Recently Simbisa Brands in partnership with InnBucks Zimbabwe unveiled InnBucks. InnBucks is a customer loyalty programme meant for Simbisa Brands customers. The Simbisa Brands in question here are Chicken Inn, Pizza Inn, Bakers Inn, and Creamy Inn. InnBucks is a closed-loop customer rewards and loyalty programme specially tailored for customers at these outlets. This is a ground-breaking customer loyalty programmer which is like no other in Zimbabwe. I shall be talking about some interesting developments regarding InnBucks in this article – from one of their ads to some user reviews.

The InnBucks Ad

InnBucks has put out many ads but there is one key one. This is the one that features the sungura artiste, Mark Ngwazi, who last year released the Do Not Blame People For Disappointing You song. The song has over 1.3 million YouTube views. The uniqueness of the song is the production of a sungura song being sung in English. The other personality featured on the InnBucks ad is Michelle Nativel – a rising Zimbabwean video content creator.

A Look At Some Ad Reactions

This ad has gotten some interesting responses on social media. I will look at Twitter and Facebook responses and give my input.

Positives Responses On Facebook

On Facebook, the responses have been overwhelmingly positive. So far on Facebook, the ad has been viewed over 22000 times. Comments there have been mainly on singing praises about great the InnBucks service is. Even broadly when you move away from just the ad, many InnBucks users have made individual posts complimenting and recommending InnBucks.

Mean Twitter Responses

On Twitter, the ad has so far been viewed over 12100 times. However, the responses have largely been a direct opposite of the Facebook clan. Comments have mainly been about how poor or cringe-worthy the ad is. The Twitter clan is a tough one and as they always say, Twitter is not for the fainthearted. Anyways, following the negative responses, InnBucks responded by presenting a challenge:

The Create A Better Ad For #InnBucks Challenge

InnBucks responded by tweeting, ‘Create a better ad for #InnBucks – post it and tag us in this thread! The most liked advert gets US$200 InnBucks to spend at Simbisa Brands outlets’. So we are now waiting to see how people will respond to that challenge. As I write this article no one has yet submitted anything.

My Take

First off, it is interesting to note that on Facebook there are virtually no negative responses as was the case on Twitter. I am a daily user of Twitter and I know how tough that crowd is. I have also noticed that on Twitter people tend to follow the crowd when commenting on tweets. This is usually meant to cushion oneself from possible bashing. So all in all, the mean responses on Twitter might not hold any water but can just be people who delight in spewing negative banter. I feel that way because they’re almost twice the number of views on that ad on Facebook but with positive responses. Although views do not automatically mean people are enjoying what they are viewing. But as they say, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Network Challenges When Using InnBucks – What You Must Know

Given how this issue was raised by some of the Twitter users, I thought it best to explain a bit here. Whether you are using the InnBucks mobile app or the USSD code, there is one constant. You will be using the network infrastructure of the mobile network operator (MNO) in question. When using the mobile app you will be using data that can be under Econet, NetOne or Telecel. When using the USSD option you will be using Econet mobile network since so far the option is available for Econet users.

This means any network-related issue is something that is outside the hands of InnBucks. We all have been experiencing network challenges in one way or another. Sadly, InnBucks is just as much a victim of this as we all are. So I hope that clears the air since some users might think network issues are on InnBucks’ part. The only thing InnBucks can do is to liaise with the MNOs to improve their network.

The same goes for cash availability issues – it is mainly a function of how respective outlets handle their daily operations, not InnBucks per se.

Features InnBucks

In case you are wondering what InnBucks is all about,

Here is what you get to enjoy if you register on InnBucks:

  1. Loading money (US dollars) into your InnBucksto use for later purchases at any Chicken Inn, Pizza Inn, Creamy Inn, and Baker’s Inn outlet. You can load up to US$200 in-store at till points.
  2. Loading change into your InnBucksin the event change is not currently available in-store.
  3. Physically redeem the change later once it is available.
  4. Buying for a friend or family (BFF) member via your phone (either using money loaded prior or change loaded prior).
  5. Becoming eligible for discounts when you purchase meals (at least 1% per meal).
  6. Getting early access to exclusive deals via SMS notifications.
  7. Checking your transaction history at any time.
  8. No transaction charges are involved for all these transactions save for BFF transactions which are charged 2 per cent per transaction.
  9. InnBucksWednesdays – you get a free piece when you buy a 2-piecer (for just US$3.50 with InnBucks on Wednesdays. You get a free Russian sausage when you buy Russian and chips (for just US$1) with InnBucks on Wednesday.

Signing Up Or Registration Is Easy

There are two options you can use to register on InnBucks. You can download the mobile from the app stores and register via the mobile app. Alternatively, you can register using the USSD option where you just dial *569#. Currently, the USSD option is only available for Econet users but will be rolled out for other networks soon.

So that is it on some interesting latest developments with InnBucks. I have used InnBucks on several occasions. I highly recommend it and think it is something that other local brands can emulate as well.