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Bruster’s Real Ice Cream Upgrades Punch Cards for a Sweet, Modernized Program

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A low-tech program that didn’t allow for targeted promotions.

The Bruster’s “buy 9, get the 10th free” punch-card program was popular with customers because it was simple and the rewards were clear. But for Bruster’s, there was a significant problem. Since the low-tech program didn’t provide information about member behavior or preferences, it didn’t allow for any kind of targeted promotions. Bruster’s partnered with Paytronix to roll out a program that would be a substantial upgrade over the punch-card one and deliver a positive financial impact to the chain.

Brusters Punch Card
A Launch as Smooth as Ice – 16% Penetration in 10 Months

Updating a popular rewards program can be a challenge, so Bruster’s and Paytronix endeavored to make the rollout as clear and compelling as possible. Employing a three-pronged approach, Bruster’s first created and deployed a multimedia marketing promotion. Secondly, it ran a Paytronix-powered store contest designed to boost enrollment by motivating front-line scoopers to invite guests to join. Thirdly, Bruster’s offered multiple enrollment options to ensure that it maximized guest participation. The new, digital-only program lets guests join via the app or online, and because Bruster’s is popular among seniors, it also enables enrollment by phone when guests call the customer support team.

Within 10 months, Bruster’s had achieved a 16% penetration rate, exceeding the benchmark goal of 15% over 12 months for new loyalty programs.

Brusters App
New Wins with a New Program – ROIs reach 263%

A primary objective in rolling out a new Bruster’s loyalty program was to acquire data on customer behavior and use it to create targeted offers that would increase visits and spend. Bruster’s ran RFM segmentation campaigns during its shoulder seasons in September and January, and those promotions successfully drove an increase in traffic. The results were impressive:

  • Loyalty members spent 10% more than the average ticket, and the top-performing stores saw an increase of 13%.
  • Its first RFM segmentation campaign, which tailored promotions to match how customer segments interact with the brand, saw a 187% ROI.
  • The lapsed-customer promotion alone produced ROIs that reached 263%.
Brusters Campaign Results

“Through segmented campaigns, we were able to drive people in during our shoulder seasons, which are traditionally very low traffic for us. Being able to prove to our franchise community that these campaigns were highly effective was huge for us. Loyalty is and will continue to be a key strategy for the brand. Working with [Paytronix] is a joy – they really keep us on track to do the right things and make the most of the program.”

Jennifer Brinker, Vice President of Marketing Bruster’s Ice Cream, Inc.
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