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October 04, 2016

A recent Nielsen study found that 78 percent of consumers do not consider themselves to be loyal to any brand, and 61 percent wouldn't think twice about moving to another brand to get a better price. Brand loyalty targeting is increasingly important as consumers are faced with a growing array of options. The question remains, how do brands not only capture brand loyalty, but maintain and build upon that consumer relationship?

Knowing this is top of mind for many marketers, Waze, Dunkin' Donuts, and MediaStorm convened on the Thomson Reuters stage at Advertising Week to discuss this very subject and announce their participation as trial partners of Waze's new Favorite Brands loyalty feature.

Power to the People
Waze is built on community, with the goal of empowering users to both customize their own experience and improve the experience of their fellow Wazers. For the first time within a map environment, users will also have a say in their brand experience. In an effort to deliver increasingly relevant ads to users during their drives, Waze will soon enable individuals to identify brand preference with one simple tap on an ad and through their app settings.

"We're constantly striving to facilitate positive, native ad experiences that transcend both user and advertiser expectations," says Jordan Grossman, head of brand partnership North America at Waze. "By giving Wazers a voice in the matter, our partners are able to tailor the driving experience based on expressed brand interest."

Playing Favorites

Favorite Brands works in tandem with location and intent signals unique to Waze to further contextualize the ad experience for users, with the goal of increasing brand engagements. Users will be able to add their favorite brands through their app settings—at times, directly through an ad—resulting in a personalized branded experience. Brands will, in turn, have the opportunity to reward loyal customers, increasing the likelihood of long-term brand allegiance.

Nick Dunham, director of media at Dunkin' Donuts, expressed the popular coffee shop chain's plans to tie the Favorite Brands feature to loyalty messaging typically aimed at DD app users. He referred to the Waze feature as, "A new portal to tap into the meaningful Dunkin' app experience," before emphasizing the importance of brands being additive (rather than interruptive) to mobile.

Those Magic Moments
Jayde Levesque, associate director of digital strategy at MediaStorm expanded further, referencing Phillips 66 fuel chains and noting the value in delivering tailored messaging to a segmented audience over time. "If [66] is your Favorite Brand, it can now be a part of your day-to-day [increasing the number of opportunities the brand has to be the hero in a customer's journey]. Few platforms allow us to be there in that moment of need, and Waze is one of them. Building loyalty over time, that's a big win for us."

Why This Matters
A loyal customer delivers more value over the long term. Fast Company recently confirmed that coffee shops get more data (and, therefore, more value) from regular customers with loyalty cards, and stores stand to gain even more value from customers using high-tech solutions like apps.

Your loyal customers are also your best brand advocates and ultimately, your most effective marketing channel. As Nielsen reports, most people still find advice from family and friends as more persuasive than advertising or in-store discovery.

Want To Get Involved?
All Waze advertisers will be able to establish loyalty among drivers on a global scale in early 2017, with beta testing beginning as early as Q4 2016. Participating brands must have physical locations and qualify for Waze's premium solutions. To find out more about building loyalty on Waze, visit
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