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Moe’s Southwest Grill Hopes Augmented Reality Sparks Brand Loyalty

On Tuesday, Moe’s Southwest Grill launched its second in-store Augmented Reality (AR) poster titled “Bacon Blues,” which is the latest installment of the brand’s nationwide rollout of in-restaurant worlds of art featuring foodscapes — stunning landscapes crafted with Moe’s fresh ingredients by Carl Warner.

This innovative, engaging, and unique in-store branding has helped Moe’s spark increased brand loyalty among its younger guests.

Bacon Blues can be experienced in more than 650 Moe’s restaurants nationwide via Moe’s Rockin’ Rewards app. Guests can leverage the AR feature to explore the nightlife in an underground blues club, hear noteworthy tunes via a chili pepper mic, and even take a coveted seat at Table 27 — Moe’s way of honoring all the young musicians who have passed at an early age.

As a brand whose name is an acronym for musicians, outlaws, and entertainers, Moe’s is proud to celebrate the legacy and artistry of musicians who push the envelope with creativity and irreverence.

Loyalty360 caught up with Dominic Losacco, vice president of marketing at Moe’s, to learn more about this engaging campaign.

What are Moe’s goals for the AR campaign, Bacon Blues, from a customer engagement perspective?
Losacco: The objective of the Augmented Reality integration as part of the Rockin’ Rewards loyalty app and new in-store wall art is creating a new way to connect with our fans outside of a transactional experience. The universe of mobile apps is very competitive and there needs to be additional value of use for consumers to share their phone storage with a brand. The Rockin’ Rewards loyalty app was intentionally intended to be an extension of the overall Moe’s experience and this is the first part of delivering that tie-in. Each piece of wall art (Foodstock and Bacon Blues) allow our loyal fans to find fun Easter eggs inspired by influential moments in music history. The Moe’s culture is rooted in music which is delivered through the “Dearly Departed” playlist and Rockin’ fun environment.

How does this campaign engage customers and what has been the feedback Moe’s has received about it?
Losacco: Our fans can be entertained when dining in each restaurant by interacting and unlocking fun Easter eggs in the wall art. In the new Bacon Blues poster, fans can even play various instruments and a harmonica through their phone. The program is still in the early stages and early reviews are very positive. Families and friends have told us it is a fun and unique way to use the app. People, in general, are excited about augmented reality and this is a great way to introduce it to those who have never experienced it. On Moe’s Facebook page fans are telling us that they love the new artwork and even one fan said that she stayed at the store for an hour with her kids interacting with it.

Has this impacted customer/brand loyalty and, if so, in what way?
Losacco: We are in the process of seeing how this impacts the overall loyalty platform. Rockin’ Rewards loyalty was launched in June 2016 and we have close to one million fans who have signed up already. augmented reality is the first step of a long-term strategy of engagement through the mobile app experience.

Moe’s is a brand that stands for music, musicians, and artists. Can you talk about how this campaign encapsulates the company’s mission statement or brand message?
Losacco: The M in M.O.E. is the direct tie to the musical heritage of the brand. The brand plays only Dearly Departed artists or covers on the in-restaurant playlist as a way to pay tribute to the pioneers of the music industry. It is also a way for the brand to introduce many artists to millennials and generation Z guests that have influenced many of the popular artists today. The augmented reality is another platform and way to help make that connect in the music space. Music has a very special way of connecting with each and every person differentially. Moe’s understands that and wants to be able to enhance that connect to music and artists that our fans tell us they love.

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