Air New Zealand already has plenty of customer loyalty, but plenty obviously isn’t enough, because the national carrier has come up with another way to inspire brand allegiance after it jumped on the location-based social media bandwagon and opened its Foursquare account.
Basically, Foursquare users download an application on their smartphones and then check in to a specific location, like a cafe, a shop or, in this case a terminal or a Koru Lounge. Users who check in the most get points and those with the most points at that particular location then become the ‘mayor’, usually getting some kind of reward for their efforts (if you still don’t get it, check out the infographic or take a look at the way Auckland’s Giapo gelato uses Foursquare here).
With users unlocking special badges and accumulating points, it all seems a little bit nerdy (and it also taps into that status anxiety often seen within social media, where more followers/points/titles seems to equate to more ‘popularity’). But some think it’s also the way of the future because it gives users the opportunity to find out where their friends are in the real world, get recommendations from them and explore a city from the comfort of their phones; and, from a marketing perspective, it allows companies (particularly retail) to offer their wares (particularly their specials) to potential consumers who happen to be in the area.
As Simon Young wrote in his social media column in the March/April edition of NZ Marketing: “It’s a continuation of the trend Twitter started: two-way, out of control dialogue. It also highlights where a company’s brand really comes from—the people and the experience—and turns your happiest customers into your most powerful exponents.”
To sweeten the deal and inspire more check-ins at the 13 terminal and Koru Lounge locations set up around the country, Air New Zealand is offering Koru Lounge double passes to users who become mayor of each location (but only if they’re up to the ‘smart casual’ standards apparently). Anyone can create a new location and become the mayor, but if they’re not official Air New Zealand locations it would just be for status and they wouldn’t be eligible for rewards.
‘Mayors’ who already have Gold, Gold Elite or Koru Airpoints membership status already have Koru Lounge access, so they will get $100 Airpoints dollars (each person can get a maximum of 300 Airpoints Dollars per calendar month).