Leading Analyst Firm Honors Communispace for Delivering ROI via Online Communities for Godiva and InterContinental Hotels Group / Chase Credit Cards
BOSTON, MA–(Marketwire – October 29, 2010) – Today, Communispace, a pioneer of online customer insight communities for the world’s leading brands, announced it’s the recipient of two prestigious Forrester Groundswell Awards for its Godiva Chocolatier and its joint InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Chase customer insight communities. The fourth annual Forrester Groundswell Awards were announced this week at the Forrester Consumer Forum in Chicago. Out of nearly 130 entries received in all categories, Godiva and IHG/Chase’s communities won awards in the “Business to Consumer, North America” listening and embracing categories, respectively. The listening category involves programs aimed at listening to customers to better understand them, and the embracing category involves integrating customers into the businesses itself. This is the fourth consecutive year Communispace won Forrester Groundswell Awards with their clients.
“We’re thrilled to see the great work we are doing with our clients in their customer communities get recognized by such a respected and knowledgeable judging body,” said Diane Hessan, CEO of Communispace. “Communities allow our clients to have a continuous connection to their consumers’ mindsets that drives business success, and winning the Forrester Groundswell Awards for these accomplishments demonstrates the strength of the impact our communities are making.”
“Once again, the entrants and winners for this year’s Forrester Groundswell Awards amazed us,” said Josh Bernoff, senior vice president – idea development at Forrester and co-author of Groundswell and Empowered. “We were particularly impressed with the diverse and effective social and mobile strategies that organizations are now using to reach consumers, business companies, and their own employees.”
Forrester Groundswell Award Winners
Sweet Success: Godiva Gems
Category Winner: Business to Consumer, North America, Listening
Godiva Chocolatier uses Godiva Chocolate Talk, their private, invitation-only community created with Communispace to listen to the changing attitudes and behaviors of its customers. By listening to their customers’ mindset during the tumultuous economic environment of 2009, they learned they needed to develop a product line that could deliver on affordability, accessibility and year-round relevance — and created individually wrapped Godiva chocolates, named Gems, that would be sold in grocery and drug stores.
The Godiva Gems platform was launched globally in September 2009 and turned out to be the single biggest global launch in the history of the brand. Godiva Gems has become a significant growth engine for the brand globally via sales through the newly established wholesale distribution channel.
“The community provides us with the ability to continuously tap into our members’ minds to be sure we are meeting their desire for Godiva chocolate. Our members’ input was crucial to the success of the Gems platform every step of the way, particularly with the foundational insights that helped set our path forward to Godiva becoming a more year-round relevant brand,” said Rich Keller, Global Business Director For The Every Day Godiva Platform.
InterContinental Hotels Group and Chase Enlist their Best Customers to Create a New Credit Card
Category Winner: Business to Consumer, North America, Embracing
In 2009, IHG and Chase Card Services embarked on a mission to create a new credit card for members of Priority Club Rewards, IHG’s customer loyalty program. IHG and Chase turned to Communispace to create a private online community of Priority Club members, who also owned the current Priority Club Rewards Visa card product from Chase. They then started a 12-month process of exploration, ideation, development and testing of product features and marketing strategy optimization to create an ideal credit card product for frequent travelers, designed by frequent travelers.
The new Priority Club Select Visa Card was launched in June 2010 and included new features such as a unique redemption rebate and increased point earnings at IHG hotels. The initial email marketing campaign with the new product delivered an 80 percent increase in new accounts versus the previous email campaign, and over 6,000 existing customers already requested an upgrade to the new product, which represents a 36 percent lift in response rate versus the upgrade campaign for the legacy product. IHG expects the new product to enhance the overall value of Priority Club Rewards and thereby increase loyalty to their hotel brands.
“Leveraging conversations through our private online community ultimately delivered a product that will be first-in-wallet for our customers. We’re excited by how much our best customers were willing to share with us that helped us create something designed especially for them,” said Lincoln Barrett, Vice President, Guest Marketing and Alliances, IHG.
The Forrester Groundswell Awards support and recognize the principles outlined in the Forrester Research books Groundswell: Winning In A World Transformed By Social Technologies (Harvard Business Press, 2008) and Empowered: Unleash Your Employees, Energize Your Customers, and Transform Your Business (Harvard Business Press, 2010). More information about the Forrester Groundswell Awards is available at: http://www.forrester.com/empowered
The world’s most admired brands turn to Communispace, the leader in generating game-changing insights via private online customer communities. Founded in 1999, the company has created more than 350 customer communities for industry leaders such as Kraft, Hewlett-Packard, Charles Schwab, Hallmark, Unilever, GlaxoSmithKline and Hilton Hotels Corporation. Headquartered in Watertown, Massachusetts, the company has offices in Atlanta, Chicago, London, New York, San Francisco, as well as Imperia, Italy and Sydney, Australia. For more information, please visit: www.communispace.com.