When the Internet started becoming popular, brands and business were quick to set up informational web sites. When Google perfected the search engine, brands were easier to find, and became more interactive. Then came in the era of the social network or Web 2.0, and businesses created social media departments for their brands to interact with people on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and other services.
Today the largest growth is in smartphones. This brings with it a whole set of challenges for brands. IDC Thailand expects a 50% growth rate of smartphones and a decreasing growth of feature phone sales this year. With such a rapid increase of smartphones and mobility in the region, brands are now finding ways to be present on mobile devices. This article will cover the mobile privilege apps that are present and upcoming in Thailand.
Coupon Entertainment app
An augmented reality “coupon entertainment” app called iButterfly Thailand was introduced by Denstu Media (Thailand) earlier this year. The app runs on iOS and Android and was developed by Cherrypicks, a mobile marketing and advertising firm headquartered in Hong Kong.
iButterfly Thailand app offers special discounts or vouchers from several leading brands such as True Coffee (local coffee shop by a telecoms provider), SKII (Japanese cosmetic brand), Asia Books (local book shop) and Sony Mobile. Even a local bank, Kasikorn bank participated and is offering customers 1,000 points if you catch 8 of their butterflies and open a new credit card with them.
According to App Annie, iButterfly Thailand on iOS has dropped from #2 (ranking on April 23, 2012) to #62 (ranking on May 29, 2012) in iTunes Store Thailand. A big drop in a month and the possibilities of reasons could be due to lack of exciting coupons or the complications of the mobile app.
iButterfly app is also available in other Asian countries including the Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong.
A new mobile app, Flowz with a similar concept of “blending the word of gaming and privilege together” (as reported in Bangkok Post) will debut in mid-June for both iOS and Andriod. The users collect points by playing games on their mobile and use these points to get the reward.
Custom Build Privilege app
Some brands build their own mobile privilege app such as ones from Samsung and AIS, which is biggest telecommunication provider in Thailand.
Samsung Mobile Privilege offers Thai customers cross-promotional discounts at restaurants, ice-cream, dessert shops on their mobile app. You have to register your IMEI and show the app to receive the discounts. It’s easy, simple and you don’t have to carry the paper coupons around.
Another example is the AIS Privilege app for BlackBerry Bold 9900 customers. They offer discounts at restaurants and services using augmented reality technology to find the promotions available.
Personalised Privilege app
If building a new mobile privilege app is not the strategy, maybe joining up with a new upcoming Like Me app will fit what you are looking for. Like Me acts as a center for all brand deals and is debuting this July. They claim to start with offering over 500 promotions from partner brands. According to Bankgkok Post, a good feature about this app is that customers are allowed to choose promotions only from the brand they like so it doesn’t make them feel like they’re been spammed.
As a customer, next time you go shopping or use services in restaurants/spas or even opening a credit card with a bank in Thailand, you might want to check the promotions on your smartphone first, in addition to using your credit cards and membership cards.
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