Midnight Cookie Co., renowned for its delicious cookies and delightful treats, has a dedicated customer base across multiple venues, extending from its flagship Seattle store.
Each location is a unique blend of cookie shop and coffee house, pairing baked goods with locally-sourced coffee and ice cream. Serving mid-day walk-ups, the late-night munchies crowd, online orderers, drive-through customers, and corporate catering clients, this multi-faceted business has led with innovation and strategic customer engagement since it was taken over by new ownership in March 2020.
At the heart of the company’s growth is Manish Gaudi, owner and CEO (Cookie Executive Officer) of the company. His hands-on experience in building Midnight Cookie Co. has yielded three key insights driving his ambition to enhance and optimize customer-centric experiences.
“When you combine all these ingredients, introducing a more robust and rewarding omnichannel loyalty platform makes sense,” Gaudi said. “Our primary objective is to create a community that engages in conversations with other members. We want to build a program that rewards members for participating in actions that matter to us.”
In the fall of 2023, Midnight Cookie Co. began planning a new loyalty program to expand upon its limited, transaction-based model offered by its in-store POS system. They knew the community was excited about their product, but the previous program lacked a way to incentivize and reward activity beyond just purchases at the shops.
A more interactive program would leverage customer passion across a wider range of In Real Life (IRL) and digital touchpoints to turn transactional interactions into more engaging, community-based growth and increased revenue. MCC wants customers to share content to socials, write online reviews, refer and invite others, and place online orders. However, limited resources posed a challenge for creating and managing a comprehensive program, implementing complex platforms, or engaging customers in community-building around the clock.
Midnight Cookie Co. partnered with Kazm to launch its new program, one that rewards customers for spreading their enthusiasm with a treat few can resist: fresh-baked cookies! Central to this strategy is the creation and proliferation of user-generated content (UGC), where the brand's reach and impact are amplified by advocates who share more broadly with their networks .
“Historically, we focused solely on transactions, but now we're incorporating other business objectives like awareness, engagement, and evangelization,” Gaudi said. “We've found a way to activate hundreds of high-value customers across our stores within a single program, offering meaningful incentives that don’t require much beyond light encouragement from our staff.”
In its initial rollout, customers were able to instantly earn a free cookie in-store by scanning a QR code and signing up for the Kazm-powered loyalty program with their phone number.
The team started with a single store to test and learn which valuable actions would drive participation, ensure proper staff training, and refine the messaging. They quickly saw how easy it was for new members to join and tracked the feedback loop to update the program in real-time within this focused environment.
“In the past, introducing new tech solutions often led to hiccups or adjustment periods,” Gaudi admitted. “However, this has been the easiest tool we've ever introduced, primarily due to its simplicity and UX polish.”
Before the program's launch, there was uncertainty about customer willingness to provide phone numbers. Yet customer sign-up rates have more than doubled expectations without extensive marketing.
Midnight Cookie Co rewards customers for posting about the brand on Instagram and TikTok. Not only does this give them more ways to earn points beyond buying cookies, but deepens customer engagement, attracts new enthusiasts to the stores, and amplifies growth and revenue.
Customers also earn points by voting on potential cookie flavors of the month, visiting various Midnight Cookie Co. locations, or answering trivia questions. Notably, 10% of new members have engaged in a quiz or challenge to identify their favorite cookie, completing the “Favorite Cookie” question.
Other quests include leaving honest Google Reviews, learning more about the company's catering services, and completing online orders. Points earned can be redeemed for a variety of rewards, including complimentary treats, discounts, and even bigger prizes that are on the horizon.
“We see that customers want to engage and are willing to share feedback,” Gaudi said. “We are training our staff to discuss more incentivized actions so that our customers understand the benefits of meaningful actions and introducing more ‘low friction’ challenges in the new Discover section.”
Midnight Cookie Co.’s leadership is currently expanding the program and promotion to all of its locations. Feedback from customers, both in-store and online, will shape the program's evolution, ensuring it continues to satisfy and delight.
If you live in the Pacific Northwest, or have any plans to visit the area soon, drop by one of Midnight Cookie Co. shops to check out the program and get your free cookie.
To further explore Kazm’s platform and services, see a live demo, or get started, visit join.kazm.com.