Second Cup Coffee Co. Rewards is a free loyalty program designed to enhance customers' café experience, providing a simple and fast way to earn points, redeem rewards and receive personalized offers and surprises. 

The Challenge


In early 2013, Second Cup was at a crossroads; sales were stagnant, the brand and café designs were overdue for an update, franchisees were frustrated and competition was intensifying. The brand and the business needed more than a few tweaks; they needed a complete overhaul. After a major rebrand, Second Cup still lacked something to retain and reward their customers. The challenge was to make members' experience more rewarding with fast, flexible rewards and more convenient with digital payment. 

The Solution 


Conversion helped Second Cup launch a new loyalty program and mobile payment app in just five short months. Launched in April 2015, Second Cup Coffee Co. Rewards awards loyal customers with free beverages and coffee beans. Points are awarded for every dollar spent at Second Cup, providing simplicity and exceptional value as reward levels are quickly reached. After joining, members are engaged with a series of triggered and personalized one-to-one communications, delivered through email and mobile push notifications. Every element of the experience reflects the clean, simple and modern feel of the redesigned brand. 


All results have exceeded expectations and contributed to positive returns for the company. In February 2016, Second Cup reported its first positive same store sales quarter since 2012 and signaled a return to positive earnings. The Second Cup Coffee Co. Rewards Program was recognized as a key driver of results, was instrumental in driving customer frequency and loyalty and, after only nine months, accounted for nearly 20% of sales.

Membership in 2015 exceeded targets by 20% and, remarkably, members more than doubled their spending after they experienced redeeming points for a free beverage the first time.

All communications were rigorously tested, proven to add an incremental 10% to the sales of members who received one-to-one communications (compared to representative control groups, held back from receiving communications). Moreover, members receiving communications were 40% more likely to redeem, adding even more positive momentum to the program and to overall business results.

In the three years since launch, the program has grown to include a robust suite of automated journeys and event-driven triggers, as well as weekly broadcast and targeted communications, all of which continue to drive positive ROI for Second Cup – with increases in incremental spend, visit frequency, and trial.

A portal for café franchisees shares ongoing results of the loyalty program – not only financial results but also verbatims from customer surveys – to reinforce value and ensure ongoing advocacy and participation from these critical stakeholders.

Conversion's Role

Conversion leads strategy, design, and execution of the loyalty program and all related communications and properties, quarterbacking an integrated team of creative and technical partners. With data as the backbone of the program, we have been able to manage and align digital and bricks & mortar channels – from app to website and franchisee portal to POS and in-store marketing assets, and of course all email/push triggers and automations. We remain lead agency today, continuously optimizing to ensure customers always derive value from the program, and Second Cup continues its trajectory of growth. 

The Kobo Super Points program is a new way Kobo acknowledges loyal readers for doing what they love most, reading.

THE Challenge


Recently acquired by Japanese electronic commerce company Rakuten, Kobo was challenged to deliver  even better results from their business, with demands to increase sales of eBooks and increase return on the 35 million emails sent out monthly across the world. Whatever the solution, it had to be financially viable and scalable to Rakuten’s broader, existing SuperPoints loyalty program

The Solution


Conversion was engaged by Kobo to help design and strategize the best loyalty and retention program. Kobo Super Points was launched in October 2015, allowing customers to automatically receive points when purchase eligible Kobo ebooks. The program is divided into two tiers to appeal to all customers. The first tier, Free Membership, offers readers 100 Super Points for every $10 spent on eBooks and magazines plus occasional “Double-Point” bonus days.

The second tier, known as VIP Membership, is a way for avid readers to earn rewards even faster. With an annual fee of $10, members can earn double the points on every purchase, receive 10% off purchases from a list of over one million titles, and collect one free eBook of their choosing each year. 

For both tiers, members can see how fast points accumulate through the new and intuitive Kobo Super Points dashboard. 

Conversion provided financial modelling, loyalty strategy consulting, program design (including logo, wordmarks, and email communication design). We also continue to design and deploy weekly triggered and planned email campaigns in a variety of languages, sent around the world to over 12 million people.

The Results

Kobo Super Points was launched on time and on budget in October of 2015. In the first two weeks, the annual goal for top-tier members was exceeded.

“While we’re constantly looking for ways to amplify the reading experience, we also remain focused on how we can delight our new and existing customers,” said Michael Tamblyn, President, Rakuten Kobo Inc. “The Kobo Super Points program is our way of acknowledging loyal readers for doing what they love most, and we look forward to thanking our customers by rewarding them with the content they enjoy.