foursquare forayed into India in late 2009, but it has taken its time in building brand partnerships here. Whether this was because it was hard to demonstrate value to checkins, or whether the company itself wasn’t pushing for tie-ups until it had built up a significant user base is anybody’s guess, but the foursquare website now has a Café Coffee Day page, their first Indian brand tie-up.
One of the first chains to tie up with foursquare in the US was coffee chain Starbucks, and perhaps it’s not surprising to see a brand like Café Coffee Day take the lead in tying up with foursquare here – not only does the chain have a mature online strategy, but given that they are a chain where people are going to regularly visit and can easily earn badges for discounts, it seems like a natural fit.
If you check in to foursquare while at a Café Coffee Day, you could get a discount on your order, while the mayor of that particular outlet will get a free coffee as long as he can hold on to his crown. Meanwhile, the Café Coffee Day page on foursquare has only one post so far, from the company, suggesting people try the tropical iceberg.
foursquare has been building numbers slowly but steadily in India, but one thing that has been holding them back, and reducing the value of the service for customers, is merchant adoption. While some smaller merchants like restaurants and individual hotels have already got on board, big chains with pan-India presence seem to be getting in on the act only now, so perhaps this is an idea whose time has finally come.