Many business owners think about loyalty marketing as a magic pill that they can simply sign up for, and it will take care of itself.
Hi All! The Battle begins today. Thanks to you, Lantern made the top 64. The Battle uses the NCAA Tournament format – 64 Brands in Round 1, 32 in Round 2, etc until only 1 remains as the winner. Round 1 is live! We’re up against a company with 300 employees (Lantern has 5), so we’re definitely the underdog.
We need your vote + any sharing you can do on social media. Let’s Get Lit and help Lantern move into Round 2.
Vote Here: http://www.kcsourcelink.com/kc-battle
Also, please vote for our friends at Snow & Co, Foo’s and FINDitKC!
Lantern CEO, Aaron Sloup, wrote a blog post today for local entrepreneur resource hub and shop local advocate, KCSourcelink about ‘getting lit’ this holiday season. No egg nog was harmed in the making of this post. :-)
If you tried to go out to Cupini’s a couple months ago and they were mysteriously closed in the middle of the week, it was because Guy Fieri and his crew from Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives was filming there!
The show features amazing restaurants from all over the country that are generally locally-owned, independent and doing something really well in a down-to-Earth atmosphere. With a wide variety of Italian favorites from pastas to sandwiches to salads to made-from-scratch desserts, Cupini’s features all of that, in a family-owned, comfortable setting near 43rd and State Line Rd.
Need another reason to try them out? Enjoy a buy one, get one entree on your first visit, and earn a free entree every ten visits after that. All you need is the free Lantern app to do it, so go try Cupini’s today!
By now, you probably know that we are big supporters of shopping locally. It’s a theme we affectionately refer to as “Get Lit“. The idea is that if you take one purchase you make this month and make that purchase at a local business vs. a corporate chain, together, we can have a huge impact on our communities.
This Saturday, Nov. 23, is a great time to start! Lantern is joining forces with KCSourceLink, Local Ruckus, ChooseKC, and other groups to help promote Shop Local Saturday. There are over 400 locally-owned businesses participating!
Quick – how much is a loyal customer worth to your business? How many loyal customers does it take to grow your business by $10,000 per year? If you want to find out before you read any further, follow the link below and fill in two numbers specific to your business.
Don’t worry if you don’t know the answer; most businesses don’t. By now, everyone has heard that loyal customers are valuable to your business. For a few years, starting in about 2008, it seemed as if everyone forgot that temporarily. The hot new trend was daily deals. You get a big check for, say, $10,000 up front, and you get a bunch of new customers – seemed great. Well, like the old adage says, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Many business owners gambled or simply didn’t do the math. They put themselves on the hook to deliver goods or services that cost well in excess of the money they’d received. Those customers never came back, and slowing but surely, they bled out that money over the following weeks and months, until they were left in a worse position than before. Some were even forced to close their businesses altogether.
Opportunity: Smartphone Adoption 62% and Growing
Thankfully, the daily deals trend is dying out. There’s a renewed focus on supporting main street vs. wall street, and on customer loyalty vs. mass advertising. And while the principles of buying locally and customer loyalty remain tried and true, there is an incredible wave of new technology that allows local business owners to deliver them in a way that’s never been possible before. ComScore, which publishes mobile phone statistics among other things, reported last week that 62% of all mobile phone users in the U.S. now own a smartphone. That number is rising over 1% per month! So within 2-3 years, almost every consumer in the U.S. will have a smartphone.
That’s great, you’re thinking, but how can I use that to help my local business? That’s where Lantern comes in. We realized that local business owners needed a better tool – to bring loyalty back to their businesses, to help them consistently attract new customers and steadily help them grow. So we built Lantern. And we built it so you can connect with your current and potential customers in the way that is quickly becoming the de facto standard: the smartphone.
A Community of Local Businesses
For huge corporate chains like Starbucks, building a great smartphone app is something they can accomplish on their own. With over $13 billion in revenue in 2012, they can afford to spend a few million dollars and hire a team of engineers, marketers and business developers to go figure it out. But if you own the Mom-and-Pop down the street, what are you supposed to do?
Lantern fills that need. By creating a community of locally owned and independent businesses, Lantern provides you access to the same caliber of tools the big guys use. Only instead of paying millions, it’s just $49 a month. Thats less than $2 a day. You’d be hard pressed to find a cup of coffee at Starbucks for that, let alone the multi-million dollar technology they use to grow their business. And if you did the calculation, it probably takes just a few loyal customers to really start making a difference in your business.
Now is the time to act. Lantern costs just $49 a month. It takes just 5 minutes to setup. Let’s get started.