Kum & Go connects with Bawte for summer promotion
Bawte, a social media application for sharing purchases, is getting some major marketing fuel this summer through a promotion run by Kum & Go, the nation's fifth largest privately held, company-operated convenience store chain. Through the end of August, the West Des Moines-based chain is giving away a gift card weekly to someone who shares a fountain drink purchase on Bawte (left).
"For us to work with Kum & Go has been invaluable," John Jackovin, co-founder of the startup that launched in May, said in an email interview last month. "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 amazing."
By week's end, Kum & Go expects to reach 3,000 Bawte scans, the company's social media manager Michael Templeton said in an email yesterday. Kum & Go currently has the top three most popular products on Bawte, its 32 oz, 44 oz and 52 oz foutain drinks, respectively.
"The fact that so many people are downloading and using a brand new app is a major win for us," Templeton said, "it shows that Bawte is on to something – or that people just really love our fountain drinks."
This marks the first time Kum & Go has worked with an Iowa-based, consumer-facing startup – in October, it worked with BitMethod on a company-branded promotional app – but it isn't its first venture in the social media world.
"We've experimented with foursquare quite a bit over the past two years," Templeton said in a email interview in June.
He added: "(Bawte) was perfectly suited for helping generate word of mouth about our fountain drinks."
Kum & Go isn't paying to use Bawte's platform. Currently, three companies are using Bawte's free brand accounts. Using Bawte as a consumer is also free.
The startup's relationship with Kum & Go stemmed from a conversation between Jackovin and Templeton in the company's early stages. "I caught wind of what John was building and started talking to him about how (Kum & Go) could benefit as a retailer," Templeton said.
Jackovin said Templeton – who's launched his own products outside of work – championed Bawte's usage at Kum & Go. And for Bawte, it's provided valuable insight into user behavior.
"Seeing how people use the app after the first scan is probably even a better indicator than any statistic," Jackovin said. "We see many start with a tag of the fountain drink then move on to many other items, engaging the app more and more over time. New releases should enhance that engagement."
Next week, the convenience store chain will be a part of another summer milestone for the young startup. Kum & Go will premier Bawte's first unlockable badge, the "Thirst Quencher" (left). Users will unlock the badge after they've scanned and tagged all three cup sizes.
For more on Bawte, see our coverage of its launch: "Bawte aims to bridge gap between consumers and businesses".
Credits: Photo and badge icon courtesy of Mike Templeton.