Heineken New Zealand Uses Beacons to Beckon Consumers

The company's Heineken Live app, provided by Rush Digital, delivers special offers, depending on a user's location.
By Claire Swedberg

If the app user then enters the restaurant, his or her phone receives the ID number transmitted by the venue-point beacon installed on the ceiling or directly inside the door. This causes the app to access the cloud-based server, triggering Rush Digital's content-management system to forward messages specific to Heineken, such as beer specials. The user gains status points through the app's use, and the more points that individual receives, the greater his or her status level. The consumer thus becomes eligible for higher-value rewards, like VIP event tickets, helicopter flights for lunch or weekend trips to Queenstown.

Heineken can modify the content in the Rush Digital software specific to each business and beacon.

Heineken New Zealand's Taylor Green
Taylor Green, Heineken New Zealand's marketing manager, says Heineken LIVE is an example of technology being used to enhance customers' social experiences in a completely seamless and intuitive way. "Heineken has a passion for innovation and pushing technological boundaries. We worked alongside Saatchi & Saatchi and Rush Digital to develop an app that enabled us to communicate with customers through their smartphone—a medium that is engrained in their day-to-day lives," Green says.

"This platform allows Heineken to give on-the-spot recognition to app users who have been out and about in their city," Green states, "rewarding them with surprise experiences and rewards, as well as updates on events in their area."

The software also informs Heineken how often individuals receive a beacon transmission in front of a particular business and then enter the restaurant and accept rewards or other promotions.

The system has been up and running since July. The beacons were deployed at businesses throughout New Zealand, with Darkhorse NZ carrying out the actual installation. Rush Digital provided training, as well as an app that allows installers to test beacon range via their mobile phones.

"The whole strategy is going from coarse grain to fine grain," Abeysuriya says. While at the GPS (geofencing) level, users receive general information about businesses in their neighborhood. The content becomes more specific to a particular business based on status-point beacons, and to a beer sale or reward points once a user is inside a bar, via the venue-point beacons.

"There's huge potential and demand for Heineken LIVE to be used in cities around the globe," Green says, "but I'm proud that we developed it locally and launched it in New Zealand first."

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