Driving deeper engagement with Subcard

  • Branding,
  • Copywriting,
  • Creative,
  • Photography,
  • Strategy

About Subway

The largest single‑brand restaurant operator in the world, it’s no surprise that Subway were one of the first quick service restaurant brands to launch a loyalty app in the UK. Launched in 2010, Subcard gave customers the opportunity to collect points with a QR code in a quick and easy to use app – perfect for the fast moving Subway queue. With other chains launching similar apps into the marketplace, there was the opportunity for Subway to once again be a market leader with a new app launch.

The Challenge

CHS has worked with Subway since 2012 – across a range of promotional activity, in‑store activity, DM and digital. For the Europe‑wide redevelopment and relaunch of Subcard, we were invited to pitch alongside agencies across the UK and Germany with the goal of creating a best‑in‑class loyalty app – able to create and increase engagement across mindsets in existing and emerging markets.

Our Approach

Working with insights from across the UK and German marketplaces, our starting point really was to understand a little more about how people’s relationships with their smartphones differed.

Our findings were remarkable – whilst people in the UK form an emotional link with their mobile devices (seeing them as an extension of their relationships with friends and family) the continental market see the devices simply as a tool and utility.

This is what presents a real challenge for a pan‑european app – how do you create an emotional engaging app for one market, which is also extraordinarily utilitarian for another?

Woman using the subway app

Over 80% of all downloaded apps are deleted by users (many after first use) – so ensuring that a connection is made with the user as soon as they open the app is vital.

Our solution was to step up engagement throughout the app – allowing customers to interact on a very basic level if desired, whilst providing more emotional engagement throughout the deeper app screens.

App sign up was optimised across 2 screens, and the QR for redeeming rewards shown immediately on app open –  with photography and imagery across these sections kept to a minimum – making it easy for those who just want to immediately collect.

It’s from this point in the user journey that more visual devices are used to drive engagement.

From animated points update counters, to show how close you are to achieving your next points reward, to animated maps to find your nearest restaurant and a ‘spin’ mechanic to browse subs – making it easy on the thumbs too.

The app also allowed us to incentivise customer feedback with a free cookie for completing a ‘Tell Subway’ form. Integrating with the international Tell Subway backend, the app presents an easy‑to‑use mobile interface for customer feedback, and has provided one of the biggest increases across the Tell Subway programme globally.

The Result

Launching to brilliant reviews in 2013, the App has continued to be regularly featured in the top lifestyle app across the App Store and Google Play, receiving positive reviews for the UI and functionality.

“The UI is cleaner. The point update counter gets one excited in an almost Pavlovian manner. The information about what your points can purchase is a very good addition. It does the job of tracking your purchases and points efficiently.” @Neozoeer of 61%.

“This app is fantastic. It will give you all the functionality you come to expect from a food app. You’ve got your points balances with Passbook, nearest stores, nutrition info, offers and much more.” @RossMC.

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