Monday, August 10, 2009

Using Mobile Apps to Build Customer Loyalty

When my kids were little, we knew where every public restroom was in town. At any moment, one of them might have to "go." Not only did we know which stores had public restrooms, we knew exactly where the restroom was located inside the store. Whether it was grocery store, the drugstore, book shop, video store - or somewhere in between - wherever we were, we could get a kid on the pot in less than 3 minutes.

So, I smiled when I saw that Huggies was doing a mobile campaign. Potty training is a big deal in kids' lives, and having the Disney characters "call" to talk to a 2 or 3-year old is her or his dream come true. The potty-training kit tie-in is clearly designed to generate measurable sales from the promotion. But will it get moms to buy Huggies training pants? Thankfully, potty training is a relatively short-lived stage for most kids. The real play here may be to build a relationship with the mom so she chooses Huggies diapers for her next child.

What would be truly useful to parents with kids who are potty training? While we knew the restroom map by heart for our small town, once we ventured outside Mill Valley, we were in trouble. We would have loved a mobile app that used GPS to show all of the public restrooms within a block or some self-selected distance of our location.

Come to think of it, that could be useful for another set of Kimberly Clark customers, too. Obviously, different positioning, imagery and langauge would be key, but the same basic data would be helpful for Depends users, who are getting younger all the time.

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