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Posted on Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 2:32 p.m.

Small businesses get a leg up with creative, digital loyalty programs

By Lizzy Alfs

flocktag.jpg

Ann Arbor-based FlockTag is operating at businesses like Espresso Royale in Ann Arbor, Novi, Detroit, East Lansing, Champaign, Columbus and Bloomington.

Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com

With the help of digital loyalty programs, small business owners across the country are wielding creative rewards to attract customers, USA Today reports.

Instead of a 10 percent off coupon or punch card, customers might win a 30-second sweep to raid a store or a chance to invent a sandwich for a restaurant’s menu.

“This is the new world of loyalty marketing for small businesses,” the report says. “It’s all about concocting a creative way to get customers jazzed about coming back again and again.”

The trend is driven by newer technology companies that are working to digitize customer rewards for small businesses. Companies like Belly, Perka and Ann Arbor-based FlockTag deliver rewards to consumers in an easy and convenient manner — such as one plastic card or a mobile application that can be used at many different stores and restaurants.

“If there is one thing small businesses have been good at selling, it's personality,” the report says. "Now small businesses are using that personality edge in loyalty rewards plans.”

In the Ann Arbor area, customers can sign up for and use the FlockTag card at 25 local businesses. The tech company announced in May that it has raised more than $1 million in a Series A round of funding to grow its business.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for AnnArbor.com. Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at lizzyalfs@annarbor.com. Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lizzyalfs.

Comments

A2comments

Thu, Jun 13, 2013 : 10:32 a.m.

Flocktag not mentioned in the USAToday article, but it gets more eyeballs...

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 9:39 p.m.

If this could get me a Quint at Blimpy's, I'd be in.

seekingsun

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 8:34 p.m.

you can get Flock Tags at any Espresso Royale or at Bubble Island on South U. I LOVE the FlockTag. I wish more local businesses would jump on board (*ahem* Zingermans CoB) so that I could wean away from all the stupid paper punch cards!

TryingToBeObjective

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 7:40 p.m.

Got my flock tag card from Little Caesars on stadium.

Judy

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 7:22 p.m.

I agree small and local business are better than chain companies in "Personality." That is why my husband and will go to a local small business any day over a large chain buiness. So... how do I sign up for the FlockTag card?