Under pressure

Tasty idea
St. John’s start-up looks to modernize customer loyalty programs with Brownie Points app

Matthew Stenback and Adam Puddicome are looking to pull customer loyalty programs into the digital age.

The two Memorial University Faculty of Business graduates have teamed up to bring businesses in Atlantic Canada a digital customer loyalty program called Brownie Points. Stenback came up with the idea in early 2012. He knew Canadians love loyalty programs, and Canadian businesses love to use them, but he also knew the card system was outdated and businesses couldn’t track how well they worked – or if they worked at all.

Enter Brownie Points, a loyalty program that should be a hit with tech savvy shoppers because they can download a mobile app to their smartphone. There is no card to carry around in the wallet and it can be used at any business that offers Brownie Points. “One signup and it’s there forever,” Stenback says.

While Brownie Points appeal to customers because of its “one sign-up fits all” capability, it will appeal to businesses for its flexibility and the customer data that can be gleaned from it. Each business can customize its loyalty program instead of offering the standard 20 per cent discount or free sandwich after a set number of purchases.

And there is a wealth of data Brownie Points can track about customers, like how much each customer spends, how often they come back, and even what is the busiest day of the week. The St. John’s-based partners say that not only can their digital loyalty program bring in new customers; it can aid businesses in keeping the customers they already have. “Up to this point I feel businesses haven’t had the right tools to really focus on customer retention,” Stenback says.

Since Brownie Points was launched in September 2013, 15 businesses in St. John’s and one in Calgary have signed on. But Stenback and Puddicome hope their idea spreads throughout the region. “Our goal in Atlantic Canada is to try and get into Halifax and Saint John and Moncton and P.E.I. and get a presence,” Puddicome says.

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