Business Matters: Tasti D-Lite and Foursquare, One Year Later
Business Matters: Tasti D-Lite and Foursquare, One Year Later

Tasti D-Lite and Foursquare: One Year Later

-- Frozen yogurt chain Tasti D-Lite has learned a thing or two about its Foursquare users over the last year: Users are younger, spend less and visit more often, says social technology officer B.J. Emerson.

As I reported last April (subscription required), the Franklin, TN-based Tasti D-Lite was an early adopter of social network Foursquare by incorporating it into the company's customer loyalty program. When a customer swipes a loyalty card at the cash register, the person is automatically checked in at Foursquare. Loyalty points are earned based on the purchase as well as sharing through social media networks like Foursquare.

The last time we spoke, Tasti D-Lite had been using Foursquare for just five months. So what has Emerson learned since then?

For one, Foursquare is helping the company reach new customers. The Foursquare demographic skews male but the typical Tasti D-Lite demographic skews heavily female, Emerson says. "Of those that are connecting [their loyalty program account] to Foursquare, from a customer frequency standpoint, as well as an average sales standpoint, they are not exhibiting the typical behavior of our core customers. Which really means we're reaching outside our demographic and reaching new customers by adding these features and benefits to our loyalty program."

Emerson believes a loyalty customer who uses Foursquare may have a different impact than one connected just to Twitter or Facebook. The average Foursquare account has fewer followers than the average Twitter and Facebook account, he says. The result could be a more smaller but more trusted circle of friends and perhaps more influential connections."So while [Foursquare users] associate themselves with Tasti D-Lite, it can be a powerful online endorsement."
Then there's the Facebook vs. Twitter vs. Foursquare angle. Users of the three social networks exhibit different behavior and different buying frequency. Foursquare users visit Tasti D-Lite more often than Twitter users, who visit more often than Facebook users, Emerson says.

"They're more mobile, they're more active," he says of the stores' Foursquare users. "We've got a year of results. For whatever reasons, it's pretty clear these location-based mobile customers are out and about more and visiting more often."

Emerson has also found that Foursquare users are younger and more thrifty than Twitter and Facebook users - meaning they spend less per visit. "The Foursquare people are looking to get a deal. Facebook is going to skew older, and Faceook users spend more than Foursquare users. Twitter is in the middle."

Emerson brings up the question of long-term value of Foursquare users. "If the Foursquare users' circle of friends is an intimate, trusted friend they're endorsing Tasti D-Lite products to, what's the long-term value of that customer even if they're spending less?" He doesn't have an answer to that question yet. Tracking influence through a point-of-sale system is a necessary piece to that measurement. Emerson says he is "moving toward" capturing that data.

Foursquare has allowed Tasti D-Lite to reach a group of customers that does not display the behavior of its typical customer. But Emerson says that's just the beginning. "Reaching them is one thing. Keeping them is now our challenge."

Apple's Hole-y App

-- Apple's App Store appears to have a hole in its safety net. MusicAlly spotted a curious MP3 download app called Any Music Downloader at the Apple's App Store. Priced at $0.99 and released on Wednesday, April 27, the app has nine customer reviews as of Thursday afternoon - though they all look bogus.

The app is basically a button for downloads and a songs folder. Those bogus customer reviews instruct app buyers to bookmark the site, an MP3 download site with helpful lists of "top downloads" and "latest music." Tracks can be streamed and downloaded from the search pages.

This type of app tends not to make it through Apple's review process. But as Billboard has noted on many occasions, Google's Android Market has had many apps - some free, some paid - that utilize search engines to find and download MP3 files. To its credit, Google has started to remove some of these apps from Android Market. ( MusicAlly)

Wolfgang's Vault Gets Even Better - With Video
-- Wolfgang's Vault, already a treasure trove of audio recordings of innumerable concerts, added 50 years of concert video Thursday. After "four years and millions of dollars" spent on restoration, according to the company's blog, the store's customers can access "tens of thousands in all from the Bill Graham Archive, the King Biscuit Flower Hour, and the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals." In addition, the company has added newly created live footage from the likes of SXSW and San Francisco's Noise Pop Festival. The video quality may vary - the equipment at the time could do little to compensate for differences in venues' lighting - but the company says in most cases the audio quality is "spectacular."

This is the latest in a series of moves by Wolfgang's Vault to lure viewers and, ultimately, customers for its music memorabilia. The online store opened in 2003 with a collection of poster art. Then came t-shirts, books, downloads and other items followed. And acquisitions of live music site Daytrotter and Crawdaddy! magazine Visitors can sign up for a VIP membership that offers high-definition audio and discounts on merchandise and downloads. People have said for years that music is becoming a tool to sell other items. Well, this is what that business model looks like. ( Wolfgang's Vault blog, via the Daily Swarm)