Cold Stone Creamery Dishes on Consumer Loyalty for Small Business

Cold Stone Creamery Dishes on Loyalty for Small Business

Loyalty to ice cream? That seems like a task many would be willing to take on.

But what if you lack the recognition of a widely known household name? How does one navigate the competitive landscape when pitted against established giants like Breyers or the renowned Ben & Jerry’s? Moreover, how can a direct-to-consumer (D2C) small- to medium-sized business (SMB) compete with a giant like Cold Stone Creamery?

A Timely Offer for July

Throughout the rest of July, as a tribute to National Ice Cream Month, Cold Stone Creamery is offering exclusive promotions to its loyal members through the My Cold Stone Club Rewards program, starting with a surprise offer. And those who aren’t members can still join and take advantage of the offer.

“Join us in celebrating one of our most favorite days of the year with sweet offers all month long,” said Sara Schmillen, vice president of marketing at Kahala Brands, parent company of Cold Stone Creamery, in a press release. “Cold Stone Creamery is known for having endless possibilities of combinations to create your own unique ice cream treat, so it’s only fitting that for National Ice Cream Day this Sunday, July 16, we treat our current My Cold Stone Club Rewards members to a sweet deal…”

My Cold Stone Club Rewards members can log into their accounts via the Cold Stone app, check their app inbox for a unique and single-use code and use the code when ordering online or in-app. The offer is valid from Friday (July 14) until Thursday (July 20).

While the move may seem enticing to many and could be a fruitful venture for Cold Stone Creamery, what if you’re an SMB? Will cryptic and mysterious offers be compelling enough to spark downloads and sign-ups?

Although compelling marketing and advertising may seem like the obvious path to pursue, it is equally important to consider incorporating third-party solutions and harnessing their following and engagement impact as a parallel strategy.

How Brands With Less Recognition Can Gain Data

While big-name brands often have an established customer base and enjoy widespread recognition, smaller brands or those trying to break into a new market face the challenge of standing out and understanding consumer behavior.

However, leveraging third-party solutions can provide insights into how consumers shop, helping these brands make informed decisions to drive growth and build loyalty.

Fetch Rewards, Ibotta and Receipt Hog are popular third-party mobile applications that allow users to earn rewards by scanning their shopping receipts. The apps collect and analyze data from millions of consumer purchases, providing insights into shopping habits, preferences and trends.

Some benefits to leverages such solutions include:

Access to a wealth of consumer data: This data includes information on purchase frequency, product preferences, brand affinity and competitive analysis. Brands can use this information to better understand their target audience and tailor their marketing strategies accordingly.

Identifying consumer trends: Solutions like Fetch Rewards and Ibotta can provide real-time data on emerging consumer trends and preferences. This information is particularly valuable for smaller brands that may not have extensive research and development resources. By identifying popular products, categories or shopping patterns, brands can align their offerings to meet consumer demands more effectively.

Tailoring marketing campaigns: Brands can use this information to not only create targeted and personalized marketing campaigns, but they can look to create use case campaigns. Take, for example, Chobani’s rebranding efforts in 2017. Chobani products feature various examples directly on the package of how consumers can use their products.

Building customer loyalty: Apps like Fetch Rewards and Ibotta allow brands to engage directly with consumers through their rewards programs. By offering exclusive promotions, discounts or rewards, brands can incentivize consumers to choose their products repeatedly. This not only fosters brand loyalty but also provides an avenue for ongoing feedback and engagement, further enhancing the brand-consumer relationship.

Consumer Stickiness With Apps That Offer Rewards

Fetch Rewards sees 35% of its user base engaging with the app daily, outperforming retail giants like Amazon, Target, Walgreens, CVS and Kroger, according to a June press release.

“As we continue adding depth to this experience, our aim is to build an infinite world where people can always find new reasons to open the app and new ways to win the game of Fetch,” said Fetch Rewards Group President of Product and Technology David Berk in the release.

Meanwhile, Ibotta rolled out a program in May that guarantees three times the return on advertising spend (ROAS) for brands and manufacturers who choose to participate, according to a press release.

Based on the findings by the company, a prominent deodorant brand experienced a surge in daily sales by a staggering 1,067%, accompanied by a significant reduction of 70% in the purchase cycle, per the release. Moreover, the brand observed that 57% of the customers who took advantage of the offers were individuals who were either new to the product category or had transitioned from a rival brand.

“Our vision for the Ibotta Performance Network is to deliver performance marketing at unprecedented scale, and we have done just that, thanks in large part to our network partners like Walmart and Dollar General,” said Ibotta founder and CEO Bryan Leach in the release. “With this new 3x ROAS guarantee, we are tripling down on our commitment to our brand and manufacturer partners and ensuring that we provide the reach and incremental return they need during these highly competitive times.”