The Spring by Carrotmob popped up in my newsfeed on Sunday as “A Restaurant Loyalty Program with A Do-Gooder Twist” The Spring allows simple donation to community projects as well as cash back for yourself when you dine at certain restaurants. Considering that my project, Punch In, is running into issues concerning how much extra money is actually available for donation from coffee shops, I’m very curious how The Spring is convincing restaurants to give up 9% of their revenue (3% cash back to customer, 3% to community projects, 3% subscription fee). In any case, The Spring seems to have a lot of press surrounding it. If they can generate enough users than the restaurants may want to join up for the philanthropic reputation boost. Similarly, Punch In will have to generate enough users and interest to help convince coffee shops to join our program.
I originally heard about The Spring through the Fast Company blog this past weekend. It seems like their campaign is mostly aimed at news blogs and social media. Besides Fast Company, The Spring was featured on Tech Crunch and All Things D. Back in May, Carrotmob itself had a blurb in Pando Daily about how they are helping people engage in social change. Although the Pando Daily piece didn’t mention The Spring specifically, it worked to get the Carrotmob name out as a company invested in the local community. I think in that way, when The Spring did launch, they already had some traction. Besides the press releases, The Spring has a Facebook page that currently has 500 likes (I was lucky #500!). Carrotmob has mentioned The Spring on their twitter feed (4800+ followers), but The Spring does not have its own twitter feed.
I think The Spring has a good PR campaign. They can ride on Carrotmob’s press besides relying on their own smaller following. Also, their tagline of “Dine Out, Do Good” is simply to understand. The headline from the Fast Company article would have been enough to catch my attention even without Punch In as a personal project. I think that their branding approach as a “do gooder” company will really appeal to the general public.