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Caribou Coffee runs mobile coupon campaign

August 19, 2009


Caribou Coffee Company Inc. is running a mobile coupon campaign to drive traffic to its retail shops.

The second-largest company-owned gourmet coffeehouse operator, Caribou has partnered with nationwide mobile coupon and discount offer service Cellfire Inc. in its first swig of mobile. Caribou consumers can now get $1 off any large drink or a free drink with the purchase of a pound of coffee by using the Cellfire service.

“This is our first foray into mobile marketing,” said Jake Miller, brand marketing manager for Caribou Coffee, Minneapolis. “We look at mobile couponing as a new way for us to drive store traffic, increase trial of our coffee and convert new guests to loyal customers.

“By offering Cellfire’s database of subscribers mobile coupons, we are hopefully introducing new customers to our premium craft-roasted coffee,” he said. “If we can get trial, we know there is a very good chance that customer will come back again.

“We also know that, generally speaking, the Cellfire mobile coupon subscriber is slightly younger than the average Caribou Coffee guest, so this a great way to introduce our brand to a new group of potential future brand advocates.”

Caribou will accept Cellfire mobile coupons in all of its 443 retail locations across 18 states in the United States.

Caribou sells coffee to its customers via several channels, including grocery locations, online and via its coffeehouses.

The company is a recipient of the Rainforest Alliance Corporate Green Globe Award.

Coffee-lovers can take advantage of the exclusive deals at Caribou by subscribing to the Cellfire mobile coupon service at from their mobile Web browser or computer.

Once they have signed up with Cellfire, consumers can access the Cellfire service anytime, anywhere to use the mobile coupons.

Consumers show the coupon offer code on their mobile phone to the person at the register to receive the discount.

“Cellfire is able to deliver a secure, traceable coupon,” Mr. Miller said. “Through Cellfire’s coupon delivery method we do not have to worry about SMS forwards or coupon fraud.

“The offers can be targeted and contained,” he said. “Our mobile coupons were promoted to opt-in Cellfire members and the coupons can be redeemed at all corporate-owned Caribou Coffee locations.”

Consumers access the Cellfire mobile coupon service through a downloadable mobile application that resides on their mobile phone or through a mobile Web browser.

The service allows users to view and select from multiple offers across multiple merchants simultaneously.

New offers are added frequently, and consumers can access the Cellfire service at their convenience to discover and use discounts specific to their geographic area.

Coupons are displayed in an organized manner, allowing consumers to navigate through coupons by category and select the offers they want to use.

Cellfire is a free service, although standard data or usage charges may apply depending on the wireless carrier or data plan. It is available on all carriers and is now on deck with 10 of the top 12 carriers nationwide. 

Cellfire has platform-specific applications for the iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Java and BREW.
For those that cannot access an application, Cellfire has a mobile Web version of the service.

“One of the advantages Cellfire offers advertisers such as Caribou is that their brand is optimized for the user experience,” said Dwight Moore, vice president of corporate marketing for Cellfire, San Jose, CA.

“The Caribou offers are available to users of the Cellfire service and geo-targeted to users within proximity to a Caribou location,” he said.

“In addition to the offers being visible within the Cellfire service and on the Cellfire Web site, Cellfire issued a geo-targeted SMS alert about the Caribou offers to its users that had opted-in for SMS alerts and featured Caribou in its monthly savings email newsletter.”

Cellfire has the ability to target offers based on the location, age and gender of its users.

“At the same time, Cellfire provides merchants such as Caribou with detailed reporting every two weeks on the demographic profile of redeemers by offer,” Mr. Moore said.

“The unique shopper insight we provide merchants helps them learn more about their customers so they can make better-informed marketing decisions,” he said.

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Dan Butcher is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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