I 'Bawte' It at Kum & Go

Retailer using social media application for drink promotion, customer interaction

Greg Lindenberg, Editor, CSP

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- In a promotion that began in June and runs through the end of August, Kum & Go LLC is giving away a $25 gift card every week to a customer who buys a fountain drink and shares the purchase on Bawte, a social media application designed for that purpose.

The customer uses Bawte to tag the QR code on the cup and share your purchase. The codes are also on candy bars, bags of chips, video games and more.

"Our cups launched with Bawte-tagged QR codes in the middle of May, then signage supporting the promotion hit stores at the beginning of June. Currently we have the top three most popular items on Bawte," Michael Templeton, Kum & Go's social media manager, told CSP Daily News. "It was perfectly suited for helping generate word of mouth about our fountain drinks."

John Jackovin, CEO of Bawte, told CSP Daily News, "As we researched different markets, we found that people we chatting over Facebook and Twitter about Kum & Go's wonderful fountain drinks. That was the inspiration for bringing the idea to them. When we went live and saw the thousands of tags on their fountain drinks, it really opened up our eyes to the fact that people like talking and sharing any products they feel an affinity towards."

He added, "It has been wonderful working with Kum & Go. They are forward-thinking and progressive. They embrace technology and social media as well as any retailer I know. For us to leverage their knowledge as we rolled out has been invaluable."

Kum & Go is not paying to use Bawte's platform, reported Silicon Prairie News. Currently, three companies are using Bawte's free brand accounts. Using Bawte as a consumer is also free.

Next week, the convenience store chain will premiere Bawte's first unlockable badge, the "Thirst Quencher," the report said.

Users will unlock the badge after they have scanned and tagged all three cup sizes.

Bawte is a consumer's journey through life represented by the products that accompany those life events. With a simple tag, Bawte allows consumers to track those memories, ultimately connecting to the brands that connect with them, making the brands they love a part of that journey.

It offers the ability to instantly register products with participating brands, requiring no more paper postcards. With that same scan of a Bawte QR code or an existing UPC code, consumers have access to warranty info, product manuals, how-to videos and more. No need to keep all that paper that gets shipped with the products you buy.

Bawte also allows participating brands to enable promotions or sweepstakes right through the Bawte app. This gives the consumers additional motivation to tag the product.

For brands, Bawte enables an understanding of who is buying their products over the life of their interactions with that brand.

West Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go has more than 400 convenience stores in 11 states (Iowa, Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming). In addition to a wide selection of products, Kum & Go provides customers a proprietary mix of products under the  Hiland brand. Other proprietary product offerings include Java Ridge Premium Coffee, Napa Creek and Sea Ridge wines, Go Fresh Market sandwiches and Nuclear energy drinks.