So is like Burning Spider Stoked Community a Discord server? The loyalty program?
Here we are, the website is up, it's working, and now for the next level of getting folks stoked.
One of the newest features as a shop that we have never tried or implemented before is what everyone else calls a Loyalty Program.
Yes. Yes. Like Starbucks, but we are going to do things our own little way. After all, skaters don't really use points. So here is how it all ties together.
Let's kick off with the Discord, actually let's go back a few years.
Longboarding exploded in 2010. This made it so there are several groups of riders spread out all over Kansas City. There where packs of riders on the Kansas side, there was a bunch of us on the Missouri side, people would just roam around and run into each other, but there was no concerted effort to bring everyone together. The one group on Facebook at the time, I think it was called Kansas City Longboard Club or some such, wasn't responding to any messages, or attempt to join. There was a group of Missouri riders led by the now infamous Fisher Twins was called Loose Groove Skate crew, but this was more a national group so organizing local sessions on there wasn't very effective. So we started a group call Burning Spider. Very soon after it's start we changed the name to Kansas City Longboard Community. This group is still one of the best ways to get a session going in the city. As of writing this today, 2/8/22, a Tuesday, there were at least 3 different sessions or post to go skate. The group itself is made of over 1,500 riders mostly, at least as far as we can tell now, from around the Kansas City area. To say the least, it be popping.
There isn't anything "wrong" with KCLC. At this point in time it is established, well used, and delightfully needs very little moderation. However, Facebook itself has begun its' reconfiguration, and for what ever reasons, we all know that it does not seam very honest with our information. Part of that reconfiguration, or maybe we can even call it being honest with its' intent, is to take control away from the people that developed those groups and community. At this point in time, we no longer have direct control over who is in the group. Moderation has come into play more now than ever. Especially when Rando Pete or Betty hops on and spreads what ever spam nonsense they came on to spread. It's pretty simple, post about longabarding/skateboarding, and be nice to people or bugger off. Yet, because our controls have been taken away there is little we can do but ban (an account that should have never made it into the group in the first place) the offender. We no longer know who is reading our posts, or who they are passing that information to, or even how that information is being used. On top of that, despite being regular users that have convinced many people to hop onto Facebook so they could "Be a Part", we find out our information isn't even getting out to everyone. People, the people that are a part of our community, people we are working really hard to lift up and skate with, people who joined because of us are left in the quiet cold, news of our efforts to sling stoke about events, special, new items, basically anything is nerfed unless we pay. We no longer feel, even if we did pay, that our message would get to the people that matter to us. The tools used are nerfed, and we give the system a hard pass on effectiveness of communication.
This is where and why we are going to Discord. We aren't one to just complain, unless we have a viable solution, and Discord is the platform we are going to use to talk you you guys, keep up with you, and stoke you up. We aren't starting all the way over. We are taking what we have learned from our Facebook time, and now we are going to apply that to our very own Discord server called Burning Spider Stoked Community.
Our basic need is to have one on one direct conversations with everyone in our community that we can. This platform lets us customize and utilize it's features the way we want, with people who want us to. When a Stoke Clinic is canceled we want to let people know. When a session is popping off, if a pro rider comes into town and wants to be shown around, when brand new products come in, shoot any reason one could have to talk like we have been working on talking to our homies and fellow members of the skate community. You shouldn't have to wade through 50 posts to maybe see one that we made. We shouldn't have people who aren't wanting to contribute to making this community as awesome as it can be holding back the needs of the many. We want to make this platform something that takes the guess work out of what is going on, and gives our community members as direct a line to us as we possibly can. The first thing we started with was developing the community. It is our core, and without this, then nothing is going to be possible, or for that matter worth it. The time has come for a new way to talk with and interact with the community in as direct a fashion as we can muster via social media.
This is just our framework though. The next steps on our journey are to take that direct access to us, and the direct communication with you and crank it up in ways that Facebook could only hope. The little boost tool we are going to use to do that is called.......you can probably guess it, but the Burning Spider Stoke Community Loyalty system that we have launched. Sure this is a standard-ish loyalty system. You buy stuff, you get points, those points can be redeemed for discounts off of purchases, items in the shop itself, you know the usual.
This is where we are going to kick it up five notches. First off, I don't like even the connotation of Loyalty Programs..Bleh. Programs brings back the cold metallic taste of corporate all up in my mouth. So our first mission is to make this more an extension of the community focus and development, but of course it is tied into the shop. So how we implement this is when we've got it all set up, (There are a few more surprises we haven't gotten dialed enough to reveal), if you are a Member of the Burning Spider Stoked Community you are going to be able to earn points, not just through purchases. Imagine earning points by coming to community sessions, coming to contests, challenges, social media posts, basically, if we are doing something in the community, and you come out and skate with us, or participate, now we can reward you with more than just high fives. Now my fellow dudes, you can earn points....bleh....No. From now on we call them Stokens. That's right, points, are Stoke Tokens...or Stokens.
Now let's say down the line, you've had months of coming to Stoke Clinics, and doing this and that, you've got yourself a stack of Stokens, what are you going to do with that stack? Welp, that is where our rewards are going to kick in. We will have exclusive channels on the Burning Spider Stoked Community servers, special rewards and icons you can use. Maybe some perks and offers those that aren't in the community probably wouldn't even know what to do with, and now we can pump you guys up on a whole other level. Stokens can also be used for the usual discounts, offers, and things in that nature too.
There it is. We want to take our community of the most stoked riders in skateboarding, even more stoked. How cool can we make it? Hopefully now, we have the tools, to get you dudes even more stoked that previously thought possible.
Stay tuned. Sign up for the Burning Spider Stoked Community Loyalty, hop on Discord and say what's up to the rest of the community. So stoked to be taking these next exciting steps with all of you. It has been a most excellent 10 years, I can only imagine how much more awesome this is going to be. I am so stoked we are working on building all this with all of you.
Thank you, and I hope to see you on the Hill.
In the words of the legendary King Shralper Noel Korman, High Fives and Positive Vibes to everyone.