Lodinews.com

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

New app a win for Lodi businesses, customers

App developed by Lodi start-up lets businesses reward loyal customers

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2013 12:00 am

The race for users has begun, according to a Lodi tech start-up eager to connect local businesses with loyal customers.

MySocialBlend is the result of 2 1/2 years of software development that chairman and founder Harry Grundmann says will change the way people interact with their favorite businesses.

Grundmann and his associates have worked in financial services for 13 years from the same offices in Bella Terra Plaza. About three years ago, he noticed the social media trend kicking up and wanted to get in on the ground floor of making money through digital means.

"Social media sales are here to stay. It's an exciting trend, and we want to monetize social behavior," he said.

The company's PunchCard app is being tested in Lodi, San Diego and South Carolina.

The software goes beyond the deep discount sales model created by companies like Groupon and LivingSocial. Those are great deals for the customer, but not so great for the merchant, Grundmann said.

His app is about establishing customer loyalty, he said.

Customers who sign up earn points and cash at all the participating businesses they opt into. But the first store where customers use PunchCard gets a special kickback with every new store the customer opts into. It's called the influencer effect, and Grundmann said it makes all the difference.

"The system is so cool you don't realize what it's doing," he said.

For example, say you head to a pizza place for lunch. You're registered with PunchCard, so you scan your receipt to earn points and cash. There are no cards to keep track of, and it's all on your phone.

Business owners benefit from the ability to customize deals for just their most loyal customers. Plus, the software offers a range of data on each customer and their purchases to get into the nitty gritty details of marketing.

Customers will get tailored discounts and offers, but only from the stores they opt into.

Go to another shop for coffee, and the pizza place gets a kickback, too.

The software is definitely smartphone-driven, but the less tech-inclined can also participate by managing their account from a desktop computer and registering their credit card to connect to the program. Customer rewards can go back to your credit card, be applied to a debit card, or set up for automatic donations.

The software is also open to nonprofit groups. Register with your church or school boosters, and they'll get the kickback when you opt in somewhere else.

There is no up-front cost, though each registered purchase does cost the business 15 percent. A third goes to the consumer for cash-back rewards, a third goes back to the original influencer and the final third is the company's cut. But Grundmann says that's what business owners should be spending on advertisements.

"That's normal. You might be good at flipping hamburgers or making donuts, but you don't have the skills set to do marketing," he said. "MySocialBlend will provide it."

Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at sarap@lodinews.com.

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.

2 comments:

  • Doug Chaney posted at 1:52 pm on Sat, Mar 30, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 499

    I can see this new app is certainly a financial winner for the author?

     
  • Jerry Bransom posted at 7:04 pm on Fri, Mar 29, 2013.

    Jerry Bransom Posts: 363

    Garbage in, Garbage out!

     

Video

Popular Stories

Poll

Loading…

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists