RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJR) is the second largest tobacco company in the United States and makes many of the nation’s top-selling cigarette brands.

Challenge

RJR uses direct mail paper coupons in its marketing, which customers redeem at convenience stores. Printing and mailing coupons was costly, inefficient, and prone to fraud, so RJR was looking for a digital coupon reader solution that could scan a barcode on a mobile phone and integrate with a convenience store merchant’s point-of-sale (POS) system.

Solution

To solve RJR’s interoperability challenge, Skookum’s team designed a hardware device with a screen on each side. When a customer wishes to redeem a coupon they use the screen facing them to scan the coupon barcode on their smartphone. Then, the merchant-facing screen presents a validated universal discount barcode that any traditional laser POS scanner can read.

Results

RJR achieved significant cost savings by transitioning from paper to digital coupons, reducing the risk of fraud, and eliminating the need for a third-party clearinghouse. The new solution also provides access to real-time data and analytics so the company can optimize their marketing campaigns for effectiveness and efficiency. Plus, RJR hopes to offer the solution to other CPG brands, creating endless opportunities for new revenue streams.

"This technology has the potential to create value beyond just redeeming coupons for our brands...Right now, it holds the potential to open up digital marketing and fraud-free couponing to any other CPG (consumer packaged goods) in the convenience store channel…"
J. Brice O'Brien, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief Communications officer R.J. Reynolds Tobacco