Baskin-Robbins appoints new marketing chief and plans customer loyalty overhaul

Icecream brand appoints Geraldine Van Der Merwe as national marketing manager as it looks to expand its presence in Australia

Geraldine Van Der Merwe
Geraldine Van Der Merwe

Baskin-Robbins has appointed a new marketing chief in Australia as it looks to build out its presence and revamp its customer loyalty program locally.

Geraldine Van Der Merwe joined the ice cream company this month as national marketing manager and was most recently the national marketing manager for Retail Food Group’s Michel’s Pattisserie. She has nearly 20 years’ experience in food retail, including a stint as senior marketing manager for development at Subway, and seven years with Tiger Brands.

She replaces Julian Casa, who has headed up marketing locally for Baskin-Robbins for three years and is relocating to the Northern Territory with his family.

In a statement announcing Van Der Merwe’s appointment, the company said it was planning to increase its store network by 25 per cent over the coming year as part of its ambitions to become Australia’s leading ice cream brand.

On Van Der Merwe’s priority list is shaking up and relaunching Baskin-Robbins’ Club 31 customer loyalty program, implementing an online ordering platform, and developing new strategies to drive localised marketing activities for its franchise partners.

The Club 31 loyalty program was launched in 2012 is currently a free card-based program that rewards customers with monthly discounts, competitions and personal offers. It was a replacement and enhancement of the previous Birthday Club and supported by a website redesign.

Related: 4 brands making customer loyalty programs work
Why Fitness First is dropping its customer loyalty program and turning to data

“Geraldine is an excellent addition to the Baskin-Robbins family,” said Australian general manager, David Jordan. “We’re currently in the process of growth and aim to increase our brand presence in existing and new markets.

“Geraldine’s extensive experience across food and retail will be highly beneficial as we move forward and she will play an important role in helping us achieve our goal to become Australia’s leading ice cream brand.”

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