Allergy relief might be easier for people living in New York after a new feature was added to a weather service. Duane Reade, a drugstore chain in New York that is part of the Walgreens company and Poncho, a weather-forecasting service that sends users weather alerts by either a text or email, are teaming up to allow customers in the New York metropolitan area to receive coupons for allergy medications through Poncho. Customers will still receive their daily weather updates but will also receive the coupons on days when the pollen count is high. Users can use these coupons at their local Duane Reade store. Gallup tracking reports that this is relief comes on days when the pollen count is at its highest.
The initiative supports Duane Reade’s established social media skills that are powered by the Parallel Persuasion strategy, a marketing approach that creates Return On Investment through omni-channel engagement. The approach is an equation that is based on the voice of the brand, advocating the brand, conversation relevance and Public Relations integration. The equation has helped the company become a finalist for the 2014 Shorty Award for Best Use of Social Media for Retail or E-Commerce and win the Silver Hub Prize for Social Shopper Media and Shopper Marketing campaigns in 2013.
Calvin Peters, the Digital Communications and Public Relations Manager for Duane Reade, said that at Duane Reade, the company constantly reaches to give their customers what they need now with relevance that is localized to customers’ everyday lives and provide convenience of one stop shopping. Peters continues by saying that weather is a great example of something that impacts a person’s daily choices, which is why teaming up with a tool that is personalized such as Poncho gives them another way to offer their customers with services and products that are helpful to their own way of living.
Kuan Huang, a local hacker for Betaworks, designed Poncho after he grabbed data from Weather Underground, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, Forecast.io and the New York Department of Transportation. Huang said that Pocho’s main goal is to continue being a trustworthy resource that helps their community of users map out their routines each day the same way a weather forecaster would on their customer’s’ chosen news channel. Huang continues by saying that by partnering with Duane Reade they are allowed to give a source of relief for their customers instead of only telling them that the current day will be rough. They welcome more people to the Poncho community and are looking forward to helping customers of Duane Reade during the upcoming allergy season. The promotion only comes to New York City residents since Poncho can only be obtained in New York City.
Allergy suffers will be getting some relief this season from Poncho and Duane Reade. The allergy relief comes in the form of coupons that are distributed by the weather service for allergy medications at Duane Reade and users of the service will be getting the coupons when the pollen count is at its highest point. Poncho was created by Huang Kuan and allows people to set their alerts to meet their personal preferences such as the time they wake up in the morning. The program is a pilot program that is currently aimed at people living in the New York City area. The promotion is initiated by OMD Ignition Factory and lasts now until June 7.
By Jordan Bonte
WDAM TV 7
Retail Customer Experience
Buffalo Business First