer they do. Trying to be all things to all people usually results in being nothing to everyone. Starburst obviously gets who their core customer is and how to relate to them. Already big in Asia, I think we’ll see more and more campaigns here in the US that targets cell phone users. I wonder how the customer’s orthodontist feels about this campaign?

Gene Hoffman
Guest
Gene Hoffman
15 years 9 months ago

Younger technologically-oriented consumers are always ready to give to those who are older and inside the box the benefits of their lifestyle. Starbucks is melding into that process as it goes about creating a continuation of its loyal and lucrative customer for tomorrow. Loyalty requires close association and this promotion is another building block for Starbucks.

Bernice Hurst
Guest
15 years 9 months ago

This does seem to be pretty much an age issue but it isn’t just a question of teenagers vs old geezers. Knowing where your customers are and how to reach them has always been key and probably will be forevermore. My 27 year old son communicates with his friends and family almost exclusively by cellphone and text message. So does my 50 year old brother-in-law. My 32 year old daughter refuses to have a cellphone and I have one but only use it in case of emergencies. Shall I continue? As with virtually every subject we discuss here on RW, I think the facility to offer choice is what makes a business successful. There should never be just one way of communicating with customers. Recognising new media and using it for specific reasons is good in the same way as recognising new technology. But that doesn’t mean babies should ever be discarded with bath water.

Michael L. Howatt
Guest
Michael L. Howatt
15 years 9 months ago

If Al’s an old geezer, I’m already in the ground! My brother just bought his 14 year old daughter a new cell phone and one day asked her why she wasn’t “talking” to her friends on it. She said she was, as she busily IM’d another friend typing her heart away. It’s a stange new world and Starburst has sent us a valuable message that target marketing still exists and does work.

Al McClain
Guest
Al McClain
15 years 9 months ago

As a certified “old geezer,” I’m amazed at the proliferation of PDA’s and text messaging. The younger generation (anyone younger than me) seems to want to be in 24/7 contact with friends and, to a lesser extent, family. Cell phone marketing of all sorts IMHO is the next big wave, and it’s upon us.

Marketers shouldn’t forget, however, that there is a percentage of all demographic groups that increases with age, that prefer less intrusive marketing, if there is any of that left.

Warren Thayer
Guest
15 years 9 months ago

I just hope it doesn’t jack up cell phone bills, but as an “old geezer,” I confess to some ignorance here. Sounds like a grand idea. My kids live on IM and cell phones. And just for the record, Al McClain is not near old enough to be “an old geezer.” He’s a “middler.”

George Anderson
Guest
15 years 9 months ago

While I would disagree with Warren on one point – Al is, in fact, an old geezer – I would agree that my experience with the 15-year-old and under members of the Anderson clan demonstrates their ongoing use and reliance on IM and text messaging.

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