“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” – Sam Walton
Each year, companies large and small work on initiatives to encourage and promote customer loyalty. In fact, according to a study by BIA/Kelsey Research, 38% of small businesses offer customer loyalty programs.
Nest5, a Medellin-based startup, has raised funding and is launching in Colombia to change the loyalty program industry and the way individuals fall in love with brands.
Nest5 is a mobile and web application that provides users with a way to win prizes for being loyal to their favorite brands and stores. With the startup‘s app, registered users can discover, share and enjoy the perks that their favorite companies are offering just for being loyal.
The mobile application is based on the SoLoMo model and allows users to keep an eye on what is close to their location. Brands are also able to engage with users who might be in their zone of influence.
With the application, once a user stamps his or her card and interacts with a brand’s point of sale, a message is shared with that user’s circle of friends via Nest5 and other connected social networks, creating a marketing message.
“With Nest5, we are taking loyalty stamp cards several steps further,” remarked CEO Juan D. Arroyave in a conversation with me over the phone. “We are aiming to link a user’s real experience with their virtual life in order to provide a channel for brands to communicate in a more effective and truthful message. The idea is to revolutionize a user’s experience at the point of sale and to allow them to tell all their friends at the same time.”
Individuals are asked to register online or through Android’s mobile application at no cost. At this time, Android’s penetration in Colombia is larger than any other mobile operating system, with 36.91% of the market. “In Colombia, we’ve seen companies increasingly requesting Android development work, as opposed to iOS,” explained Santiago Hurtado, founder of development firm Advance Teknologies.
Nest5’s application has signed on a number of Colombian local businesses and restaurants, and the startup is looking to expand in the near future to other countries in Latin America.
Nest5 has also developed a social program where for every subscribed user to the platform, a donation of COP$500 (approximately USD$0.3) is made to a foundation. The selection of this foundation is based on the brand’s wishes and on a user’s behavior.
Though headquartered in Colombia, Nest5 has received funding from European angel investor Omar Orrego, who is the General Marketing Manager of one of Europe’s largest multinational chemical companies.
“In Medellin and greater Colombia, it’s really encouraging to see fellow entrepreneurs raise funding, and continue to progress with their companies,” reflected fellow Medellin entrepreneur and SiembraViva founder Diego Benitez via e-mail.