Showing loyalty through your Belly


by TYLER SIESWERDA / KVUE News and photojournalist DOUG NAUGLE and video editor ROB DIAZ

Posted on April 2, 2013 at 10:36 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 2 at 10:49 PM

AUSTIN -- Coffee shops are high-tech hubs humming with laptops, smartphones, and tablets. That is certainly the case at Halcyon in Austin's Warehouse District. 

One tablet at this hangout has become a big hit. It's the one sitting right by the cash register with a big red rectangle encouraging you to tap to Belly.

Belly is a customer loyalty application that can be customized for all size businesses. 

"It's taking a traditional loyalty solution but obviously making it better," said Founder and CEO Logan LaHive.

Here is how it works: When you see a Belly iPad grab a card or download the app. Click the Tap to Belly tab and hold your card or phone to the screen. The system automatically adds points to your account.

Businesses like Halcyon pay a monthly subscription. Belly provides everything, including the iPad. 

For the customer, there are plenty of freebies after you earn a certain number of points. Businesses can also make it fun and like Austin, a little weird.

"We've got comic book shops where you can punch the owner in the gut, you can shave your barbers beard, you can pie your baker in the face," said LaHive.

At Halcyon you can play rock, paper, scissors for a free coffee or even get free s'mores.

"They've made it incredibly easy for businesses, in general, to use," said Halcyon General Manager Jeremy Becherer. 

Becherer's initial fear that it would not catch on was quickly squashed.

"Turned into this huge onslaught of success. I mean we had people signing up every single day. At this point we're at 2,500 for our store alone. We've had over 8,000 check-ins at this store," he said.

Belly is now in more than 400 businesses in Austin with over 100,000 thousand local users.  

LaHive created Belly in Chicago 19 months ago. Nine months later he launched it in Austin. 

Now it has spread to 15 cities proving that keeping it a little weird, even with a customer loyalty program, keeps them coming back.


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