Air New Zealand is embracing the latest trend in social media: location based services, offering rewards to their frequent flyers through the popular social network Foursquare.
Customers will now be able to use the Foursquare applications on their mobile devices to check in to participating Air New Zealand terminals and lounges, and collect awards for their visits. As with all other Foursquare locations, the most frequent visitor in 60 days is considered its ‘Mayor’ and is often eligible for special offers. In this case, the Mayors are rewarded with a Koru Lounge pass, or if they are already a Koru, Gold, or Gold Elite member; they instead receive 100 Airpoints Dollars.
This will likely become a very popular service among business travellers, who will want to convert their many hours spent waiting in airport lounges into cold hard Airpoints Dollars. More widespread use will come as more specials are offered targeting casual and infrequent travellers.
Foursquare and other location based services such as GoWalla and BrightKite, are useful tools for both small and large business owners. They give businesses a novel way to reward repeat customers, while at the same time encourage repeat visits through the competitive game elements of Foursquare’s badge and points system.
Added benefit to business comes when a user checks in to a location-based service – they broadcast their location to all their friends in any of their social networks effectively endorsing the location. Advertising in a social context in this way doubles brand recall according to a recent Nielsen study.
Air New Zealand is currently the largest company in New Zealand offering specials through Foursquare, but as it and the concept of location-based services gain more traction in New Zealand expects to see more and more businesses embrace location-based reward services.