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Bruegger's offers music downloads to Facebook fans

Bruegger’s Bagels hopes to hit the right chord with customers with its newest Facebook application, which offers free music downloads from emerging indie-rock bands to customers who self-identify as fans on the brand’s page.

The “Music Showcase” application, developed with social-media marketing firm SocialGrub, offers Bruegger’s fans up to six free songs from up-and-coming artists like Seabird, The Almost and The Wellspring.

Creating an offer around music rather than its food and beverages was a move meant to widen Bruegger’s appeal from loyal customers to music fans unaccustomed to visiting the chain regularly, said Holly Ryan, Bruegger’s franchise development manager.

“What we’re trying to do is get a new set of eyes on our brand and get them familiar with who we are and what we offer,” Ryan said. “Really it’s more about brand awareness, getting people to know the brand and getting them into our stores.”

Bruegger’s already has done a promotion this year to grow its Facebook circle of fans. Its “Everything Else is Just Toast” campaign, which launched in May and offered Facebook fans a coupon for a free bagel, attracted 40,000 new fans, which Ryan said contributed to a 2-percent increase in sales.

With Facebook promotions becoming more prevalent for restaurant brands — including at competitor Einstein Bros. Bagels, whose Facebook fan base exploded earlier this year following a free-bagel coupon offer — Bruegger’s sought to differentiate itself by pitching something other than free food, Ryan said. However, the chain still plans to distribute a freebie later.

“We’re trying to get these new fans aware of what we do,” she said. “We’ll follow it up with a free iced coffee, which is something that people of this genre seem to be enjoying most. … This is our way of doing something different that wasn’t just about free food.”

Bruegger’s settled on music downloads as a Facebook offering because it “fit right in with the demographic we were looking for,” Ryan said. “We thought this one was the most out-of-the-box.”

She added that the chain was glad to give some emerging artists wider exposure, a sentiment SocialGrub’s “chief grub,” Sam Rubin, echoed.

“Everyone benefits from this campaign,” Rubin said in a statement. “Bruegger’s fans are treated to free downloads, while the bands have a chance to exhibit their newest works to a wider audience.”

Burlington, Vt.-based Brueggers, an affiliate of private-equity firm Sun Capital Partners Inc., has 297 bakery-cafes in 26 states, the District of Columbia and Toronto.

Contact Mark Brandau at [email protected].

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