The little Sheboygan, Wisc.-based company is doing that by offering a social platform that rewards users who share their input about select brands with friends and family. The rewards come in the form of virtual coins that people can exchange to get actual gift cards, products, or special deals from a variety of retailers. The more valuable a post is deemed, the more virtual coins the contributor receives.
The ultimate goal is to give businesses the insight to help them grow with their customers, so they don’t lose sight of the market, as did companies like Blockbuster and Kodak, says Sachse.
Sachse is a huge customer service and brand junkie advocate, he says. Perhaps this aspect of his personality took shape during childhood, when he spent time with his grandparents at their local retail store, Sachse Luggage and Gifts, and with his uncle and aunt, who worked in the restaurant industry.
“My dad said the best competitive advantage is your relationship with your customers,” says Sachse, “and that really stuck with me.”
Yappem co-founder's Justin Webb and Dave Sachse award a $12,00 shopping spree check to blogger Danielle Smith.
Yappem co-founder Justin Webb, who was with McKinsey & Co. for 12 years before launching the startup with Sachse, explains that the company provides a social network unto itself, and it’s up to end users to post to that, or to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (News - Alert). An example of a posting might involve a picture of a favorite pair shoes or a comment about good restaurant, or doctor or dentist, says Webb.
Importantly, Webb adds, positive and negative sentiments get the same level of rewards. That way, he says, people are encouraged to share their real-world experiences.
McDonalds, one of Yappem’s early customers, especially liked that aspect of the solution, says Webb, adding that it not only gave the fast food company insight into customer opinions but also enabled the company to avoid running afoul of SEC (News - Alert) regulations that discourage companies from offering incentives only to those who say good things. Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt is another customer of Yappem.
Chloe Jefferys commented her way into a pair of designer Manolo Blahnik shoes.
To get customers engaged in offering feedback, Yappem reaches out to social media influencers and does a lot of what it calls guerilla marketing within social circles to garner interest in the effort. When CUSTOMER spoke with Yappem later this summer, the company also was getting ready to start some large promotions and major giveaways and was working on a minor revamp of its user interface.
One of hundreds of Yappem so-called missions
Edited by Stefania Viscusi