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    Loyalty Programs Enter Social Networking Space

    SAN FRANCISCO -- Loyalty Lab, an on-demand customer management solution for consumer brands, yesterday launched a new application that connects customer relationship programs to applications and widgets on the Facebook social networking site, opening a new potential avenue for food retailers.

    SAN FRANCISCO -- Loyalty Lab, an on-demand customer management solution for consumer brands, yesterday launched a new application that connects customer relationship programs to applications and widgets on the Facebook social networking site, opening a new potential avenue for food retailers.

    Floral retailer 1-800-FLOWERS.COM is the first Loyalty Lab client to tap the new application, called "Gimme Love," linking its Fresh Rewards loyalty program to Facebook and enabling customers to accrue real benefits for their activities in the virtual space.

    "As [a] floral brand, we continue to investigate new opportunities for reaching out to our customers wherever they are," said Monica Woo, president, Consumer Floral Brand, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM. "We want our brand to be where our customers are, which is why we were the first floral brand on Second Life, and why we're the first multi-channel specialty retailer to link our loyalty program to Facebook."

    Loyalty Lab's application leverages the open APIs provided by Facebook and enables retailers and consumer brands to reward their best customers for activities they do while on the popular social networking site. In the case of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, the "Gimme Love" application will reward loyalty program members for referring their friends to the multi-channel specialty gift retailer.

    "Customer evangelists are a brand's best friend," said Mark H. Goldstein, c.e.o. of Loyalty Lab. "By bridging their loyalty programs to social networks, brands can make it easier for their customers to spread the good word around. By adapting our best customer management platform to Facebook and other social networks, we enable brands to acquire their next buyers."

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