ipad_cocktail

By Nancy Lin

When you walk into Logbar in Tokyo, you will be handed an iPad. It’s a unique bar, run by Takuro Yoshida, a computer engineer, that provides a point-of-sale social networking platform connecting customers and bartenders. After you log on, you will see profiles of other customers in the lounge. You can chat online with them or send virtual chocolate to each other. Customers click on “like” or “cheers” button to show their liking of different drinks.  You can even create a new drink, name it and market the product to other customers. If other customers order your original cocktail, you will receive 50 cents as a reward.

It’s not surprising that the 2-month-old bar is already generating lots of buzz on Facebook and piqued the interest of businesses in retail, education, event planning and real estate. At the bar where the point-of-sale social networking platform is being tested, 40% of orders are referred by other customers. All the customers have used it to communicate with other customers.

Most of the companies today have some component of social media as part of their marketing efforts. Despite availability of analytic tools, it is still hard to measure how social media programs are helping to drive revenues. Even social media companies have a hard time getting traction for social commerce.  Adverting revenues still account for 85% of Facebook’s overall business this year, according to the most recent quarterly report. Logbar’s platform not only is converging social networking in virtual and physical worlds, but is getting people to talk about your products right when they are thinking about buying. It helps social media reach the last leg of the purchase cycle and create a new way for physical stores to better compete with online competitors.  It turns your customers into ambassadors at time and place when it really matters.  Potentially, companies can track how online activities truly affect offline shopping and purchase behaviors.

But Yoshida has bigger plans. His goal is to expand the point-of-sale social networking platform and customize it for different industries, social events and places, such as restaurants and shopping malls.  Several companies in Japan are already using the social app for their big events.  The app comes with a small device that has high-sensitivity GPS and Wi-Fi capabilities.  While most location-based social apps today can find people nearby in a large area,  Logbar’s app can recognize people individually even when they are only a step away from you.  This makes it perfect for events with large crowds.

The company plans to open its API to developers in the next few months.  It also hopes to test the app in restaurants in San Francisco. Click here to learn more about its social networking platform and contact information. 

About the guest blogger: Nancy Lin is Host and Producer for Business Reinvention Show. The show features innovative companies and trends that have the potential to transform industries and reinvent business models. She brings to her show a strong understanding of business having worked in marketing for Yahoo, DHL, Johnson & Johnson and Pepsi in the US and international markets and driven strong growth with innovative business strategies. She is also an executive coach, a business consultant and the founder of Change Agent SF, which helps clients transform the way they look at their businesses and leadership.  Follow Nancy Lin on Twitter at @BizReinvention .


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