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Folgers aims to bolster email database via iPhone app

Folgers has rolled out a mobile application that lets consumers create customized holiday messages, while also building up the company?s email database.

The Folgers Wakin? Up app incorporates image recognition, social media and a holiday sweepstakes. Folgers worked with digital agency Possible on this initiative.

?Our strategy was to build on the momentum of the Holiday Exclusives promotion, and to reach a new audience in the mobile space,? said Maribeth Badertscher, vice president of corporate communications at The J.M. Smucker Company, Orrville, OH.

?During the holidays, Folgers is all about bringing people together ? it was only natural that we build an app to do the same,? she said.

Folgers is part of The J.M. Smucker Company, which also includes big brands such as Smucker?s, Pillsbury, Jif and Dunkin? Donuts.

Mobile buzz
The Folgers Wakin? Up mobile app is available for free in Apple?s App Store.

Using a smartphone?s built-in camera, users can customize their own virtual holiday greeting card.

Users can pick a seasonal background, snap a picture of themselves and send it to friends and family via Facebook, Twitter or email.

Additionally, the app uses image recognition to let users unlock a special holiday scene with a customized message. Seven scenes can be unlocked via the app.

Folgers? app integrates into the brand?s holiday sweepstakes, too. Banners along the bottom of the app encourage consumers to sign-up for the sweepstakes.

When tapped on, a landing page loads where consumers can enter their email address to win weekly prizes such as coffee makers and Folgers products.

In order to participate in the campaign, users must sign-up to become a member of Folger?s Wakin? Up Club, which is an email newsletter.

Folgers plans to roll out an Android version of the app in time for the holidays.

Appy holidays
With holiday marketing in full swing, marketers are relying on apps as a way to boost user engagement and brand awareness this year.

For example, Lindt recently rolled out an app to let consumers send customized holiday greetings (see story).

Although apps do give a richer experience, it can also be tough to get consumers to keep a time-specific app on their mobile device past the holiday season.

In this case, Folgers is integrating the app into the company?s email program, meaning that the company can continue to build a relationship with consumers after the app is downloaded.

?As marketers in the digital space, we believe the best mobile apps are those which give us new capabilities,? Ms. Badertscher said.

?Over the holidays, the apps that rise to the top will follow this model ? whether it's helping you find gifts for your family, recommending an ideal holiday dessert or sharing a custom holiday card starring you as Santa,? she said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York