Interview With Memphis Startup Stiqrd’s Founder Aaron Pranther On Expansion

One thing we all know for sure is that loyalty and rewwards startups are a flourishing space. A lot of the better ideas for loyalty and rewards are starting in small markets. Stiqrd is one of those startups.

The great thing about Stiqrd though is that when we first talked with Aaron Pranther, CEO and co-founder of the company they were already talking about taking their concept and scaling it as quickly, as possible but also honing in on what makes them special as well.

So what makes Stiqrd special? For starters? Pranther has a background in both tech and the restaurant business. He knows the real pain from a restauranteurs perspective as well as from the perspective of someone who likes to eat out. Pranther knows all too well what it’s like to try and keep tabs on multiple reward “punch cards”.

Most people have had the experience of thinking you were at the last punch tab of one card to find out you either forgot the card at home or you were in the wrong establishment.

Stiqrd has made loyalty and rewards easy by having a qr code based system and an app to track your purchases and rewards. A very real problem that many in the “loyalty reward app” business are experiencing is that soon instead of having too many key-tags or punch cards you’re going to have too many apps. Pranther is one of the first founders of a loyalty/rewards startup to acknowledge that.

What’s going to make a loyalty and rewards startup successful is going to be their ability to scale in both users and customers and for that Pranther has introduced the 15 minute loyalty program. Through rigorous testing he has found that the Stiqrd program can be implemented in most businesses in under 15 minutes complete with working dashboard.

But Stiqrd is more than a do it yourself loyalty program. He has real people available to speak anytime of the day to business’ that want to set up the loyalty program.

Pranther plans on implementing the system across the country at a few select retail partners however any business owner can sign up, and it truly is that easy.

We got a chance to interview Pranther about Stiqrd and the 15 minute loyalty program. Check out the interview below:

What is Stiqrd?
Stiqrd is a smartphone app that allows both businesses and customers to ditch those pesky loyalty punch cards that no one likes to use. Businesses have to pay for them regardless if they are used and don’t get any tools to measure usage or a way to communicate on a regular basis with their customers. Customers don’t like them because they forget to use them or worse – lose them. Stiqrd fixes both sides of this in a single app.
Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?

Aaron Prather – Years of experience in developing customer IT solutions for numerous clients. Also previous experience in the restaurant business.

Andy Glover – PhD candidate in Business with years of experience in IT solutions.

Cory Wiles – iOS and PHP developer with numerous app deployments

Harry Brown – Former AOL employee with experience in mobile and startup legal issues

What is the startup culture like in Memphis?
Historically Energizing. This is where three major businesses that changed the world started – Piggly Wiggly, the first true self service grocery store; Holiday Inn, the first hotel chain; and Fedex, the first overnight package service. Local entrepreneurs embrace this history and realize that Memphis can continue to change the world. By working together and supporting each other, anything is possible.
What was your experience like in Seed Hatchery?
It was an eye opener to say the least. The beauty of an incubator like Seed Hatchery is that it really makes you really flesh out your idea and see if it is going to work or not. It makes you ask the critical questions about your product and if it will work or not. And those are skills we still use today at Stiqrd even a year after leaving Seed Hatchery.
What problem does Stiqrd solve?
Stiqrd solves the problem that many businesses battle every day – how do I retain my current customers and get new ones? We do this via our universal loyalty program app that allows numerous businesses to have their loyalty programs on a single app. This works two fold. First, it allows a business to offer their customers an easy to use loyalty program – no cards to keep up with. Second, it allows them to tap into a community of users that are already on the platform because they use it at other businesses in the area. Users, via the app, can see all of the local businesses that use Stiqrd and can visit them and earn loyalty rewards without adding anything to their wallet or purse.
What is your secret sauce?
Our anti-fraud systems and privacy systems have been our biggest selling points. Business owners love how out anti-fraud system prevents customers from taking advantage of them in the program by trying to earn reward points they haven’t earned. For our app users, they love the fact that their personal data is not being broadcasted all over the internet if they don’t want it.
So now you’ve been operating in Memphis with great success and it’s time to expand, tell us a little bit about your expansion and scale building plan and your 15 minute loyalty program?
We have had great success in Memphis growing our business and user base, but we know to make Stiqrd a true success is that we need to expand nationally if not internationally. That is why we launched our 15-Minute Loyalty Program that allows any business in the world to build and deploy their own Stiqrd loyalty program directly from the Stiqrd website. All a business does is enter their information, design their program to meet their needs, and then print off some simple signage that they can place the same day to get started.
So is Stiqrd completely Do it yourself for a merchant?
Not exactly. Our sales team will always be available to assist those that need more help or want to add more features. The 15-Minute Loyalty Program is there to get a business up and going. For some, that is all they will need. For others, they may need more. Either way,Stiqrd will be there to assist.
What’s next for Stiqrd?
I would say that we are only 20% into our current development road map. We still have enhancements to the app that will add new features for both businesses and customers. Also, we are looking at ways that customers who don’t use smartphones can participate, but in a way that does not add another card to their wallet or new equipment to the business.
Check out stiqrd here
Are you a business owner? Start Stiqrd’s 15 minute loyalty program here
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